OpenAI hits $80 billion valuation in major venture firm deal 

OpenAI, the artificial intelligence giant, has recently solidified an impressive deal with venture capital firm Thrive Capital, propelling its valuation to an astonishing $80 billion or potentially more.  

This marks a significant upswing, nearly tripling its value within a mere nine months, as reported by the New York Times.

The deal involves OpenAI participating in an ongoing share sale under what is known as a “tender offer,” led by Thrive.

This arrangement allows employees of the artificial intelligence company to capitalize on their shares, adding a new dimension to their investment. 

About 10 months ago, OpenAI concluded a notable $300 million share sale, positioning itself with a valuation of around $27 billion.

The recent development, if validated, would position OpenAI as the third-highest-valued tech startup globally.  

Why this matters 

This puts it in the company of esteemed entities like TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, valued at $225 billion, and Elon Musk’s SpaceX, boasting a valuation of $150 billion. This insight is gleaned from data provided by CB Insights, as reported by the New York Times. The surge in OpenAI’s valuation represents an exceptional trajectory in the competitive landscape of the tech industry. 

  • The discussions surrounding this new deal were initially reported last year when there were talks of a potential share sale. 
  •  The Wall Street Journal at the time indicated that OpenAI’s valuation could soar to an impressive $90 billion. These developments ties to the robust interest and confidence in OpenAI’s capabilities and potential trajectory within the tech market. 

However, as the news broke, both OpenAI and Thrive Capital have remained tight-lipped, not providing immediate responses to queries from Forbes. The nuanced details of the deal and the strategic implications for both entities are yet to be fully unveiled. 

More about OpenAI 

OpenAI, founded in 2015, has been a focal point of significant investments from various tech companies and investors, further bolstering its stature in the AI landscape. By the close of 2023, Microsoft had invested a substantial $13 billion in OpenAI. 

It is noteworthy that while Microsoft holds a significant stake, it has explicitly stated that it doesn’t own any portion of OpenAI but is instead “entitled to a share of profit distributions.” 

The leadership dynamics at OpenAI experienced a shake-up last year, with CEO Sam Altman being ousted and later reinstated amidst internal turmoil.

Despite this upheaval, the company has explicitly communicated its lack of immediate intentions to go public.  

In terms of recent developments, OpenAI has unveiled its newest product, Sora. This innovative tool has the capability to generate videos from text prompts, showcasing the continual advancements in AI capabilities.  

However,  this video service is not yet accessible to the public. OpenAI has outlined that it is currently navigating “several important safety steps” to mitigate potential issues related to misinformation and bias before making it available for public use.  

As OpenAI continues to scale new heights in valuation and product innovation, the tech industry, investors, and the general public eagerly await further insights into the trajectory and impact of these developments on the broader landscape of artificial intelligence. 

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