AI Firm Afiniti Said to Weigh IPO at About $2 Billion Value

  • IPO could happen as early as 2017, depending on the market
  • Washington-based company said to be working with advisers

Afiniti is considering an initial public offering as the artificial-intelligence software maker looks for ways to raise funds to boost growth, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Washington-based company could sell shares to the public as soon as this year, the people said, asking not to be identified because deliberations are private. Afiniti is working with advisers and may sell a 20 percent to 30 percent stake, aiming for a valuation of about $2 billion or more, though no final decisions have been made, one of the people said.

While the company could list as soon as the second half of the year, it may postpone a transaction depending on investor demand, one of the people said. A representative for Afiniti declined to comment.

The company has the potential to have one of the largest enterprise software IPOs in recent years. Businesses in the industry have raised about $4.1 billion in the past three years, the largest being Inovalon Holdings Inc.’s listing in 2015, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Artificial intelligence is attracting investments from the largest technology companies, with Alphabet Inc., Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. devoting resources to the field.

Read Sergey Brin’s comments on AI advancements here.

Afiniti makes artificial intelligence-based programs for businesses that pair callers with suitable customer service agents based on predicted behavior. Clients include Vodafone Group Plc, Sky Plc, T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp., according to its website.

Afiniti’s board of directors includes heavyweights such as former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, Shine Group’s founder and former Chairman Elisabeth Murdoch and Ivan Seidenberg, the former chief executive officer of Verizon Communications Inc.

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