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The new deal would reportedly double OpenAI’s previous valuation from 2021.

OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT is in talks to sell shares in a tender offer that would value the company at about $29 billion, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Elon Musk and Sam Altman co-founded OpenAI as a research foundation in 2015. OpenAI later went on to found a for-profit arm so it could more easily raise money to fund the development of tools such as ChatGPT.

ChatGPT is an industry-leading chatbot, a software application designed to mimic human-like conversation based on user prompts. The technology can respond to a large range of questions while imitating human speaking styles.

OpenAI has recently struck major deals with companies like Microsoft, allowing them to use ChatGPT technology on their own platforms. Microsoft invested $1 billion in OpenAI in 2019 and became its preferred partner for commercializing new technologies in services such as search engine Bing and design app Microsoft Design.

Surging sales and a promising future

OpenAI released a series of artificial intelligence-based products last year that captured the public’s attention, including the image-generation model DALL-E 2 and chatbot ChatGPT.

According to the Wall Street Journal, OpenAI is telling investors it expects sales to surge in 2024. CEO Altman reportedly claims the company will soon be able to generate up to $1 billion in annual revenue, in part by charging consumers and businesses for its products.

Nonetheless, some investors have expressed scepticism that the company would be able to generate meaningful revenue from the technology. If the new deal goes through, OpenAI would nearly double the valuation from a previous $14 billion tender offer in 2021, making the company one of the most highly valued US startups.

OpenAI hopes to one day achieve what AI researchers call “artificial general intelligence”, a technology that can “fully mirror the intelligence and capabilities of humans”, the Journal reports.