OpenAI Startup Fund has quietly secured $15 million in its latest funding round without any fanfare. This Startup Fund is associated with OpenAI but operates independently from the company. As the name says, it focuses on providing funds to early-stage AI startups working in the education, law, and science sectors.

A document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reveals that on or about April 19, two anonymous investors injected $15 million into the fund. The filing, submitted on April 25, lists Ian Hathaway as the fund manager and the only partner.

The funds were allocated to a special purpose vehicle (SPV), known as OpenAI Startup Fund SPV II, L.P., linked to the OpenAI Startup Fund. SPVs are structures that enable multiple investors to combine their financial resources to invest in a single entity or fund.

In the venture capital industry, SPVs are often utilized to invest in startups that don’t align with a fund’s main strategy or are outside its standard terms. They can also be offered to a broader array of non-institutional investors.

This isn’t the first time the OpenAI Startup Fund has raised capital through an SPV, as back in February, the Fund collected $10 million the same way. So far. the Fund’s portfolio includes notable startups such as the AI robotics expert Figure AI as well as the legal tech startup Harvey, and Ambience Healthcare.

However, the Fund has seen its share of trouble as well. It came under scrutiny last year once it was discovered that Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, had legal control over the entity for a long time. Critics claimed that even though Altman did not have any financial stake in the company, having control over it created a conflict of interest, especially since it was promoted as a typical corporate venture arm.

Altman secured funding for the OpenAI Startup Fund from external limited partners, with significant contributions from Microsoft, a close collaborator and investor in OpenAI. But once it came under scrutiny, OpenAI responded by saying that the general partner structure was meant to be “temporary.”

Via: TechCrunch