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OpenAI’s Sam Altman courts investors to raise billions for chip manufacturing venture

openais-sam-altman-billions-ai-chip-manufacturing
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OpenAI’s Sam Altman courts investors to raise billions for chip manufacturing venture

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is seeking to secure billions of dollars from global investors for a chip venture, according to Bloomberg.

The intention is to utilize these funds to establish a network of factories dedicated to semiconductor manufacturing.

Manufacturing plant in the works

Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources, reported that Altman is engaging in discussions with numerous prominent potential investors. The aim is to secure substantial funding for the establishment of chip fabrication plants, commonly referred to as fabs.

The project entails collaboration with major chipmaking companies for semiconductor manufacturing. Altman’s goal is to establish a global network of semiconductor fabs, necessitating raising tens of billions of dollars.

The scarcity of fabs capable of producing high-end chips compels Altman to compete with industry giants like Apple, requiring substantial backing from deep-pocketed investors willing to cover costs. This initiative coincides with the growing demand for chips in the automotive sector and heightened geopolitical trade risks.

Altman’s venture aims to build chip fabs that would likely cater to various types of processors, making it a multifaceted project aligned with the evolving dynamics of the semiconductor industry.

Altman and Worldcoin 

In December, Altman’s Worldcoin, a crypto-AI project, issued a $50 million discounted token sale.

The project, striving for universal cryptocurrency accessibility, has been in development for years. The flagship device, the Orb, utilizes eye scans to simplify onboarding to the crypto world.

The discounted token sale was a strategic move to raise capital, aiming to expand the digital identity system with biometric verification. Its success could significantly shape Worldcoin’s trajectory, fueling further development.

Despite challenges, including data collection allegations and a Kenya suspension, the project has engaged 2.5 million participants globally, using eye scans to distribute WLD tokens.

With substantial funding from investors like Andreessen Horowitz, Variant, Khosla Ventures, Coinbase, and Tiger Global, Worldcoin recently secured a $115 million Series C investment led by Blockchain Capital, with FT Partners providing additional support.

The project’s original backers include Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced former CEO of FTX, and the collapsed crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital.

Altman has been actively involved in the project, serving as its chairman and co-founder. Last March, he was on the project’s board but was not involved in day-to-day operations.

However, Worldcoin has faced controversies and challenges, including debates about privacy, security, and the ethical implications of using biometric data and cryptocurrency.