OpenAI Wraps Up Tender as AI Talent War Heats UpRead Now

Photo: Shutterstock

The AI Rush Could Shake Up Venture Capital's Ranks

Photo: Photo: Shutterstock

We probably all know by now that artificial intelligence, particularly generative AI, is venture capital’s current obsession. What’s interesting, though, is that firms like Spark Capital and Greylock Partners, respectable outfits but generally not considered in the same league as Sequoia Capital or Benchmark, have led the industry’s latest push into the sector. Successful bets could propel them to VC’s upper echelons. 

Not that Sequoia has been absent from the latest chapter of the AI wars: It just made an investment in legal startup Harvey AI at a valuation of $150 million, according to Insider. And its partners have made their interest in generative AI known. But they’ve put far less firepower behind the industry lately compared to Spark, for instance, which this year has led massive investments in OpenAI competitors Anthropic and Adept AI Labs. Spark even hired OpenAI’s former head of product to help lead AI investments, as I reported this morning. 

What’s going on? One interpretation is that Sequoia, burned by its adventures in crypto, wants to demonstrate to its limited partners that it has learned its lesson. Recall that it hasn’t even been two years since Sequoia, in December 2021, briefly changed its Twitter bio to this: “We help the daring build legendary DAOs from idea to token airdrops.” That year, the firm did at least 10 crypto deals and unquestionably developed a bad case of crypto fever. Then in 2022, its star crypto portfolio company, FTX, blew up, and Sequoia had to apologize to its LPs, a rare show of remorse from VC’s crown jewel. 

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
The Briefing markets ai
Netflix Is Now a Real TV Firm: Slow-Growing but Printing Money
Photo by Shutterstock
Netflix is looking more and more like an old-fashioned television company. In other words, it’s growing slowly but producing lots of cash. The video-streaming giant reported what can only be described as anemic growth in the first quarter. Revenue rose 3.7%, which is the kind of growth rate we associate with traditional TV firms like Fox Corp. or Paramount Global. Its subscriber count expanded...
Latest Briefs
 
Chipmaker’s Stock Rose 4% on False Speculation It Was Behind Microsoft’s AI Chip
Meta Opens Horizon Worlds VR App to Teens
Fox News and Dominion Settle Lawsuit
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Rippling CEO Parker Conrad at his home in San Francisco on April 10, 2023. Photo by Carolyn Fong for The Information
The Big Read startups enterprise
Parker Conrad Takes the Pain
Parker Conrad was touring me around a personal sliver of heaven when I asked him to relive his personal hell.
Photo by Shutterstock.
Exclusive enterprise
Cybersecurity Firm Zscaler Loses Coveted Spot in Gartner Ranking Due to ‘Sales Arrogance’
Competition between the two of the biggest cybersecurity firms selling software monitoring employee access to cloud applications and data is set to intensify after influential market research firm Gartner cut its ranking on the market leader, Zscaler.
Photo by Bloomberg.
Exclusive startups enterprise
Palo Alto Networks Woos Customers With Years of Free Software as Cloud Security Sales Slow
The slowdown in enterprise software spending is forcing some software firms to go to extraordinary lengths to win business.
Illustration by Matheus Costa.
google facebook
Google, Meta Struggle to Figure Out Employee Reviews
Last year, Google cut the number of employee performance reviews it conducts annually from two to one, responding to complaints that twice-a-year reviews consumed too much time.
Art by Clark Miller
Social Studies startups real estate
The Rise of the Not-Home Not-Office
When Jamie Snedden moved to San Francisco from London in late 2021, it occurred to him that he didn’t actually know how to make friends.
Art by Mike Sullivan
Exclusive microsoft startups
Microsoft Readies AI Chip as Machine Learning Costs Surge
After placing an early bet on OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, Microsoft has another secret weapon in its arsenal: its own artificial intelligence chip for powering the large-language models responsible for understanding and generating humanlike language.