OpenAI Seeks $90 Billion Valuation In Potential Sale Of Existing Shares

OpenAI has been in discussions with investors about a possible share sale which would value the AI startup behind ChatGPT at between $80 and $90 billion, nearly triple what it went for in an April share sale.

The startup, which Microsoft owns 49% of, says it plans to reach $1 billion in revenue this year, and much more next year. The company generates revenue by charging $20 per month for access to its most advanced public version, GPT-4, as well as licensing the large language models behind the bot.

The deal is expected to allow employees to sell their existing shares as opposed to the company issuing new ones to raise additional capital. OpenAI representatives have begun pitching investors on the deal, the people said, though it is possible the terms could change. 

A valuation of $80 billion or more would make OpenAI one of the most highly-valued global startups, behind Elon Musk’s SpaceX and TikTok owner ByteDance. –WSJ

In April, OpenAI closed a $300 million sale of shares which valued the company at $27 billion – $29 billion, securing funding from VC firms including Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Thrive and K2 Global. This was separate of Microsoft’s investment which closed in January.

That said, the company is currently being sued by a group of prominent authors who have joined a class action lawsuit which alleges that products like ChatGPT illegally uses their copyrighted work to train their models.

“At the heart of these algorithms is systemic theft on a massive scale,” the plaintiffs claim.

According to James Grimmelmann, professor of digital and information law at Cornell University Law School, “If anyone is going to win on the straight-up copyright infringement claims against OpenAI, this is probably the lawsuit that has the best chance of it.”


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