OpenAI, the creator of the popular conversational AI ChatGPT, has finalized its most recent round of investment, which was valued at over 10.3 billion dollars, according to TechCrunch.
Investment documents viewed by TechCrunch show that Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Thrive, and K2 Global have joined the round of venture capital funding, with an additional injection from Founders Fund. Both Microsoft and these VF firms have now provided an estimated $300 million or equity investment, valuing the company at between $27 to $29 billion. A source close to the situation has informed TechCrunch that Microsoft’s contribution was announced earlier this year. Our source told us that the amount of money Microsoft has put in is approximately $10 billion.
It appears that the Wall Street Journal reported back in January that the end of the round of investment was imminent. We were able to verify that, as around the same time there was a sudden high demand for OpenAI, which prompted talks to start.
Microsoft’s participation in OpenAI is multifaceted; they intend not only to strengthen their own corporate objectives by integrating OpenAI’s technology into their enterprise, but they are also in the venture as financial supporters.
It appears that investors have already signed their agreements and transferred the funds; the only thing left is for OpenAI to countersign the documents. The aim is to announce this investment to the public next week.
In total, investors from outside of the organization possess more than 30% of OpenAI.
It seems that Peter Thiel had previously provided funding but this would be Founders Fund’s first time investing in the startup. Furthermore, K2 Global and Thrive, both of which have only one partner each, are investors for the first time. According to PitchBook data, Sequoia, A16Z and Tiger Global have previously invested in the startup but had sold off their stakes. This new investment would bring them back to the company.
A number of companies, such as Tiger and Sequoia, have been hard-pressed due to the tech industry’s recent financial struggle; in general, several investors have drastically reduced their spending patterns, saving up their funds until conditions improve, and potentially finding better prospects.
Investors are currently looking for appealing AI firms to support, and OpenAI appears to be a great possibility that is currently enticing.
The source suggested that the backing of OpenAI might be an attempt to demonstrate success, inferring that anything can be possible in the world of venture capitalism – you can thrive at one moment yet face bankruptcy shortly thereafter.
OpenAI has employed a number of specialised teams in different areas, but GPT, otherwise known as Generative Pre-trained Transformer, has been a significant focus in recent times. This OpenAI technology is a suite of advanced language models which are accessible to outside users through APIs.
OpenAI released ChatGPT in November 2022, an AI service utilising GPT, where people can type in natural questions and receive meaningful, descriptive responses. It has proven to be extremely popular thus far, as reported by SimilarWeb, with over 1 billion users visiting its website in February alone, not considering those using the technology through other platforms.
Generative AI is quite trendy recently, yet OpenAI has its own controversies, with the main criticism concerning the popular ChatGPT product directed to consumers. Individuals have queried whether it misleads, is it a form of “virus”, to what extent is privacy properly maintained and whether it can be controlled to be hostile or be used for slander; furthermore, with more and more companies indulging in AI innovation, some have brought up the key concern of how “open” the OpenAI GPT title will be in the long run.
OpenAI has accepted the amount of labor that is still needed, and it has carried on creating services and improving them. In the start of the year, the company released a paid variant of ChatGPT known as ChatGPT Plus with a quicker experience. In March, the program was upgraded to include multimodal LLM GPT-4.
The factor that will be important in unlocking the potential of the proposal, gauging the worth of OpenAI, and likely attracting investors is the development of a thriving environment around the technology.
In addition to the massive base of people who have experimented with ChatGPT, many big and small businesses have begun integrating GPT and ChatGPT into what they offer. This has pushed other tech giants to hasten the launch of their own generative AI initiatives. For example, Google presented Bard and Meta has offered LLaMA, their own version of GPT.
Despite some changes since its founding in 2015, OpenAI has maintained a strong presence in the competition due to its sole concentration on the AI industry. It is impossible to tell if AI will cause the predicted immense transformation that many anticipate, yet one person suggested that OpenAI is the closest thing that exists to a successful entity in the sector at present.
Sam Altman, co-founder and CEO of the company, spoke of the recent success at an AI conference recently, expressing that the team has faith in their work, despite it taking seven years. He believes that this is a result of the hard grind and attention to detail invested in the project. Most people are not eager to do that.
Aside from ChatGPT, OpenAI possesses Dall-E, an AI-based image creation device which got an important revamp in July 2020. Furthermore, Whisper AI, a speech identification rendition is also operated by them.
Microsoft has been working with OpenAI by integrating the APIs with its Azure platform so that the models can work with the computing needs. Moreover, it declared in March that GPT-4 was incorporated into the Bing search engine to make a break from Google’s leading search capacities.
We have contacted the investors listed in this article, and we have also contacted OpenAI for a statement. We will update this news report as new information is obtained.