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OpenAI Valuation Could Hit $86 Billion With Share Sale

OpenAI

OpenAI is reportedly mulling a share sale that would value the company at $86 billion.

That figure would raise the ChatGPT-maker’s valuation to around triple what it was six months ago, the Financial Times (FT) reported Thursday (Oct. 19).

The news comes amid a wave of investment in the artificial intelligence (AI) space, driven in part by the popularity of generative AI models like ChatGPT.

Sources with knowledge of the matter told the FT that OpenAI was valued at $29 billion in April when it raised money from backers that include Microsoft. Several sources said OpenAI is in talks with investors about a tender offer that would let employees sell their stock.

These sources say as much as $1 billion in employee shares could be sold. If OpenAI were to reach an $86 billion valuation, the FT notes, it would become one of the most valuable private companies in the world.

PYMNTS has contacted OpenAI seeking comment but has not yet gotten a response.

Recent days have also seen reports that the company was planning a share sale that would close Oct. 21 and value OpenAI at $90 billion.

Also this week, the venture firm Accel published a report which said generative AI firms are now the main driver of “unicorns,” or startups valued at $1 billion. In fact, 60% of new unicorns can be placed into that category.

Accel partner Philippe Botteri said in the report that the research shows a “new normal” settling in, with valuations, investment levels and unicorn creation going back to 2019 levels.

“That said, today is a very different environment,” wrote Botteri. “Companies have moved away from growth at all costs to focus on profitability, and GenAI is redefining the potential of software, bringing the opportunities for enterprise automation and productivity improvement to a new level.”

The report also shows that American tech giants such as Google and Amazon added $2.4 trillion to their market capitalizations thanks to this year’s AI enthusiasm, with the share prices of AppleMicrosoft, Google, Amazon and Nvidia increasing 36% on average in the last year.

Much of the funding has gone to the U.S. European and Israeli AI startups raised almost $1 billion in the last 12 months, compared to $14 billion for American firms. However, Accel said, $10 billion of the U.S. figure went to just one company: OpenAI.