Snowflake's IPO is a bet on companies using AI for everything


Snowflake, the buzzy cloud computing company, just delivered the biggest software IPO ever by betting on a future in which all businesses increasingly rely on big data and AI to make decisions. Its stock began trading on Sept. 16 at $245 per share--more than double the $120 price Snowflake set the day earlier--giving it an opening valuation of $67.9 billion. The startup's main value proposition is that it makes it easier and cheaper for businesses to analyze data they've shelved away on the cloud--including the massive datasets needed to train machine learning algorithms. Because Snowflake structures its software differently, it can run resource-intensive AI programs more efficiently than its competitors, including juggernauts like Amazon's AWS and Microsoft's Azure. "Snowflake is very important because they can challenge the Amazon AWS power," said Per Roman, managing partner and co-founder of investment firm GP Bullhound.

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