- Dustin Moskovitz, Asana's co-founder, veers from the traditional tech-founder path, becoming a majority owner after the company went public.
- Despite a rallying share price, Asana's stock remains significantly below its record high, offering Moskovitz opportunities to expand his stake.
- Using his substantial Asana ownership, Moskovitz bolsters his philanthropic endeavors, focusing on the future of artificial intelligence.
While the conventional success story for a tech founder often involves diluting their ownership over time through venture capital rounds and public listings, Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of both Facebook and Asana, has put a fresh twist on the narrative.
In 2008, Moskovitz spearheaded Asana, a platform designed to streamline team collaboration through intuitive software solutions. By the time the company went public in 2020 via a direct listing, he retained roughly 36% ownership. What followed next was quite unusual: Moskovitz embarked on a buying spree, boosting his ownership stake to over 51% with the acquisition of 480,000 additional shares in June.
"This market rollercoaster over the past couple of years has certainly presented some compelling purchase opportunities," Moskovitz told CNBC in a candid chat. Despite the company's shares rallying by 66% this year, they still hover 80% below their all-time high recorded in late 2021.
This move isn't about power for Moskovitz, who boasts a net worth exceeding $12 billion, mostly thanks to his early investment in Facebook. He views becoming the majority owner of Asana as a strategic move to financially support his philanthropic endeavors.
In 2010, Moskovitz committed to the Giving Pledge, a promise made by some of the world's wealthiest people to donate a majority of their fortune to charitable causes. Together with his wife, Cari Tuna, a former journalist, they channel their funds through Good Ventures, following recommendations from Open Philanthropy. Of the various issues they fund, the future of artificial intelligence takes precedence, with significant investments made in OpenAI and research into AI safety.
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