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

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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.

“Closing the FTX Saga: Sam Bankman-Fried Receives Sentencing”

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After a lengthy trial and conviction, we finally learned how long former crypto baron Sam Bankman-Fried will be behind bars: up to 25 years. It’s a lengthy sentence, but one that given the scale of the crimes he was convicted of, doesn’t come as a shock. For the crypto industry, it’s also the final page in a chapter that many may want firmly behind them. After all, we’re out of the last crypto winter and are back in a period of rising token prices, growing trading volume, and hints of the prior excitement that web3 commanded during the last asset bubble. Still, before we fully wrap up our coverage of SBF and his erstwhile empire, it’s worth taking one last trip down memory lane to cement in our minds how we wound up with a former venture and political darling not in the dock, but behind bars.

FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Fraud and Money-Laundering

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Earlier this month, U.S. prosecutors from the Department of Justice called for a “necessary” 40 to 50-year sentence for him. Prior to its collapse, FTX was one of the top crypto exchanges by volume, behind Coinbase and Binance. Bankman-Fried testified that he didn’t defraud FTX customers or use their funds, but that Alameda “borrowed” that capital from the exchange. Prosecutors strongly argued Bankman-Fried made a number of false promises internally and externally and was responsible for the loss of billions of dollars for thousands of FTX investors. And as a result, Bankman-Fried will be spending quite some time behind bars.

“TechCrunch Early Stage 2024: Exploring TAM with Felicis, Quotient AI, and Cellino”

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We’re getting closer to this year’s Early Stage get-together in Boston, which means that it’s time to add three more names to our ever-expanding list of whip-smart speakers coming to present, and answer your most burning questions. Today, I’m stoked to announce that Felicis’s Tobi Coker, Quotient AI’s Julia Neagu, and Cellino’s Nabiha Saklayen will be on-site and ready to rock next month. Regular TechCrunch readers will recall that Cellino won our 2021 Battlefield event. How to calculate TAM is no small question, and it’s too big a topic to fit inside any single acronym. Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at TechCrunch Early Stage 2024?

“Battle of the Billionaires: Elon Musk, Sam Altman, and the Fight for AI Domination”

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Watch: Elon Musk, Sam Altman and the rest of the billionaires are fighting over the future of AIThe scrap over who should run OpenAI, and how it should be managed is still the hottest topic in tech. Most recently, former co-founder and backer Elon Musk sued the AI company best known for ChatGPT and its work with Microsoft for what he considers to be an abandonment of its founding principals. That suit kicked off a storm of discussion amongst tech investors, some of whom have a stake in OpenAI. Is his view hurting work on open-source AI? Buckle up, everyone, it’s going to be one hell of a year for tech drama.

“Breaking News: OpenAI Welcomes New Board Members and Reinstates CEO Sam Altman!”

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Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, has a seat at the table — or board, rather — once again. OpenAI today announced that Altman will be rejoining the company’s board of directors several months after losing his seat and being forced out as OpenAI’s CEO. Joining alongside him are three members, former CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Sue Desmond-Hellmann, former Sony Entertainment president Nicole Seligman and Instacard CEO Fidji Simo — bringing OpenAI’s board to seven people. Seligman was Sony’s VC and general counsel before rising through the ranks to CEO of Sony Corporation and president of Sony Corporation of America. Both OpenAI CTO Mira Murati and Ilya Sutskever, a former OpenAI board member and the startup’s chief scientist, approached members of OpenAI’s previous board to express concerns about Altman’s behavior prior to his ouster last year, according to The Times.

Former Brexit Executive Sam Blond Departs Founders Fund After Only 18 Months

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Sam Blond is leaving Founders Fund, as well as the profession of venture capitalist, just 18 months after he joined the storied Silicon Valley firm. For now just immense gratitude to FF and all the incredible people and… — Sam Blond (@samdblond) March 4, 2024Before joining the VC firm, Blond was best known as the former Chief Revenue Officer at Brex. Brex is not a Founders Fund portfolio company, although Founders Fund is an investor in one of Brex’s biggest competitors: Ramp. We hope to have the opportunity to work with him again,” Founders Fund spokesperson Erin Gleason tells TechCrunch. But this is the second splashy departure of a Founders Fund partner over the past couple of months.

Elon Musk Takes Legal Action Against OpenAI and Sam Altman for Breaching Non-Profit AI Agenda

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The lawsuit says that OpenAI has shifted to a for-profit model focused on commercializing its AGI research with Microsoft, the world’s most valuable company. “This was a stark betrayal of the Founding Agreement.”The lawsuit follows Musk voicing displeasure with OpenAI’s shift in priorities in the past year. For the first several years, Musk was the largest contributor to OpenAI, the lawsuit adds. He alleges OpenAI and Microsoft have improperly licensed GPT-4 despite agreeing OpenAI’s AGI capabilities would remain non-profit and dedicated to humanity. Musk is seeking to compel OpenAI to adhere to its original mission and bar from monetizing technologies developed under its non-profit for the benefit of OpenAI executives or partners like Microsoft.