Business Maverick

Business Maverick

Snowflake Soars After Record $3.36 Billion Software Debut

Green light illuminates server cables in the 5G lab at the Vodafone Kabel Deutschland GmbH campus in Duesseldorf, Germany, on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. The European Union won’t explicitly ban Huawei Technologies Co. or other 5G equipment vendors when the bloc unveils guidelines for member states to mitigate security risks. Photographer: Wolfram Schroll/Bloomberg

Snowflake Inc. soared in a euphoric stock-market debut that transformed the eight-year-old software company into business valued at about $72 billion.

Snowflake’s $3.36 billion initial public offering is an all-time record for a software company and the biggest in the U.S. this year. Its share price soared as much as 166% Wednesday, minting fortunes inside the company and across Silicon Valley.

Shares of the cloud-data software maker opened at $245 in New York trading, more than double its IPO price. They jumped as high as $319 minutes into trading and were up 115% to $257.87 at 1:41 p.m. in New York.

That makes Snowflake, previously a little known software company, more valuable than Uber Technologies Inc., Dell Technologies Inc. and General Motors Co., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Snowflake sold 28 million shares at $120 apiece on Tuesday. They were earlier marketed for $100 to $110 each after the range was boosted from $75 to $85.

MORE: Snowflake IPO Creates Flood of Wealth for Silicon Valley Elite

With IPOs surging after the spring lull as the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S., Snowflake’s listing is this year’s largest on a U.S. exchange by an operating company, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That excludes the $4 billion raised in July by a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, backed by billionaire investor Bill Ackman.

U.S. IPOs are having a busy week as 21 companies are expected to price their offerings raising more than $10 billion combined, according to the data.

Snowflake’s IPO attracted Warren Buffett for a rare investment. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and Salesforce Ventures, an arm of Salesforce.com Inc., have each committed to buy $250 million of the company’s Class A common stock in a private placement. Berkshire also agreed to buy 4 million shares in a secondary transaction, according to Snowflake’s filing.

The offering was led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley. Snowflake’s shares are trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SNOW.

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