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Snowflake prices IPO above marketed range at US$120 a share: sources

[NEW YORK] Cloud-data software maker Snowflake priced its initial public offering (IPO) at US$120 a share, above the marketed range, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified.

The San Mateo, California-based company had planned to sell 28 million shares for US$100 to US$110 each, a range that was boosted from US$75 to US$85 on Monday, according to Snowflake's filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

At US$120 a share, the listing ranks as the biggest US IPO this year, excluding the US$4 billion offering by the special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, backed by billionaire Bill Ackman.

At that price, Snowflake would be valued in the listing at more than US$33 billion based on the outstanding shares listed in its prospectus, including the 28 million that were planned for Tuesday's share sale. That compares with a valuation of US$12.4 billion in a private funding round announced in February.

A representative for Snowflake declined to comment.

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It's a busy week for IPOs as technology and other companies rush to get in the door ahead of the Nov 3 US presidential election. JFrog, Sumo Logic and Unity Software are among 15 companies going public this week, seeking to raise a combined US$8.3 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Snowflake wooed Warren Buffett to invest in his first IPO. Berkshire Hathaway and Salesforce Ventures, an arm of Salesforce.com, have each committed to buy US$250 million of the company's Class A common stock in a private placement. Berkshire has also agreed to buy four million shares in a secondary transaction, according to Snowflake's filing.

Snowflake, founded in 2012, is a rare challenger to Amazon.com as a provider of data warehouse technology, which compiles information from different systems so clients can analyse it together in the same place. In the fiscal year that ended Jan 31, Snowflake's revenue soared 174 per cent to US$264.7 million compared with the previous fiscal year, the company reported. In the sixth months that ended July 31, sales were US$242 million, a 133 per cent year-over-year increase.

The offering is being led by Goldman Sachs Group and Morgan Stanley. Snowflake's shares are expected to begin trading on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SNOW.

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