OpenAI is in advanced talks with investors to sell shares held by its employees, at a valuation of $86 billion, different media outlets reported on Friday. The Wall Street Journal last month reported that the company was in talks with investors for a potential sale of shares by its employees that could value the company between $80 billion to $90 billion.
The deal would nearly triple the valuation of ChatGPT maker, making it one of the most highly valued private companies globally. It already holds the title of the most valued private AI firm in the world, and was last valued at $29 billion when it raised money in April.
Thrive Capital, an existing investor in OpenAI, is expected to lead the deal, according to The Information. It is not clear which other investors might participate in the deal. SoftBank has reportedly been exploring an investment in OpenAI, among other AI firms. The Japanese conglomerate is also in discussions with the AI firm and Jony Ive to develop an AI hardware device.
The transaction could result in up to $1 billion worth of shares being sold.
The new valuation implies a multiple of over 65 times OpenAI’s projected annual revenue, as the company is on track to generate $1.3 billion this year. Anthropic, the company behind the chatbot Claude and a rival of OpenAI, is reportedly in discussions to raise new funds at a valuation as high as $30 billion, which is 150 times its current revenue.
OpenAI has made several big announcements over the last few weeks, including the introduction of voice chat and image capabilities in ChatGPT, making it multimodal; the release of DALL-E 3, the latest version of its image-generation model; and the relaunch of the browsing feature on its chatbot.