The Wall Street Journal has reported that OpenAI, the research lab behind the popular ChatGPT chatbot, is in talks to sell a specified number of shares to investors in a tender offer that would value the company at around $29 billion.
The deal is being negotiated with venture capital firms Thrive Capital and Founders Fund, and if it goes through, it would roughly double OpenAI’s valuation from its previous tender offer in 2021, when the company was valued at around $14 billion.
The significant increase in value is likely due to the widespread popularity of ChatGPT, which gained over a million users in its first five days of being made available to the public.
OpenAI generates revenue by selling its AI software to developers and through cloud services provided to Microsoft for tools that allow users to create text, code, and imagery using simple instructions.
Additionally, the company is funded through donations, sponsorships, and grants from sources such as Microsoft and individual philanthropists such as Elon Musk and Sam Altman.
Microsoft has previously invested $1 billion in OpenAI and is considering making a larger investment worth potentially tens of billions of dollars.
The company is also planning to integrate ChatGPT’s AI technology into its Bing search engine, allowing Bing to provide complete sentences in response to search queries rather than lists of links. The updated search function is expected to be available by the end of March and could give Microsoft an advantage over Google.
It is worth noting that the tender deal has not yet been finalized and the terms could change. OpenAI declined to comment on The Wall Street Journal’s report.
Regardless of the outcome of the tender offer, the success of ChatGPT and the increasing integration of AI technology into various industries have solidified OpenAI’s position as a leader in the field.