OpenAI Valuation, Funding, Revenue, And Investors List

Govind Dheda

Despite being a pioneer, OpenAI is one of the most advanced and leading companies in Artificial General Intelligence research. The company received its initial working capital of $1 billion through investors, including Elon Musk, Sam Altman, Greg Brockman, Ilya Sutskever, John Schulman, and Wojciech Zaremba, in December 2015.

The company received a $1 billion strategic investment from Microsoft to support OpenAI’s mission to bring AGI to benefit all of humanity. Additionally, the company has made Microsoft the exclusive Azure server for all processing.

OpenAI’s Overview

OpenAI is on a mission to ensure that AGI benefits all of humanity. AI is generally more competent than humans and can potentially revolutionize technology and the lives of millions. OpenAI ensures that they develop their AI with safety as their top priority and responsibly. Various products launched by OpenAI include GPT Model, Five, Dactly, ChatGPT, Playgrounds, and more. These models are trained on massive datasets that help these AIs generate content by prompting human-like conversations.

Courtesy: OpenAI’s | OpenAI team and their families at our July 2019 offsite.

The company aims to bring AGI into healthcare, education, and transportation with the development of AGI and not to promote the use of AGI in developing autonomous weapons systems or spreading misinformation. For this, they have announced policies and responsibilities that include a commitment to transparency and accountability and working with the government. Several big tech companies have partnered with OpenAI, including Microsoft, Y Combinator, and Sequoia Capital, which fund the company and provide resources for growth.

OpenAI Timeline

  • Dec 2015: OpenAI is announced.
  • Dec 2016: GYM Public Beta is announced.
  • Dec 2017: Dota-2 bot is announced.
  • Dec 2018: OpenAI transitions from non-profit to capped profit.
  • 2019: GPT-2 Model is announced.
  • 2020: GPT-3 Model is announced with API access.
  • 2021: DALL-E is announced.
  • Nov 2022: ChatGPT is released.
  • Jan 2023: Microsoft becomes a strategic partner and invests heavily in OpenAI.
  • Feb 2023: ChatGPT Plus is announced.
  • March 2023: ChatGPT, Whisper API, and ChatGPT Plugin are announced.
  • April 2023: OpenAI releases the AI Safety Manifesto.
  • May 2023: ChatGPT App is released for iOS.

OpenAI Funding and Its Investors

The company has received funding from various sources, notably: $11.3B over five rounds.

YearFunding RoundAmountInvestors
2015Initial Funding$1BFounders
2015Series A Round$100MPeter Thiel, Sam Altman, Elon Musk, Reid Hoffman, Dustin Moskovitz, Marc Benioff, Chris Dixon, others     
2016Pre Seed-Round$120KUndisclosed
2016Series B Round$27MAndreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund, others
2018Series C Round$675MMicrosoft, Peter Thiel, Sam Altman, Elon Musk, Reid Hoffman, Dustin Moskovitz, Marc Benioff, Chris Dixon, others
2019Seed RoundUndisclosedKhosla Ventures, Reid Hoffman Foundation
2019Corporate Round$1BMicrosoft
2021Secondary MarketUndisclosedBedrock Capital, others
2022Secondary MarketUndisclosedMatthew Brown Companies
2023Corporate Round$10BMicrosoft
2023Venture Round$300MThrive Capital, SVA, Andreessen Horowitz, Wisdom Ventures, K2 Global, Sequoia Capital, undisclosed

OpenAI has 21 institutional investors, including Microsoft, Y Combinator, and Sequoia Capital. Peter Thiel and five others are angel investors in OpenAI. Reportedly, 30% of OpenAI shares are dissolved.

OpenAI Valuation (Estimated)

Valuations fluctuate over the years. According to reports, OpenAI’s valuation is estimated to be between $27 billion and $29 billion.

  • 2015: $1 billion
  • 2016: $2 billion
  • 2018: $10 billion
  • 2019: $15 billion
  • 2021: $20 billion
  • 2022: $25 billion
  • 2023: $27-29 billion

OpenAI Revenue

The company did not disclose its revenue figures, but reports suggest that OpenAI hit $200 million this year and is expected to reach $1 billion by the end of 2024. Last year, in 2022, the company’s revenue was just $28 million from selling access to its AI software. OpenAI primarily generates its revenue from partnerships, collaborations, and licensing agreements with various organizations. The company also accounted for more than $540 million in losses in 2022 in the development of ChatGPT.

OpenAI was established as a non-profit organization, but later in 2019, the company became for-profit with a capped profit that is managed by the non-profit entity OpenAI Inc. The company is committed to remaining beneficial for all humanity, and the transition from non-profit to for-profit, helps the company to get revenue to grow, but with the capped profit, OpenAI restricts itself from being a completely business-oriented company.

Initially, OpenAI had 100 researchers and engineers who developed several impressive AI technologies that include the GPT Model, Dactyl, Dall-E, and Five. We cannot say much about the future of OpenAI as they have to face tech giants like Google, Amazon, Meta, and other companies who are developing AGI. With the complexity of AGI with more datasets to analyze and find patterns to solve problems.

Even some experts say that this could be a potential risk like cybersecurity threats, privacy, surveillance issues, bias and discrimination, ethical dilemmas, existential threats, social disruptions, and this includes job disruption. For this, the company upholds its policies and works with the government to ensure AGI is aligned with human values and preferences.

Reportedly, the company is ready to deploy and learn from less powerful AI systems based on user feedback and to assist humans. Currently, they have been facing a lack of data and computing resources. By making the process more efficient, they can reduce costs and help get more done with less.

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