March 2024 Top 10

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

March's Top Ten:

  1. The Reddit and Astera Labs IPOs take the cake for biggest news stories of the month, as they may be a bellwether for sunnier forecasts for other companies looking to exit.
  2. Denver-based Ibotta is hoping to follow in Reddit and Astera Labs footsteps, filing with the SEC this month to go public. The consumer rebate platform generated $320 million in revenues last year and is profitable. The company was last publicly valued at $1 billion in 2022. Healthcare startup Tempus is also making plans, having hired Morgan Stanley to run an initial public offering in the coming months. Tempus is a medical lab testing and data company, and has raised more than $1.3 billion in private funding.
  3. Funding drought where? Andreessen Horowitz is moving closer to raising $7 billion for multiples funds for growth and sector focused funds. The fundraising efforts are expected to close in early April, and half of the total target will be from committed capital to its fourth growth fund.
  4. ScaleAI, a San-Francisco based company that provides training data to companies like OpenAI, is in talks with Accel to raise a new funding round at a valuation of $13 billion. This would be an 80% increase from their previous valuation.
  5. Cohere, a large language model developer for the enterprise market, is also looking to raise soon. The company is seeking to raise at least $500 million from investors at a valuation close to $5 billion.
  6. Cameo, the celebrity video shoutout app, authorized a $28 million round of funding in March led by Valor Equity Partners for less than $100 million valuation. The round would mean at least a 90% drop from its previous valuation in March 2021, when the pandemic was fueling much of the company’s success.
  7. We are coming to the conclusion of the FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried story (which is a little sentimental since we featured it in our first edition of the newsletter). SBF was sentenced to 25 years in prison this past month for fraud.
  8. Bolt is continuing to take L’s, being featured in the news twice during March, but not for anything good. First, Maju Kuruvilla was ousted as CEO from the company a couple of weeks ago in favor of Justin Grooms after the board voted him out. Secondly, the Information dropped an article last week about another legal battle for the one-click check out company as Fanatics has filed lawsuit against them for improperly reneging on its contract.
  9. Canva, the web-based design platform, acquired the Affinity creative software suite on the 25th for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition is notable because it means some serious competition for Adobe’s dominance over design software.
  10. OpenAI and Microsoft are continuing their partnerships, this time, with Stargate, a new AI super-computer datacenter. The cost of the project could be upwards of $115 billion and is planned for launch in 2028.

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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