AI companies are commanding bull-market prices but none have tried such a novel approach, one that seems to strip the negotiation power from venture capitalists and gives founders full control.
Hungry venture capitalists inundated Rewind AI co-founder and CEO Dan Siroker the moment they caught wind of his artificial intelligence startup’s Series A plans, he wrote on Twitter last month. So he skipped the traditional fundraising process and tried something unorthodox.
On April 14, he shared a link to an online form and asked investors to state “the highest amount you’re comfortable” paying between $200 million and $1 billion. It was a risky experiment, particularly during a period of declining valuations, but it worked. On May 9, Siroker told prospective investors in an email viewed by The Information that NEA had committed $12 million and would lead the round at a $350 million valuation, or 4.5 times the $75 million valuation Andreessen Horowitz agreed to in a funding round last year.
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