OpenAI shifts from nonprofit to ‘capped-profit’ to attract capital

OpenAI may not be quite so open going forward. The former nonprofit announced today that it is restructuring as a “capped-profit” company that cuts returns from investments past a certain point. But some worry that this move — or rather the way they made it — may result in making the innovative company no different from the other AI startups out there.
From now on, profits from any investment in the OpenAI LP (limited partnership, not limited profit) will be passed on to an overarching nonprofit company, which will disperse them as it sees fit. Profits in excess of a 100x return, that is.
In simplified terms, if you invested $10 million today, the profit cap will come into play only after that $10 million has generated $1 billion in returns. You can see why some people are concerned that this structure is “limited” in name only.
In a blog post, OpenAI explained


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Workplace messaging platform Slack has confidentially filed to go public

Slack, the provider of workplace communication and collaboration tools, has submitted paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to go public later this year, the company announced on Monday.
This is its first concrete step toward becoming a publicly listed company, five years after it launched.
Headquartered in San Francisco, Slack has raised more than $1 billion in venture capital investment, including a $427 million funding round in August. The round valued the business at $7.1 billion, cementing its position as one of the most valuable privately held businesses in the U.S.
The company counted 10 million daily active users around the world and 85,000 paying users as of January 2019. According to data provided (via email) by SensorTower, Slack’s new users on mobile increased roughly 21 percent last quarter compared to Q4 2017, while total installs on mobile grew 24 million. The company recorded 8 million installs in 2018, up 21 percent year-over-year.
Slack’s investors


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Dreamit accelerator ditches demo days, unveils 25 new health and education startups

 Dreamit Ventures’ accelerator has ditched the demo day, according to Chief Innovation Officer Steve Barsh. That’s not the only change the early-stage venture firm and accelerator has made of late.
Today, Dreamit unveiled a list of 25 new health and edtech startups launching from its revamped programs. A full list of those companies provided by Dreamit follows at the end of this… Read More


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iZotope, Photoshop for sound, closes another $7.5M in financing

 What does the trailer to Inception, a re-mastered Rolling Stones record and the podcast Serial all have in common?
They’re all awesome. Their creators also all used iZotope products in the background to make them shine.
iZotope, started by a group of MIT undergrads in 2001, hustled their way onto the competitive music scene by first releasing a free plug-in of a record simulator. Read More


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SeamlessDocs raises $7 million Series B to help governments go digital

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 22.06.28 SeamlessDocs, the startup that helps governments move all their forms online, has today announced the close of a $7 million Series B funding round led by Motorola Solutions. Other participants in the round include existing investor Govtech Fund, as well as New York State Innovation Fund and 1776. SeamlessDocs operates under the premise that government is beautiful, which is both daunting… Read More


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Venture capital isn’t the only way to build a ‘successful’ business

moneypaths In “Silicon Valley’s Unchecked Arrogance,” Ross Baird and Lenny Mendonca boldly ask an important question that’s becoming a white elephant in the Silicon Valley pitch room: How can we enable great people, regardless of zip code, to solve messy societal problems? To get to an answer, as investigative journalists would say, we need to follow the money. Read More


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DocSend raises $8M for smarter document sharing

DocSend Document analytics startup DocSend has raised $8 million in new funding. Naturally, co-founder and CEO Russ Heddleston said he used his company’s tools to make the deal. DocSend launched at our Disrupt NY conference two years ago, offering users a different way to send email attachments. The attachments are presented in a web viewer, meaning that you get notifications whenever someone… Read More


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