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Snowflake's value doubles in stock market's largest software debut



Cloud data warehouse startup Snowflake saw its shares double on Wednesday, raising more than three billion U.S. dollars in a blockbuster debut on the New York Stock Exchange.

Snowflake shares priced at 120 U.S. dollars at the opening bell finished the official trading day just shy of 254 U.S. dollars.

The San Mateo, California-based company has grown quickly since it was founded eight years ago in Silicon Valley, and was valued at some 12.4 billion U.S. dollars in a private funding round early this year despite not being profitable.

Snowflake's spectacular market debut reflects the hearty appetite for new stocks, as low interest rates drive investors into equities.

Among U.S.-listed companies with a market capitalization of at least 10 billion U.S. dollars, only three companies are now more expensive than Snowflake's 2020 revenue multiple. It lags only Nikola Corp, Liberty Broadband and Immunomedics Inc, according to Refinitiv.

Snowflake sold 28 million shares in its IPO to raise 3.36 billion U.S. dollars in the biggest software IPO of all time.

For a such a large IPO, an opening pop of this magnitude is rare. The stunning debut makes CEO Slootman and CFO Mike Scarpelli billionaires, even though neither of them founded the company.

Snowflake's full-year revenue for the period ended January 31 jumped 173.9 percent to 264.7 million U.S. dollars, though its net loss nearly doubled to 348.54 million U.S. dollars.

Snowflake provides online data storage, analytics and management, essentially providing infrastructure as a service to businesses seeking to operate online. It relies on data centers hosted by Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, according to the filing.

While the pandemic is taking a toll on the economy, it is also accelerating a trend toward businesses connecting with customers online and relying on the cloud or remote work.


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