OpenAI, which has led the charge for the development of generative artificial intelligence, is in talks with investors over a share sale that could triple its current valuation.
The company behind ChatGPT is selling a few hundred million dollars worth of shares to Silicon Valley investors in a round that could boost its value. The startup is raising money to support the rising costs associated with developing and maintaining its AI systems while trying to stay ahead of the ever-evolving, increasingly competitive industry it helped create.
If a sale goes through, the startup company behind artificial intelligence bots like ChatGPT could see its shares range between $80 to $90 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal, making OpenAI one of the most highly valued global startups next to SpaceX and TikTok.
The massive leap in valuation speaks to the intense interest in AI, with the latest generation smart enough to write your kid’s book report or code a new program based on a short, vague description. But that enthusiasm for AI, which has Big Tech pouring billions into developing, is tempered by experts who warn of the unintended dangers and people who fear their jobs will be lost to a bot.
While OpenAI contributed heavily to the AI bot trend, other tech companies are following suit and investing in their own brand of similar products. Google is working on a general-purpose AI program named Gemini to rival ChatGPT. Meta is also developing an open-source model with similar features and capabilities. Additionally, several former safety researchers left OpenAI due to concerns over the safe development of AI. They started Anthropic, which the WSJ says received an investment of up to $4 billion from Amazon this week.
In January, Microsoft invested billions into OpenAI to finance massive costs needed to train its advanced AI models. OpenAI was valued at $30 billion at the time, having released its most popular feature, ChatGPT, last November. Microsoft now owns 49% of OpenAI and anticipates reaching $1 billion in revenue this year and will retain its minority stake in the company.
In 2024, the startup expects to generate billions more, according to WSJ. Under this pending deal, employees could sell their existing shares instead of OpenAI issuing new ones to raise additional capital. The WSJ notes the sale of employee shares could set the minimum price for future fundraising efforts from outside investors.
OpenAI was not available for comment.