Hybrid Work Is Here To Stay And Asana Will Be A Key Beneficiary

Market opportunity

The company operates in a large market that is rapidly expanding. According to Allied Market Research, the team collaboration market size is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 13% for the next decade and reach a total addressable market of $27 billion by 2027. Furthermore, Grand View Research estimated that the global productivity management software market was $43 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14% from 2021 to 2028. In Asana’s recent presentation, they estimate that their total addressable market for workplace solutions will be nearly $51 billion by 2025.

Product Roadmap

The company’s platform is built on its proprietary, multi-dimensional data model that it calls the Asana Work Graph. It has features like boards that allow users to easily create tasks for the team, view what other team members are working on, and create different views like calendar list views. Furthermore, the timeline feature allows decision makers to quickly learn the status of a task, who is responsible for executing the work, and helps reduce redundancies.

Financials

Asana released its Q3 FY2022 results on December 02, 2021, which beat both on the top and bottom-line. Revenue growth accelerated to 70% YoY and quarterly sales were $100 million, which beat analysts’ estimates by $6 million. Revenue has increased sequentially for at least 11 consecutive quarters and Asana now has an annualized topline run rate of over $400 million. The growth was led by strong customer metrics as total paid seats surpassed 2 million and total paying customer increased 28% YoY to 114,000.

Stock-based compensation and insider purchases

It is also noteworthy that Asana pays some of its salaries with stock-based compensation (SBC), which cosmetically improves the presentation of cashflows. For instance, in the latest quarter, Asana issued $26 million in SBC, up from $9 million in the prior year quarter. However, quarterly free cashflow improved $18 million YoY, or $1 million absent the benefit from increased stock-based compensation. The increase in free cashflow after adjusting for the rise in SBC highlights that Asana has been able to leverage its scale to a degree. Nonetheless, cashflows will remain lumpy going forward and SBC growth may outpace free cashflow generation in the near term.

Competition and why Asana is winning

The work management platform space is very competitive and there are numerous public and private companies competing with Asana. Asana’s main publicly traded competitors are Atlassian (Jira) and Monday.com, but they also compete with Smartsheet and other private companies such as Airtable. For the sake of brevity, I will only be discussing Monday.com and Atlassian’s Jira offering and what sets Asana apart from these competitors.

Risks:

Asana faces significant competition in the fast-growing work management space and it is not yet clear who the winner will be. Furthermore, larger companies could very well enter the space and compete with Asana’s solutions, possibly turning customers into competitors.

Conclusion

Looking forward, Asana appears well positioned to continue to capture share in the work management space. Hybrid and remote work environments are a structural tailwind that will drive demand for work management solutions. Furthermore, these tailwinds will likely gain momentum due to the inherent benefits they provide to both employees and employers. Asana recently reported an acceleration in topline growth, and enterprise customer metrics accelerated even faster. While it is not yet clear who the winner will be in the work management space, Asana appears well positioned given its high gross margins and strong customer metrics. Asana has a large addressable market in front of it and its penetration is very low, suggesting that we are still very early in the company’s growth story.

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Beth Kindig

Beth Kindig

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CEO and Lead Tech Analyst for the I/O Fund with cumulative audited results of 141%, beating Ark and other leading active tech funds over four audit periods in 2