Sam Altman Relinquishes Control of OpenAI Startup Fund, Addressing Unusual Corporate Venture Structure | Tech Crunch

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OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has transferred formal control of the company's eponymous corporate venture fund to Ian Hathaway, OpenAI confirmed to TechCrunch.

The OpenAI Startup Fund, launched in 2021, was originally set up with Altman as its eponymous controller. The arrangement could have presented a major problem for the company if he hadn't been reinstated as OpenAI's CEO after his brief ouster in November. The fund's initial GP structure was intended as a temporary arrangement, and Altman did not make a personal investment, nor did he have any financial interest, a spokesperson explained.

The news was previously reported by Axios.

Hathaway joined OpenAI in 2021 and has been instrumental in managing the startup's fund, leading investments in Ambience Healthcare, Cursor, Harvey and Speak. According to his LinkedIn profile, he was previously an investor in Haystock.

Last year, according to an SEC filing, the fund had $175 million in commitments and now has $325 million in gross net asset value. Investors include Microsoft and other external backers. The unit invests in early-stage AI-based companies in sectors such as healthcare, law and education.

The startup fund has backed at least 16 other startups, according to Pitchbook data. They include Descript, a collaborative editing platform valued at $553 million last year, and Ghost Autonomy, which develops software for autonomous driving.

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