OpenAI plans to triple in value by selling shares to investors

OpenAI may soon triple in value, with the artificial intelligence unicorn behind ChatGPT talking to investors about a possible sale of existing shares.

According to two sources familiar with the matter, the proposed deal could value the Microsoft-backed OpenAI at between $80 billion and $90 billion. The Wall Street Journal was the first to report on the potential share sale.

It would make OpenAI one of the world's most valuable private companies, at a time of surging enthusiasm for AI startups after the launch of ChatGPT last year.

For comparison, amongst traded tech companies, Sony, Uber, and Airbnb have capitalization between $80-$100 billion. OpenAI would be worth more than Micron Technology, Activision Blizzard, Palo Alto Networks, PayPal, Shopify, or Arm Holdings, which all have a valuation of below $80 billion.

ChatGPT, a chatbot that can generate human-like responses based on user prompts, has helped AI's popularity erupt. The AI space has been hailed as the next frontier for technology and has become the latest buzzword in Silicon Valley.

If finalized, the deal would be the second major secondary share sale by the high-profile San Francisco-based startup, marking a meteoric rise in valuation. Earlier this year, it made a $300 million share sale at a valuation of $30 billion.

SpaceX and other mature startups have done regular private share sales without going public, allowing employees and existing investors to cash in on the rising value of their equity in the company. In a sale of existing shares, no new capital is raised for the company.

OpenAI raised $10 billion in primary funding from Microsoft this year, which it uses to develop new products and fund AI model training.

Several other startups such as Inflection and Anthropic have raised funds from marquee investors in recent months.

OpenAI did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment.

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