As the recent events unfolded and Sam Altman was abruptly fired from OpenAI, rumors circulated that the AI tycoon was trying to raise billions of dollars to launch a new chip venture for OpenAI that would focus on AI in order to compete with industry titans such as Nvidia.
Altman Sam Seeking Investors for AI Chip Venture,
as sources put it, Altman had been in the Middle East, raising money for a project known as Tigris. The CEO of OpenAI set out to create a chip company focused on artificial intelligence (AI) that could produce semiconductors to compete with Nvidia Corp., the industry leader in AI applications at the moment.
According to unnamed sources familiar with the private discussions, the chip development project is still in its early stages, and talks with possible investors are preliminary.
For a hardware project centered on artificial intelligence that he and former Apple Inc. design chief Jony Ive are working on, Altman has been actively looking for funding. Key participants in these discussions included Mubadala Investment Company, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, SoftBank Group Corp., and others. Altman aimed for significant investments in the tens of billions of dollars.
There was no information provided by sources regarding the nature and codename of Altman’s chip projects. But Altman’s fundraising endeavors came at a pivotal moment for OpenAI, which is presently concluding a tender offer spearheaded by Thrive Capital.
SoftBank and other parties expressed interest in the offer, which allowed employees to sell shares at a valuation of $86 billion, but they were put on a waitlist for a possible future transaction. Altman urged investors to take a look at his new projects in the interim.
Altman Returning to OpenAI
Top OpenAI investors want Sam Altman to rejoin the company, a day after the board fired him. Altman is also willing to rejoin, according to people with knowledge of the situation, but he might be asking for some governance changes at the board.
Investors in the company as well as the tech community have criticized the OpenAI board’s decision to remove CEO Sam Altman. The CEO of Microsoft Corporation and a significant investor in OpenAI, Satya Nadella, has spoken with Altman directly and promised to support him in his future pursuits. The Web3 community has also backed Altman, with prominent members like Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong and Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson voicing their support.