“OpenAI Startup Fund Reimagined: Sam Altman Relinquishes Command in Unconventional Corporate Venture Restructuring”

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has transferred formal control of the eponymously firm’s named corporate venture fund to Ian Cathaway, OpenAI confirmed to TechCrunch. The Open AI Startup Fund, launched in 2021, was initially set up with Altman as its named controller. Cathaway joined OpenAI in 2021 and played a key role managing the Startup Fund, leading investments in Ambience Healthcare, Cursor, Harvey, and Speak. Last year, the fund had $175 million in commitments, and now holds $325 million in gross net asset value, according to an SEC filing. The Startup Fund has backed at least 16 other startups, according to PitchBook data.

OpenAI, the leading artificial intelligence research organization, has announced a restructuring of its corporate venture fund. CEO Sam Altman has transferred formal control of the fund to Ian Cathaway, as confirmed by OpenAI to TechCrunch.

The fund, known as the Open AI Startup Fund, was initially headed by Altman when it launched in 2021. However, with Altman’s recent brief ouster in November, this arrangement posed a potential problem for the organization. The fund’s structure, with Altman as its controller, was only intended as a temporary solution. Additionally, Altman had no personal investment or financial interest in the fund, a spokesperson clarified.

The news was first reported by Axios.

Cathaway, who joined OpenAI in 2021, played a crucial role in managing the Startup Fund. His responsibilities included leading investments in promising companies such as Ambience Healthcare, Cursor, Harvey, and Speak. According to his LinkedIn profile, he previously worked as an investor with Haystack.

Last year, the fund had $175 million in commitments, and it has now reached a gross net asset value of $325 million, according to a SEC filing. External backers, including Microsoft, have invested in the fund, which focuses on early-stage AI-driven companies in industries like healthcare, law, and education.

The Startup Fund has also invested in at least 16 other startups, according to PitchBook data. Some noteworthy examples include Descript, a collaborative editing platform valued at $553 million last year, and Ghost Autonomy, a company developing software for autonomous driving.

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Dylan Williams

Dylan Williams is a multimedia storyteller with a background in video production and graphic design. He has a knack for finding and sharing unique and visually striking stories from around the world.

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