OpenAI, the developer behind artificial intelligence bot ChatGPT, was reported by multiple sources to be in discussions to raise capital at a valuation of $29B.
Venture capitalists are rushing in to profit from the viral technology, including firms like Thrive Capital and Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund. The transaction is being structured as a tender offer, where investors buy shares from existing holders, and would be double the $14B valuation the company received in 2021.
The deal is making waves in Silicon Valley, where many startups have prepared or seen big cuts to their valuations as investors pull back from new deals. The tender offer comes just a month after OpenAI released the newest form of its GPT-3.5 software. Following its launch, ChatGPT amassed 1M users in just five days, making headlines in the tech industry, just weeks after releasing image generation program Dall-E 2.
Microsoft (MSFT) is also eager to get some skin in the game (remember Tay from 2016?), holding advanced talks to increase its investment in OpenAI. In 2019, Microsoft even poured $1B into the startup and became its preferred partner for commercializing new technologies. Reports this week also suggested that it’s working on a version of Bing that uses the artificial intelligence software behind ChatGPT to close the gap with search engine leader Google (GOOG, GOOGL).