Meet Snowflake’s mysterious founders, who made less money on its multi-billion dollar IPO than the CEO who joined 16 months ago

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Snowflake’s white-hot debut on the public markets minted three new billionaires on Wednesday — but only one of Snowflake’s three cofounders was among them.

The company hauled in $3.4 billion its initial public offering making, making it the largest software IPO ever and the biggest of the year. Shares of the cloud-data unicorn exploded as much as 165%, to $318.37, on its first day of trading and then cooled only a bit over the next couple of days to close at $240 on Friday, giving it a market cap of $66.4 billion.

The popularity of the stock made a billionaire out of Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman, the biggest executive shareholder after just 16 months with the 8-year-old company. Slootman owns about 6% of the company, including options that haven’t vested yet. At $240 a share his entire stake, vested and unvested, is worth almost $3.7 billion.

Cofounder Benoit Dageville, president of products at Snowflake and a board member, is the only cofounder who still has a high enough leadership role in the company to require that his full stake be disclosed. He owns over 3% including stock options that will vest soon. At Friday’s closing price of $240, his 8.3 million shares are worth over $2 billion. 

But it appears that the two other founders of eight-year-old Snowflake are still waiting to join the three comma club.

Although they started the company that had one of the most highly-anticipated public offerings of the year, all three cofounders have eluded the spotlight almost since the beginning.

A Google search on each returns more patent filings than press interviews. Over the years, the highly technical cofounders stayed focused on the product — and ceded control of their company to external CEOs who came in with big stock awards, public filings show.

Thierry Cruanes, who is chief technology officer, and Marcin Zukowski, whose author page on says he was vice president of engineering in 2015, hold less than 5% of the company’s ownership each, according to a S-1 filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Because Cruanes resigned from his board position in June and owns less than 5%, the company isn’t required to disclose exactly how many shares he owns. However, it did say that at the end of January, he had 1.56 million shares underlying his stock options.

Although we do not know if this was his full stake, at $240, those shares are worth over $374 million. These calculations show that Snowflake has likely made Cruanes a very wealthy founder, even if it’s not billionaire territory.

But Zukowski’s name doesn’t even appear in the prospectus. (The company did not immediately return a request for comment or confirm what role Zukowski still holds.)

In an interview with Forbes on the day of the IPO, Slootman described the cofounders as “very, very humble people” who have been “immensely supportive” of changes at the company that they started in San Mateo in 2012.

“They may not be as hungry as they were before, …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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