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OpenAI Reportedly Valued at $80 Billion Following a Deal

According to reports, OpenAI’s recent tender offer values the company at $90 billion, surpassing its valuation of $29 billion from a similar deal last year. OpenAI, an artificial intelligence (AI) company backed by Microsoft, finalized the deal, which involved selling shares in a tender offer led by venture capital firm Thrive Capital.

Sources familiar with the deal disclosed on Friday that employees would have the opportunity to liquidate their shares in OpenAI through this arrangement, rather than the conventional method of selling shares to investors to raise capital for the company. This deal mirrors a previous transaction in early 2023, where VC firms including Thrive Capital, Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, and K2 Global participated in a tender offer that valued OpenAI at approximately $29 billion.

A request for comment from OpenAI went unanswered initially. The company has played a significant role in popularizing AI technologies since the introduction of its AI-powered chatbot ChatGPT in late 2022. Reports suggest that OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has been in discussions to secure funding for a new venture focused on developing high-end chips to bolster the global capacity for AI tool development.

Altman briefly stepped away from his position at OpenAI late last year due to what was described as a “breakdown in communication” between him and the company’s nonprofit board in November. Microsoft had plans to hire Altman and several of his key associates from OpenAI, prompting a significant number of the company’s employees to consider resigning. However, the dispute was ultimately resolved, allowing Altman to retain his role. As part of the agreement, all but one of OpenAI’s board members resigned, and Microsoft will assume a non-voting observer status on the board.

Upon his return, Altman has prioritized the expansion of OpenAI’s board and has been actively pursuing funding for a new AI chip venture. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, Altman aims to revolutionize semiconductor manufacturing to expedite AI advancement through an initiative estimated to cost between $5 trillion to $7 trillion, as per sources familiar with the matter.