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Elon Musk’s xAI Raises $6 Billion, Challenging ChatGPT and Other AI Leaders

ByHuey Yee Ong

May 28, 2024
Elon Musk's xAI Raises $6 Billion, Challenging ChatGPT and Other AI Leaders

Elon Musk’s xAI Raises $6 Billion, Challenging ChatGPT and Other AI Leaders

Elon Musk’s xAI has successfully raised $6 billion in funding to escalate its competition in the AI technology sector against rivals like OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The substantial investment underscores xAI’s ambitious plans to bring its initial products to market, enhance infrastructure, and propel its research and development efforts.

Launched by Musk last summer, xAI aims to establish itself as a significant player by constructing its own AI supercomputer by late next year, aiming for a market valuation around $18 billion.

xAI’s debut product, Grok is exclusively available to X Premium subscribers on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. This round of funding drew contributions from prominent investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, and Prince Al Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia.

Despite previous denials by Musk regarding the financial targets, reports and SEC filings reveal that xAI had earlier sought up to $6 billion, indicating a consistent strategy to secure substantial capital.

The High Cost of AI Development

The technology driving AI developments, such as Nvidia’s forthcoming Blackwell B200 AI graphics cards priced between $30,000 and $40,000 each, represents a significant financial outlay. Musk has outlined plans to procure 100,000 of Nvidia’s H100 chips to power a supercomputer that would enhance Grok AI’s capabilities, with expectations to operationalize a new data center by fall 2025.

The competition in AI extends beyond hardware to include the acquisition of talent and technological advancements, with tech giants like Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Meta heavily investing in their respective AI initiatives. Notably, Microsoft has deepened its collaboration with OpenAI through a multi-billion dollar partnership, aiming for further investment to transform the global chip industry.

Musk, previously a founding member of OpenAI, now critiques the organization for deviating from its original humanitarian mission, which has led him to initiate legal action against it.

Beyond his ventures with xAI and OpenAI, Musk has expressed a desire to focus on AI and robotics projects independently of Tesla, contingent on gaining greater control within the company. This development coincides with Tesla shareholders’ upcoming vote on whether to reinstate Musk’s $56 billion compensation package, set to precede Tesla’s annual meeting on June 13th.

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Featured Image courtesy of Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

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