Investors buy $80 billion in OpenAI shares

OpenAI has struck a deal with investors that values the creator of ChatGPT at $80 billion, the New York Times reported.
The deal, which has yet to be confirmed by the company, means the world leader in generative artificial intelligence has nearly tripled in value in less than 10 months.
The deal will reportedly involve the sale of existing shares of the San Francisco-based firm to investors led by Thrive Capital.
That will allow executives and employees to sell shares at a bargain price, just three months after the firm experienced a major crisis when co-founder and CEO Sam Altman was fired and reinstated just days later.
OpenAI revolutionized the field of artificial intelligence when it released its ChatGPT online program in late 2022.
The instant success of the interface sparked huge interest in the cutting-edge technology capable of creating text, sounds and images at the user's request.
Microsoft, which was already an investor in the startup, doubled its stake. Over the past few years, the software giant has poured about $13 billion into OpenAI.
It is in fierce competition with Google to develop and deploy new tools that harness the generative capabilities of artificial intelligence, to such an extent that in January the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched an investigation into Microsoft, Google and Amazon's massive investments in specialized start-ups.
OpenAI, founded as a non-profit organization in 2015, faced a major crisis last November.
Its board fired CEO Sam Altman, one of Silicon Valley's most charismatic figures, accusing him of a lack of "transparency."
In the days that followed, Microsoft tried to hire him, while both executives and a majority of OpenAI employees demanded that those behind Altman's removal resign and that he be reinstated.
Within a week, Altman was back, and several board members resigned.
On February 16, OpenAI - the developer of not only ChatGPT but also the image generator DALL-E - released a new tool called "Sora" that can create realistic videos of up to one minute in length.
According to the Times, OpenAI entered into a similar agreement early last year with venture capital firms including Thrive Capital, Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz, which valued the firm at $29 billion. /BGNES