By Anna Banacka and Anna Koper

WARSAW/GDANSK, Poland (Reuters) – Shares in Polish e-commerce group Allegro leapt more than 50% on their trading debut on Monday, giving the company a market value of about $17.6 billion in Europe’s biggest IPO so far this year.

Allegro’s strong start mirrored the performance of some recent U.S. IPOs that have shot up on their first days of trading, demonstrating investors’ willingness to pay for growth.

Allegro, founded more than 20 years ago as a home-grown rival to eBay, is central Europe’s most recognised e-commerce brand, with its website attracting 20 million visitors a month.

At 1126 GMT, its shares were trading at 68.1 zlotys, up 58.4% from their IPO price of 43 zlotys, which was itself at the upper end of the guidance range.

“When pricing deals like Allegro, it is more important to build momentum than to maximize price on day one,” said Christoph Stanger, who co-heads Goldman Sachs’ European equity capital markets business, which helped organise the IPO.

Private equity owners Cinven, Permira and Mid Europa will want to benefit from that momentum in follow-on placements, after only 25% of the Polish company was floated in the IPO, Stanger said.

Europe’s IPO market is showing some signs of picking up, with Britain’s The Hut Group last month making the biggest debut on the London Stock Exchange in seven years.

However, investor appetite seems to be reserved for tech and growth companies – sectors that corporate Europe is light on compared to the United States, where a number of blockbuster tech IPOs have priced this year.

Allegro operates in one of few business areas to benefit during the coronavirus pandemic, as shoppers switch to buying online.

“The recent pandemic highlighted the value of e-commerce for a consumer, and accelerated e-commerce penetration,” said

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“A lot of people just perceive pimping in regards to pimps and sex workers,” he says, in an interview from his Calgary home. “In urban-slang terms, it also means making something out of nothing. That was my whole story about me coming here to Canada: to make something out of nothing.”

Lyrique was born in the City of Baguio, the so-called “summer capital” of the Philippines, located in a mountainous area north of Manila. Initially, it was a privileged life. But by the time he turned 13, things drastically changed when his paternal grandmother had a devastating stroke. Due to the country’s less-than-stellar health care system, her needs drained both the family’s wealth and his father’s energy to run his once-lucrative business.

“I was able to experience poverty when I was 13,” says Lyrique, who will perform Friday, Oct. 9 at Cafe Koi. “It was a situation I didn’t understand. But looking back in hindsight, it was an eyeopener. I was really doing well in school in my younger years. Then when that situation came about, I was doing terrible in school. I was doing terrible socially.”

In 2014, Lyrique migrated to Canada in search of a better life. He was 22 and arrived as a temporary foreign worker under the live-in nanny program. It was not an easy time for him. Male live-in nannies were uncommon and therefore not exactly in demand. Within two weeks of arriving, his living arrangements with a relative came to an abrupt end.

“It was tough times, a lot of drama,” Lyrique says. “I lived in Fort McMurray for two or three months trying to look for an opportunity as a live-in nanny. But it was really hard because I was a guy. There were a lot of bad situations. I

(Reuters) – Asana Inc

was valued at more than $4 billion in its New York Stock Exchange debut on Wednesday, after the workplace software maker went public through a direct listing rather than a traditional initial public offering.

Asana’s stock opened at $27 per share and closed at $28.80, up from a reference price of $21 per share set by the NYSE on Tuesday.

Prior to its public debut, Asana shares had traded in the private market at a weighted average price of $25.11 apiece in August.

The listing comes as the company’s software that supports corporate teams’ collaboration and organization is of particular value to customers during the COVD-19 pandemic, according to co-founder and Chief Executive Dustin Moskovitz.

“All these companies are moving to remote work for the first time, getting that clarity has become an ever more important business imperative. We’re well matched to the moment,” Moskovitz said in a telephone interview.

Asana was joined on Wednesday by Palantir Technologies , another company backed by Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, which also debuted on the NYSE through a direct listing, rather than a traditional initial public offering.

Existing investors can sell their shares directly to the market in a direct listing and the price at which shares are sold is not influenced by input from underwriting banks, amid criticism that shares in an IPO are often underpriced. Unlike an IPO, companies are not allowed to raise capital.

“In a traditional IPO where the underwriters may be pricing it at a particular price and then you see a 20%, 30% or sometimes even 50% increase in the stock, as the CFO you’re thinking, are you leaving money on the table?” Asana Chief Financial Officer Tim Wan said in an interview.

“In a direct listing you don’t have that phenomenon

(Bloomberg) — The first exchange-traded fund to track blank check companies will make its trading debut Thursday, giving investors a chance to make a concerted bet on one of the hottest areas of the stock market.



a statue of a man standing in front of a tall building: Tje New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).


© Bloomberg
Tje New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

The Defiance NextGen SPAC IPO ETF begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker SPAK, according to a press release from the firm. The new fund will primarily track shares of companies that listed on exchanges by merging with special purpose acquisition companies, rather than those that held a traditional initial public offering. It will also track SPACs that have not yet executed an acquisition.

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Concerns remain over whether the SPAC market is large enough to support an ETF portfolio, even after a record-breaking year that has seen over $41 billion raised so far. SPAK seeks to counter that worry by weighting its holdings according to market value. That will give extra exposure to shares of SPACs that have surged after they bought a private company, effectively taking it public. More than 80% of the ETFs holdings will be occupied by the likes of DraftKings Inc. and Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc., while only 20% will be weighted toward newly created shells that have yet to make a purchase and have no operations.

“It includes the entire ecosystem without picking winners and losers,” Defiance ETFs Chief Executive Officer Matthew Bielski said in an interview. “The biggest companies have the biggest exposure, so there’s not a liquidity issue.”

Blistering IPO Market Is Rekindling Dot-Com Era Froth Fears

SPACs have exploded in popularity this year as a way for purchasers to avoid the costly and time-consuming IPO process that for a time grew more difficult thanks to unprecedented volatility. Instead, the company sells to

Palantir Technology, a data analytics company known for secrecy and ties to the U.S. intelligence community, ended its first day of public trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

Shares of Palantir closed at $9.50 after opening at $10, reaching a valuation of around $21 billion. The company filed for the initial public offering (IPO) last month. The public debut was “mired by technical issues,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

Government contracts are believed to be a major source of revenue for the company co-founded in 2003 by Peter Thiel, the tech billionaire also known as the co-founder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook who still sits in its board of directors. It was founded with the help of “CIA seed money” and has never been profitable, according to the Associated Press.

The company’s technology, which has been described as “surveillance” or “data mining,” analyzes massive amounts of data from disparate sources, potentially finding hidden relationships or patterns that could be used to predict future events. Palantir itself says it makes “products for human-driven analysis of real-world data,” adding that their technology is designed to “help institutions protect liberty.”

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Theil described Palantir as a “mission-oriented company” focused on “needing to reduce terrorism while preserving civil liberties” in a 2013 Forbes article. Co-founder and CEO Alex Karp said that the company’s “software is used to target terrorists and keep soldiers safe” in a letter issued with the IPO filing.

Palantir has contracts with numerous U.S. government, military and law enforcement agencies worth hundreds of millions of dollars, while also working with some foreign governments. In addition, the company partners with major global corporations and financial firms.

Peter Thiel
Palantir co-founder Peter Thiel is pictured while speaking in support of then-candidate Donald Trump at