The Wall Street Journal has recently reported that OpenAI, the research lab behind the stunning AI tools ChatGPT and DALL-E, is in talks to sell existing shares in a tender offer that would value the company at around $29 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, making it one of the most valuable U.S. startups on paper despite generating little revenue.
Venture-capital firms Thrive Capital and Founders Fund are in talks to buy shares, the people said. The tender could total at least $300 million in OpenAI share sales, they said. The deal is structured as a tender offer, with the investors buying shares from existing shareholders such as employees, the people said.
San Francisco-based OpenAI, which has received the majority of its $1 billion in funding from Microsoft, is currently generating tens of millions of dollars in revenue. But the organization sees a path toward generating $1 billion in annual revenue by 2024, Reuters previously reported, by licensing out its technology to developers.
If the tender offer succeeds, it will make OpenAI one of the few unicorn startups to increase its valuation in the current troubled times for venture fundraising. Artificial intelligence as a whole is one of the most heavily funded startup sectors. Along with OpenAI, the most highly valued startups in the space include data and AI company Databricks (valued at $38 billion), driverless auto company Cruise ($30 billion), and AI writing assistant service Grammarly ($13 billion).