OpenAI Removes Sam Altman From $175m Startup Fund Ownership

2 weeks ago
1 min read

OpenAI has made a change in its venture capital fund that supports AI startups, removing Sam Altman, its Chief Executive Officer, from ownership of the fund.

The move follows a recent filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) altering the governance structure of the OpenAI Startup Fund, which has raised $175 million from partners like Microsoft.

“This change provides further clarity,” stated a spokesperson for OpenAI, addressing the alteration in the fund’s management. The initial setup, where Altman had ownership of the fund, was described as a temporary arrangement.

Ian Hathaway, a partner at the fund since 2021, now assumes control of the fund, according to the filing. Altman will no longer serve as a general partner.

“I am honored to lead the fund into its next phase,” Hathaway remarked. He highlighted his past involvement in overseeing the fund’s accelerator program and making investments in companies such as Harvey, Cursor, and Ambience Healthcare.

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Altman, known for his previous role as president at startup accelerator Y Combinator, has attracted attention for his diverse investment interests, ranging from crypto startup Worldcoin to fusion company Helion Energy.

Following Altman’s departure from OpenAI last November, an independent investigation found no wrongdoing in terms of product safety or the organization’s finances.

The OpenAI Startup Fund launched in late 2021, aimed to support AI startups and projects. By May of the following year, it had accumulated $175 million in total commitments. Notable investments included video editor Descript and legal tool Harvey.

Unlike typical corporate venture capital funds, the OpenAI Startup Fund’s ownership structure was unconventional. Instead of being owned by OpenAI or its affiliated nonprofit foundation, it was under Altman’s ownership.

The alteration in ownership marks a significant shift in the governance of the OpenAI Startup Fund, signaling a new phase in its operations.


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