May 2024 Top 10

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

May's Top Ten:

  1. As we mentioned earlier in the newsletter, CoreWeave announced they are seeking an IPO in 2025. This announcement comes on the heels of a $1.1 billion raise led by Blackstone, Magnetar, and Coatue. CoreWeave is currently valued at $19 billion.
  2. Another IPO that we mentioned in our intro was announced this past month and made our top ten was Tempus announcing their IPO. The company has been reported to be seeking around $600 million in funding.
  3. Last IPO notice in the top 10 is that Shein is reportedly set to file for IPO as well. The interesting note about this filing? They are going with a UK IPO. The decision to list in the UK over the US likely has to do with ongoing tensions between China and the U.S.
  4. Speaking of geopolitical tensions between China and the U.S., ByteDance’s TikTok sued the US government this month over a law that President Biden signed last month outlawing the app nationwide unless it finds a buyer within a year. The lawsuit alleges the ban to be unconstitutional as it violates their First Amendment rights.
  5. We are continuing to see startups fail during this liquidity crunch, with Takeoff Tech filing for Chapter 11. The grocery e-commerce company has struggled as demand declined post-Covid.
  6. AI startup Anthropic has been continuing to grow and has hired their first CFO this past month. Krishna Rao, Airbnb alum, has joined the company as they look to accelerate plans for international expansion and growth
  7. Groq, an Nvidia challenger, is seeking to raise around $300 million and has tapped Morgan Stanley to help with the fundraise. The new round would roughly double its total funding.
  8. The 100x days are back! Bessemer is leading a raise in AI powered search engine Perplexity at a valuation of $3 billion. The round is notable because of the 150x revenue multiple at which the round was raised.
  9. Figma employees and early shareholders are going to be able to sell as much as $900 million of their shares to new investors at a valuation of $12.5 billion. The price notably represents a nearly 38% decline from Adobe’s proposed plan to buy the company for $20 billion.
  10. Military defense startup, Anduril, is seeking roughly $1.5 billion in fresh funds that would value the company at $12.5 billion or more. The potential funding round would be an increase from the $8.5 billion valuation at which investors including Valor Equity Partners and Founders Fund valued the company a year and a half ago.

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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