Google-backed Tempus AI pops by as much as 15% in Nasdaq stock market debut

Tempus AI CEO Eric Lefkofsky on going public: It's been an incredible journey

Tempus AI, a health-care diagnostics company that uses AI to interpret medical tests to help physicians provide more accurate treatment for their patients, rose by as much as 15% in its Nasdaq Stock Market trading debut on Friday, after going public under the ticker symbol “TEM.”

Tempus AI priced 11.1 million shares at $37 apiece on Thursday, at the top of its initial $35 to $37 target range. The company raised $410 million at an implied valuation of just over $6 billion. Its early gains, if they hold, would place the company at a valuation of roughly $7 billion.

Tempus believes that AI can help guide therapy selection and treatment decisions, in conjunction with the patient’s doctor. It generated total revenue of $531.8 million in 2023 and a net loss of $214.1 million.

“We’re on a really good trajectory,” Tempus AI CEO Eric Lefkofsky said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Friday morning before shares started trading. As revenues have been growing quickly, we’re not investing all that gross profit dollar growth back into the business. We’re generating improved leverage every quarter,” he said, adding that he expects the company to be both cash flow and EBITDA positive within the next year.

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Tempus AI is applying some of the most heavily-funded technology concepts — artificial intelligence and data analysis — to building a better, more informed medical profession. The lack of diagnostic testing early in the Covid-19 outbreak was an example of how a system as mature as our health-care infrastructure can still be unprepared for the future.

The Chicago-based company said in its IPO filing, “we endeavor to unlock the true power of precision medicine by creating Intelligent Diagnostics through the practical application of artificial intelligence, or AI, in healthcare. Intelligent Diagnostics use AI, including generative AI, to make laboratory tests more accurate, tailored, and personal. We make tests intelligent by connecting laboratory results to a patient’s own clinical data, thereby personalizing the results.” 

The two-time CNBC Disruptor 50 company’s at-home testing kit was quickly rolled out during the pandemic, but the problem Tempus is attacking is not Covid-specific. The Tempus idea came to Lefkofsky, also known for co-founding Groupon, during frustration with the health-care system after his wife received a breast cancer diagnosis. Oncology is a primary focus and the company’s genomic tests are designed to understand tumors at the molecular level and tailor treatment to individuals.

Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan and Allen & Company were the lead underwriters for Tempus AI’s offering.

Investors include Google, Baillie Gifford, Franklin Templeton, NEA and T. Rowe Price, according to PitchBook data.

— CNBC’s Bob Pisani contributed to this reporting.

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