OpenAI acquires digital products company Global Illumination for undisclosed price

OpenAI acquires digital products company Global Illumination for undisclosed price

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OpenAI LP, the company behind ChatGPT, has acquired Global Illumination Inc., a small digital company that creates “digital products” dedicated to incentivizing creativity for an undisclosed price.

Founded in 2021, Global Illumination is described by OpenAI as a company that has been leveraging artificial intelligence to build creative tools, infrastructure and digital experiences. The company’s team is said to have previously designed and built products early on at Instagram and Facebook and have also made significant contributions at YouTube, Google LLC, Pixar Animation Studios LLC, Riot Games Inc. and other notable companies. Global Illuminations staff will join OpenAI to work on core products, including ChatGPT.

What exactly those descriptions mean is not entirely clear – the website for the company is highly sparse, with the company only saying, “Global Illumination is a digital product company based in New York most recently working on Biomes.” Biomes is an open-source sandbox massively multiplayer online role-playing game that strongly resembles games such as Roblox and Minecraft.

Presumably, unless OpenAI has a secret plan to enter the MMORPG gaming space, the acquisition was a talent acquisition. A talent acquisition is one in which bigger companies acquire smaller companies for their talent versus the company and what it is building.

Global Illumination was venture capital-backed, having raised $14 million in funding, according to Pitchbook, coming into its acquisition from investors including Paradigm Capital LP, Benchmark Capital Corp. and Slow Ventures LLC. Although the acquisition price was not disclosed, it’s possible that it would have been around the figure the company had previously raised, give or take.

The acquisition is notable, however, as it’s the first time OpenAI has acquired another company since being founded in 2015. Whether OpenAI will now acquire more companies is open to speculation, but having raised a whopping $11.3 billion in venture capital funding to date, according to Crunchbase, the company has no shortage of money to acquire other companies as it pleases.

Image: Global Illumination

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