OpenAI is in discussions to possibly sell shares in a move that would boost the company’s valuation from $29 billion to somewhere between $80 billion and $90 billion, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing people familiar with the talks.
Employees would be allowed to sell their existing shares rather than the company issuing new ones, The Wall Street Journal said.
In April, OpenAI picked up just over $300 million in funding from backers such as Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Thrive and K2 Global at a valuation of $29 billion. That was separate to a big investment from Microsoft announced earlier this year, which closed in January. The size of Microsoft’s investment was believed to be around $10 billion.
OpenAI’s wildly popular generative AI assistant, ChatGPT, has been one of the biggest technology success stories of recent times since its debut some nine months ago, allowing anyone to generate essays, poems and summaries from simple text-based prompts. This week TechCrunch also reported that ChatGPT is about to get a lot more interactive, with users also able to have a voice conversation with the chatbot.
The artificial intelligence company, which is 49% owned by Microsoft, said in late August that it expected to reach $1 billion in revenue in 2023.
TechCrunch has reached out to OpenAI for comment.