Buffett-backed cloud unicorn Snowflake nets $3.4 billion in record-breaking software IPO

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  • Snowflake, backed by the billionaire investor Warren Buffett, said it would raise $3.4 billion on Wednesday in the largest software initial public offering.
  • The cloud-data platform said on Tuesday that it would sell 28 million shares priced at $120 apiece, valuing it at over $33 billion.
  • Snowflake plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol SNOW.
  • Its highly anticipated IPO has managed to capture the attention of Buffett, who has agreed to invest over $550 million in the company.
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Snowflake said it would raise $3.4 billion on Wednesday in the largest initial public offering for a software company, kicking off a big week for technology firms going public.

The cloud-data startup announced on Tuesday that it would sell 28 million shares at $120 each.

Snowflake, which was valued at $12.4 billion in February and counts the billionaire investor Warren Buffett among its backers, plans to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol SNOW.

The San Mateo-based company's highly anticipated IPO has managed to generate enthusiasm from Buffett, who has famously steered clear of tech stocks. Buffett agreed to invest upwards of $550 million once it goes public.

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According to Renaissance Capital, Snowflake is the largest software IPO on record and the largest since Uber's $8.1 billion IPO in May 2019.

Snowflake has emerged as one of the strongest players in cloud-data warehousing this year as the pandemic forced millions of people to work remotely, fueling a trend among businesses of setting up networks on web-based platforms.

The company was reportedly aiming for a valuation of $20 billion. In total, Snowflake has raised $1.4 billion from investors including Sequoia and Iconiq Capital.

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Snowflake said it had about 3,100 customers, including 56 clients that contributed about $1 million in a 12-month period.

Ray Wang, an analyst from Constellation Research, said it would be "the blockbuster enterprise listing for 2020."

Other tech IPOs set to debut this week include Unity, a video-game-software firm expected to raise $950 million, and Sumo Logic, a data-software platform expected to raise $281 million.

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