In 2019 OpenAI launched OpenAI LP,
a new “capped-profit” company that allows us to rapidly increase our investments in compute and talent while including checks and balances to actualize our mission.
The profit cap was intended to ensure that the company did not put profits before its humanitarian mission:
The fundamental idea of OpenAI LP is that investors and employees can get a capped return if we succeed at our mission, which allows us to raise investment capital and attract employees with startup-like equity. But any returns beyond that amount—and if we are successful, we expect to generate orders of magnitude more value than we’d owe to people who invest in or work at OpenAI LP—are owned by the original OpenAI Nonprofit entity. [...]
Returns for our first round of investors are capped at 100x their investment (commensurate with the risks in front of us), and we expect this multiple to be lower for future rounds as we make further progress.
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