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Deals

Billionaire Tom Siebel's C3.ai hires banks for 2021 U.S. IPO - sources

(Reuters) - C3.ai, a software company founded by billionaire tech entrepreneur Tom Siebel, has hired investment banks to help it prepare for an initial public offering which could come next year, according to people familiar with the matter.

The IPO could value the firm significantly higher than its previous valuation of $3.3 billion, the sources said, cautioning that the timing of the flotation was subject to change.

Redwood City, California-based C3 is working with JPMorgan Chase & Co JPM.N and other banks on IPO preparations, the sources said, requesting anonymity as the plans are confidential.

C3 did not respond to requests for comment. JPMorgan declined to comment.

C3's plans to go public come as numerous Silicon Valley startups are rushing to capitalize on investor frenzy for new tech stocks. In recent weeks, Palantir Technologies PLTR.N, Snowflake SNOW.N and Unity Software U.N have all gone public.

Companies have raised more than $100 billion in U.S. IPOs so far in 2020, comfortably outpacing a $62.5 billion haul for all of 2019, and on track to be the biggest year since 2000, according to data from Dealogic.

C3 builds predictive analytics systems to help customers with maintenance and repair work, fraud detection, money laundering prevention and other services.

The Silicon Valley artificial-intelligence software firm counts Royal Dutch Shell, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Department of Defense and 3M among its customers.

C3's board members include former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Apple Inc AAPL.O General Counsel Bruce Sewell.

Prior to launching C3, Siebel was the founder and CEO of Siebel Systems which was acquired by his former employer, Oracle Corp ORCL.N, in a deal worth nearly $6 billion in 2005.

In an interview with Business Insider here earlier this year, Siebel said the company brought in about $160 million of revenue in 2019 and was growing at a compounded annual rate of 80%.

C3 has so far raised over $350 million from investors such as BlackRock, TPG and Shell Ventures, among others, according to startup data platform PitchBook.

Reporting by Joshua Franklin in New York and Anirban Sen in Bengaluru; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Sandra Maler

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