April 2024 Top 10

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ESO Fund's top 10 events affecting the private markets for the month of April 2024.

April's Top Ten:

  1. The IPO train continues to roll on, with Walmart-backed tech marketing firm Ibotta hitting the public markets this past month. Ibotta raised about $577 million in the offering and priced the IPO at $88 per share, exceeding the initial $76 to $84 estimation.
  2. Ibotta wasn’t the only company to go public last month, as data management company Rubrik began trading on the NYSE at the end of the month. Rubrik priced its IPO at $32 a share and raised $752 million, above its expected range as well.
  3. xAI, Elon Musk ‘s OpenAI rival, is close to raising $6 billion at a pre-money valuation of $18 billion. Investors such as Sequoia Capital and Future Ventures are participating in the round.
  4. TikTok, a social media company, will be banned in the U.S. in less than a year unless its owner, ByteDance, sells the company. The law was signed by President Biden this past month and could be a major hit to the creator economy if it comes to pass.
  5. Bolt had a weird buyback a couple of months ago at a 97% discount, and we are starting to get more information on why it happened. A recently filed lawsuit by an investor states that Bolt co-founder Ryan Breslow, who stepped down as CEO two years ago, masterminded the lowball offer in order to maintain control over the company. There will surely be more updates on this in the coming months.
  6. StubHub is looking to hop on the IPO train as news reports indicate they are eyeing a summer initial public offering. The online ticketing service has been working with JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs over the past two years on the IPO, and is targeting a $16.5B valuation.
  7. OpenAI has expanded its $86 billion tender offer to some former employees. The move suggests there is continued investor demand for stock in the ChatGPT-maker, which surpassed $1.6 billion in annualized revenue last December.
  8. Wiz was set to takeover Lacework this past month at a valuation of between $150 million to $200 million. The acquisition would have been notable, as Lacework’s was valued in 2021 at $8.3 billion. However, as of last week, the acquisition was cancelled after the deal fell through during the due diligence process.
  9. OpenAI’s European Rival, Mistral AI, is currently seeking funding at a $5 billion valuation. The company’s current investors include Andreesen Horowitz, Lightspeed Ventures, and Microsoft.
  10. AI cloud infrastructure startup CoreWeave announced at the end of April that it had raised $1.1 billion in fresh funding led by Coatue. The deal values the company at $19 billion.

Why this matters: We’re loving that the Top 10 continues to include IPO news. This movement is much needed after a lackluster 2023, and is encouraging to the VC ecosystem as a whole. Public markets have performed well in 2024 thus far, and late-stage companies looking to go public may not be able to blame the bad exit environment for much longer.

For more insights from ESO Fund check out our newsletter ESO's Monthly Start-Up which lands in your inbox the first Tuesday of every month.

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