Since the start of the year, OpenAI, the entity behind ChatGPT, has witnessed its valuation soar threefold, reaching at least US$80 billion, based on reports surrounding ongoing discussions with investors.
Situated in San Francisco, the AI startup, where Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) holds a 49% stake, is exploring the sale of shares held by its employees. The proposed share price situates the company’s valuation in the range of US$80 billion to US$90 billion, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
This marks a significant increase from the US$29 billion valuation at the beginning of the year, a time when the company sought to raise capital, later verified to be US$300 million, and a rise from approximately US$20 billion in 2021.
Confirmation of this new valuation would position OpenAI amongst the upper echelons of the world’s most valuable private firms, also known as unicorns.
Previous investors at lower valuations included Microsoft, with a reported investment of US$10 billion finalized in January, and Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Thrive, and K2 Global, participating in the funding round in April.
This year marked the launch of the latest iterations of OpenAI’s ChatGPT software, including the release of GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 in March.
The chatbot, capable of interacting with users through text and images, has swiftly risen to viral fame, amassing over a million users within just five days and reporting a user base exceeding 100 million this summer as further enhancements were introduced.
Founded in 2015 by tech luminaries such as Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, and Sam Altman, OpenAI was established with the mission of creating “safe” AI.
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