CareCredit - Women's Health April 2024

FTX’s Stake in Anthropic Draws Sovereign Wealth Fund Investors

Investors are reportedly lining up to purchase FTX’s stake in artificial intelligence (AI) company Anthropic.

But as CNBC reported Friday (March 22), sources say that while the company has received interest from sovereign wealth funds, it ruled out taking money from Saudi Arabia due to national security concerns.

The shares in Anthropic are being sold as part of FTX’s bankruptcy proceedings. FTX purchased the 8% stake in 2021 for $500 million, but that amount has more than doubled due to the AI boom, the report said. 

According to the report, proceeds from the sale will be used to pay back FTX customers. Sources with knowledge of the talks say the sale is set to wrap up in the next two weeks, though Anthropic founders Dario and Daniela Amodei have the right to challenge potential investors. 

However, they are not involved in the fundraising, or in the discussions with potential investors. The founders were introduced to former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried through “effective altruism,” a philosophy centered on making as much money as possible to give it away.

The sources told CNBC that while Anthropic’s founders told bankers they wouldn’t take money from Saudi Arabia, they won’t object to funding from other sovereign wealth funds, including United Arab Emirates fund Mubadala, which is actively looking at investing.

As noted here recently, Saudi Arabia is planning to invest $40 billion in AI projects, a move that could make the kingdom one of the industry’s most prominent players, alongside companies like Andreessen Horowitz and Nvidia.

The country’s Public Investment Fund — which has grown to exceed $900 billion — is in talks with top venture capital firms about working together on this investment.

“Businesses and investors see AI as a game-changer because it can transform how industries work, create new economic value, and give companies a boost over competitors,” PYMNTS wrote last week.

“It’s expected to change how businesses operate, make decisions, interact with customers and develop new products. Consulting firm PwC believes AI could add up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030, thanks to productivity improvements and consumer benefits.”

Meanwhile, FTX’s new CEO last week blasted Bankman-Fried’s running of the company and his contention that customers will be rapid in full.

“Customers still will never be in the same position they would have been had they not crossed paths with Mr. Bankman-Fried and his so-called brand of ‘altruism,’” John Ray wrote in a victim’s impact statement.