C3.ai Set to Go Public — a Sign of Continued AI Successes

By Elijah Labby Friday, December 18, 2020

If Tom Siebel, the chief executive officer of artificial intelligence (AI) startup C3.ai — which leverages AI for use in inventory optimization, energy management, fraud detection, predictive maintenance, and other uses — thought the state of the economy was too bad to file an initial public offering in June, he’s changed his mind.

The CEO told Business Insider over the summer that even though the company gained about $160 million in revenue in 2019, an IPO in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic’s impact on the economy would not be smart, and that he anticipated the economy to recover sometime in 2021 or 2022.

However, Siebel now believes the time is right. C3.ai unveiled an S-1 filing in late November showing a stellar anticipated valuation of $30 to $34 per share, with the company expecting 15.5 million share sales.

The news is another win for the startup, which was founded in 2009 and has seen major successes in recent years. Siebel, in June, expressed high hopes about the company’s future on the stock market and said past triumphs in revenue would bode well for investors.

“We did about $160 million in revenue last year, and we’re growing at about an 80% compound annual growth rate, so pretty rapidly,” Siebel said. “[The company is] structurally a profitable business, so I can throw this into profitability at the turn of a lever.”

The Wider AI Market

C3.ai’s success is not an isolated incident. The global AI market has seen incredible growth in the recent past and is anticipated to continue to grow into one of the world’s most important and revolutionary industries.

According to market research firm Grandview Research, the global AI market was worth nearly $40 billion in 2019. What’s more, the market’s compound annual growth rate from 2020 to 2027 is expected to be in excess of 42%.

One of the things that makes AI so pervasive throughout modern global cultures and economies is its widespread applications. AI is being used throughout nearly every market in which it is beneficial, including tech, healthcare, economics, and government. It is also being used from the top down, from international market dominators like Google and Microsoft to applications that help small businesses manage inventory and logistics.

Perhaps even more pressing is AI’s role in managing and facilitating information related to the coronavirus’s impact across America and the globe. In its report, Grandview Research says that global tech companies are working overtime to implement AI to do just this.

“This pandemic has emerged as an opportunity for AI-enabled computer systems to fight against the epidemic as several tech giants and start-ups are working to prevent, mitigate, and contain the virus,” the report said.

One of these companies is Google, which has rolled out the Rapid Response Virtual Agent AI chatbot. Businesses, both large and small, can use the chatbot to inform curious customers on their coronavirus policies, coronavirus symptoms, and other pertinent information.

AI’s Implications for Healthcare

AI applications extend to other areas of healthcare. CURE, an online healthcare publication, recently reported that an AI program was able to accurately predict the short-term mortality rate of individuals with cancer.

The program was part of a study published in JAMA Oncology. Experts believe that the study’s findings have the potential to improve the quality of life for cancer patients by allowing doctors to make informed decisions about their care.

“Such an automated tool may complement clinician intuition and lead to improved targeting of supportive care interventions for high-risk patients with cancer,” the study read.

AI’s impact on the healthcare industry and its implications for patients is a microcosm of the technology’s larger impact on the global economy. AI is quickly becoming an essential part of everyday life and will only continue to be so. C3.ai, with their planned initial public offering, has proved not only that they have been a force in the still-developing industry but that they have no plans to stop.

About the Author


Headshot for author Elijah Labby

Elijah Labby is a graduate of the National Journalism Center. He has previously written for Broadband Breakfast, a technology and internet policy website.

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