OpenAI is already be one of the most valuable startups in the world with a valuation of nearly $30 billion, but the company might just be getting started.
OpenAI could raise as much as $100 billion in the coming years, The Information reports. This has been privately discussed by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman. OpenAI will use this funding to achieve its aim of developing artificial general intelligence that is advanced enough to improve its own capabilities.
The mind boggles at the $100 billion figure. Few startups are even worth $100 billion, and no startup has ever raised such an amount. Bytedance, which is the world’s most valuable startup at $300 billion, has only raised around $10 billion, and Airbnb and Stripe have raised $6 billion and $8 billion respectively. The global funding for all startups across the world in 2022 was around $400 million, so OpenAI appears to be targeting nearly one-fourth of that figure.
But OpenAI’s goal might be commensurate with its funding plans — the company plans to create AGI, which will create machines that are smarter than humans, and look to completely upturn how humans live and operate. Not only is OpenAI’s mission much grander than those of other startups, it could also require a lot of money to fulfil — LLMs can take lots of hardware and compute resources to train. OpenAI has also spent large sums of money hiring some of the top AI minds in the field, and will need to give them lucrative salaries to poach them from places like Google. OpenAI will also need resources to test and improve its models through human feedback, and also to make sure that they’re safe to use.
A hundred billion in funding though is something that’s largely unheard of in the venture world. If OpenAI can raise even a part of that amount, it’ll likely instantly become the most valuable startup in the world. OpenAI has done much to wear that hat — it’s created the fastest product ever to get to 100 million users, and gotten giants like Google and Microsoft to take notice. It remains to be seen whether OpenAI can actually follow up on its $100 billion funding plans, but it’s again become clear that the AI upstart isn’t short of ambition.