Sierra, an enterprise-focused AI startup co-founded by OpenAI Chairman Bret Taylor and an ex-Google executive last year, is reportedly on the verge of securing a substantial investment, reports Bloomberg. This new funding round, insiders say, is likely to propel Sierra into the coveted unicorn category.
According to a source with direct knowledge of the situation, who preferred to remain unnamed due to the private nature of the discussions, Sequoia Capital is set to lead the investment with an injection of $85 million. This development is anticipated to elevate Sierra’s valuation to just shy of $1 billion.
Representatives from both Sierra and Sequoia Capital have maintained silence on the matter, opting not to comment on the ongoing negotiations.
This collaboration between Taylor and Bavor is not just notable for their high-profile backgrounds but also for the ambition behind Sierra. The duo intends to leverage AI technology to address some of the most pressing and complex issues in the business world, as previously reported by Bloomberg News.
Despite only recently emerging from stealth mode, Sierra has already started to gain significant momentum in the industry. An early vote of confidence came from Benchmark, a renowned venture capital firm, which led an initial investment round in the company last year.
Bret Taylor’s trajectory in Silicon Valley gained heightened recognition after his involvement with OpenAI’s board. His appointment as one of the first new board members came during a tumultuous time for the organization, notably following the controversial firing and subsequent re-hiring of CEO Sam Altman. Taylor is also known for his involvement in Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter in 2022.
At 42, Taylor, who was once viewed as a potential successor to Marc Benioff at Salesforce, made a strategic shift. In November, he announced his departure from Salesforce, to refocus on his entrepreneurial pursuits. This decision marked a return to his roots, reminiscent of his earlier days in the tech industry.
He has also been involved in several companies that were later acquired by tech giants including Facebook and Salesforce.