A parade of initial public offerings (IPOs) from Silicon Valleythis year has garnered a mixed reception from investors. SlackTechnologies Inc. took a different route on Thursday, and saw itsshares soar as it went public without an IPO.

Slack opened at $38.50 on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday,well above the reference price of $26 that was set for the sharesin the direct listing. The stock closed at $38.62, giving thecompany a market value of $19.5 billion.

That's a huge increase from Slack's last private funding roundin August, which valued the company at $7.1 billion. Thursday'sdebut makes Slack the second-most valuable technology company toreach U.S. markets this year, topped only by Uber TechnologiesInc.'s $75 billion value and bypassing Lyft Inc. at $18billion.

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