OpenAI’s ChatGPT has competition on the generative AI monetization front

Generative AI startups to watch: The generative AI space is gaining formidable players.

  • launched DesignerBot, a generative AI tool that can create 10 to 20 PowerPoint slides from a single prompt, including layout, text, photos, and icons.
  • Seek AI nabbed $7.5 million in pre-seed and seed funding to harness open-source generative AI models such as Google’s BERT to allow non-technical business users to run data analytics, per Insider.
  • Founded in part by Google alums, Cohere has earned a spot in Radical Ventures’ portfolio after raising $125 million for its commercial generative AI endeavors, per BetaKit.
  • Jasper AI has risen as a unicorn, having raised $125 million in Series A funding in October for its generative AI copywriting tool.
  • In December, Runway, which provides generative AI video editing, raised $50 million, pushing the startup to a $500 million valuation.

OpenAI’s advantage: With venture capitalists showing enthusiasm for generative AI during a funding dryspell, we can expect more startups to garner capital to implement the technology in novel ways.

  • This means competition for OpenAI, which is rising to behemoth status: It was valued at $14 billion in 2021 and is now eyeing a $29 billion valuation thanks to interest from VC firms like Thrive Capital and Founders Fund, per The Wall Street Journal.
  • Its target valuation is also gaining steam from talks over a potential $10 billion investment from Microsoft, which would add to the tech giant’s $1 billion investment in 2019, followed by another $2 billion quietly invested in the intervening years, per The New York Times.
  • The funding has been crucial to OpenAI overcoming a major stumbling block for advancing the technology—the enormous compute costs incurred from building and running the AI models.
  • In addition to allowing OpenAI to leverage its cloud division, Microsoft has also helped OpenAI build a supercomputer specifically for ChatGPT and similar tools.

Regenerating the tech industry: We expect generative AI to evolve from a specialized form of machine learning to form the foundation for much of tech in the years ahead.

  • Despite generative AI only recently emerging as a commercial possibility, companies like Adobe and Canva are quickly integrating the tech into their products.
  • Microsoft is betting that generative AI will yield $7 billion for its cloud division revenue within three years, per NYT.

One big problem with this revolution is that social, educational, and legal systems aren’t equipped to deal with the level of disruption the technology poses.

  • The challenge ahead for startups is to effectively monetize generative AI while skillfully mitigating its harm.
  • Expect Big Tech companies to be on the acquisition prowl for startups that can thread that needle.

This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Connectivity & Tech Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the technology industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.

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