OpenAI and investment strategy:
How the creator of ChatGPT is building a generative AI ecosystem

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By investing in the next generation of AI startups, OpenAI could cement its status as the go-to AI model developer — and chart a course toward profitability. We break down where it’s investing and the areas it could target next.


OpenAI, the research lab behind massively popular generative AI tools like ChatGPT and DALL-E 2, has bucked the downward trend in venture. Most recently, it notched a multi-billion-dollar investment from Microsoft at a rumored valuation of up to $29B — a more than 100x premium on its projected 2023 revenue of $200M. 

Now, it’s ratcheting up its own venture investing to put itself at the center of a sweeping AI ecosystem. This could help kickstart a flywheel to generate revenue from AI startups that build on top of — and pay to access — its models. 

Since October 2022, OpenAI’s $100M Startup Fund (backed by LPs including Microsoft) has doled out a dozen investments to primarily early-stage AI startups, including through its accelerator program Converge, which launched in November 2022.


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