February 2024 Top 10

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

February's Top Ten:

  1. One of the 2024 Top IPO contenders is officially off the ballot, with Stripe indicating that they will have a tender offer to provide liquidity to employees. This tender is going to be offered at a valuation of $65 billion, an increase from last year’s tender.
  2. Shein, another top contender for a 2024 IPO, has been facing increased regulatory scrutiny in the United States as relations between China and the US have grown tense. As such, the company is reportedly considering a London IPO instead. Other potential venues are reportedly Hong Kong and Singapore.
  3. Reddit is finally going public, having filed its S-1 a couple of weeks ago. The company is targeting roughly a $6.5 billion valuation, and while they are still unprofitable, the filing shows that they have grown revenues about 20% from the past year.
  4. In one of the wilder stories of the month, Sequoia Capital attempted a coup on Michael Mortiz, Klarna’s chair, by trying to oust him. Ultimately, the efforts backfired, in a matter of days they had to go on the defensive to apologize for the maneuver.
  5. How much does Sam Altman need in funding for OpenAI? Umm… checks notes $7 trillion dollars or so? Apparently that’s what its going to cost to build all the chip factories it needs to support its computing power.
  6. Canva, one of the top startups in the world right now, finds themselves without a CFO amid a major secondary share sale and ahead of its highly anticipated IPO. Damien Singh resigned from the company after they launched an internal investigation into alleged inappropriate behaviour.
  7. Bolt, once the $11 billion dollar e-commerce darling, slashes its share price 97% in a buyback. Tribe Capital has told its limited partners that it plans to sell shares back to Bolt at a price that implies a $300 million valuation, or just over half the per-share price the VC firm paid five years ago. Bolt is offering common-stock holders—current and former employees—a lower price for their shares.
  8. Disney is taking a $1.5 billion equity stake in Epic Games, making it the company’s biggest jump into the gaming world yet. Notably for epic, the deal shows a sharp cut in its valuation, bringing it down to $22.5 billion compared to a valuation of $31.5 billion two years ago.
  9. GPU Cloud Prover Lambda Labs confirms $320 million in new funding this month. The deal was led by U.S. Innovative Technology, a fund run by billionaire Thomas Tull. The round values Lambda at a valuation of $1.5 billion.
  10. Thrasio, once a pioneer in consolidating Amazon sellers, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this past month. The company disclosed that it had reached an agreement with creditors to reduce its debt burden by approximately $495 million. Thrasio also announced that certain creditors have committed to injecting up to $90 million in fresh capital, earmarked for sustaining ongoing operations and supporting the brands within its portfolio.

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