Temasek Holdings Eyes Investment in OpenAI, FT Reports

Key Takeaways

  • Temasek Holdings considers backing OpenAI.
  • Singapore aims for AI leadership with a $742 million fund.
  • Talks between Temasek and OpenAI are ongoing.

According to the Financial Times, Temasek Holdings, a Singaporean state-owned investment firm, is in preliminary discussions to back OpenAI.

The talks align with Singapore’s aspiration to emerge as a leading force in Asian AI. A substantial investment pool of approximately $742 million has been allocated for the sector. Should the deal progress, Temasek would become the first state-backed investor in the developers of ChatGPT.

Temasek refrained from commenting on the speculation, while OpenAI has yet to provide a response.

Reportedly, discussions have unfolded through multiple meetings between Temasek executives and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman. Initially drawn to Altman’s VC fund, Temasek’s focus has now shifted towards a direct investment in OpenAI.

The potential investment’s scale remains undetermined as talks continue. However, such funding could significantly advance Singapore’s objectives of nurturing local AI talent and establishing AI hubs in collaboration with leading industry players.

Despite OpenAI’s rapid revenue growth post-ChatGPT launch, the company operates at a deficit. In 2022, it witnessed a doubling of losses to $540 million due to substantial research and development expenditures.

A critical challenge facing the company is the scarcity of AI-focused chips. This scarcity underscores Altman’s efforts to court investors, including the UAE government, in a bid to secure trillions of dollars in funding for an ambitious tech initiative.

Despite ongoing scrutiny from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and a recent breach of contract lawsuit from co-founder Elon Musk, OpenAI’s valuation has surged recently, maintaining global investor interest.

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