C3.ai, machine learning startup backed by software pioneer Tom Siebel, files for IPO

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Tom Siebel, an early employee of database giant Oracle, later a billionaire after selling his eponymous software company to Oracle, says his new company, C3, has a bigger opportunity than either. .

C3.ai, the artificial intelligence services company founded by software pioneer Tom Siebel, filed an initial public offering on Friday evening, with $ 100 million of its shares, led by investment banks Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and Bank of America.

The amount of the offer is provisional and will likely change in the size of the final deal.

C3 plans to list under the symbol “AI” on the New York Stock Exchange. The number of shares to be offered and the price range of the proposed offering have not yet been determined, C3 said.

Siebel, who was recruited by database giant Oracle in 1983, later founded the eponymous enterprise customer relationship management software company in 1993. He sold that company to Oracle in 2006 for 5 , 85 billion dollars, then founded C3 in 2009.

C3 was born out of the philanthropic work Siebel was doing in 2007 and 2008, after selling to Oracle. He wanted to have an impact on the energy and climate issues of the planet. He soon realized that being a for-profit business could ultimately have a bigger impact.

Siebel, who is both President and CEO of C3, describes his ambition in the prospectus as serving a $ 274 billion market that is “on a greater scale” than that of Oracle or by Siebel.

Siebel refers to a multitude of technologies, including AI, that have come together to create a new kind of combination that he calls a “progressive technology function” that is “significantly more impactful than anything we have seen. before ”.

They include “elastic cloud computing, big data, Internet of things and AI or predictive analytics”.

Dit Siebel,

Today, at the confluence of these technological vectors, we find the phenomenon of enterprise AI and digital transformation, mandates that are at the top of the agenda of every CEO. The global computer market today exceeds $ 2.3 trillion.

Our unique focus is to leverage our technology leadership, first-in-place advantage, and management leadership to establish and maintain a global leadership position in enterprise AI. If we are successful in achieving this goal, we will have made C3.ai one of the largest software companies in the world.

The company promotes itself as “the largest enterprise AI production footprint in the world.” It claims to run $ 1.1 billion of forecasts per day for its clients, which include large companies in banking, oil and gas, and other industries.

Siebel brought with him seasoned compatriots. C3 CTO, Edward Abbo, was CTO of Siebel Systems. The company’s product manager, Houman Behzadi, was also a longtime Siebel executive.

The company generated $ 157 million in revenue in the fiscal year ended in April, he said, a 71% increase year-over-year. He lost $ 69 million on that income. Revenue for the three months ended July increased 16% year over year to $ 40.5 million.

The company had an accumulated deficit of $ 293 million at the end of July.

The prospectus says Siebel invested heavily in the startup, but also sold shares worth tens of millions. In 2018, for example, the company sold shares to Siebel for a loan worth $ 25 million. Then in 2019, Siebel sold shares in two deals worth $ 50 million each.

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