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Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Getty Images photo: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Snowflake, a San Mateo, Calif.-based cloud data warehousing company, disclosed that Berkshire Hathaway and Salesforce Ventures each will purchase $250 million shares as part of its upcoming IPO. Berkshire also said it plans to buy around 4 million additional shares from insiders.

Why it matters: It's tough to square Warren Buffett's value investing philosophy with Snowflake, a tech unicorn without profits or a public trading history.

IPO details: Snowflake plans to offer 28 million shares at $75-$85, in addition to the direct $500 million purchases from Berkshire and Salesforce. It would have a fully diluted market value of $28.2 billion, were it to price in the middle.

ROI: The company has raised around $1.4 billion in VC funding, most recently at a $12.4 billion valuation, from firms like Sutter Hill Ventures (20.3% pre-IPO stake), Altimeter (14.8%), Iconiq (13.8%), Redpoint Ventures (9%), Sequoia Capital (8.4%), and Dragoneer.

The bottom line: "In 54 years, I don't think Berkshire has ever bought a new issue." — Warren Buffett, speaking to CNBC in May 2019

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated Dec 14, 2020 - Economy & Business

No one has cracked the bull market IPO code

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The 2020 unicorn IPO stampede has hit a speedbump, with gaming platform Roblox postponing its IPO until early 2021, and fintech Affirm likely to do the same.

What to know: Neither delay reflects soft investor interest or other concerns about the underlying businesses. Instead, they're about broader IPO market issues.

39 mins ago - World

Putin foe Navalny to be detained for 30 days after returning to Moscow

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Photo: Oleg Nikishin/Epsilon/Getty Images

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has been ordered to remain in pre-trial detention for 30 days, following his arrest upon returning to Russia on Sunday for the first time since a failed assassination attempt last year.

Why it matters: The detention of Navalny, an anti-corruption activist and the most prominent domestic critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has already set off a chorus of condemnations from leaders in Europe and the U.S.

Biden picks Warren allies to lead SEC, CFPB

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has selected FTC commissioner Rohit Chopra to be the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Obama-era Wall Street regulator Gary Gensler to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Why it matters: Both picks are progressive allies of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and viewed as likely to take aggressive steps to regulate big business.