C3.ai (AI 1.79%) raised $651 million in funding through the sale of 15.5 million shares at a price of $42 per share on Tuesday, according to a Bloomberg report. The sale values C3.ai at roughly $4 billion, taking place at a price significantly higher than its previously-announced range of between $36 and $38 per share.
The artificial intelligence (AI) software specialist begins trading under the ticker "AI" on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today. C3.ai's initial public offering (IPO) is being led by JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America, and the company previously disclosed that Microsoft and Spring Creek Capital would be major early investors.
C3.ai was founded by former Oracle executive Tom Siebel and is providing AI-powered software for enterprises. It operates on a software-as-a-service model (SaaS), providing a variety of applications that help businesses to gather and analyze data to better inform important decisions. It also offers a streamlined app development suite that allows developers to drag and drop desired features into their projects. These tools can prove very valuable for companies aiming to rapidly develop and deploy new apps, and there's a good chance that demand for AI-based development and data analysis software will see strong growth over the long term.
The market for promising tech IPOs has been very hot this year, and it wouldn't be surprising to see C3.ai's valuation surge out of the gate. The stock remains a speculative investment this early in the game, but the company is being led by a proven executive team and is operating in a potentially explosive growth market.