OpenAI is on pace to generate over $1 billion in revenue in the next 12 months according to a recent report from The Information. This meteoric growth implies the company is now bringing in more than $80 million per month, a massive increase from just $28 million for all of 2021 before the launch of ChatGPT.
The revenue surge demonstrates that companies are quickly finding valuable commercial applications for OpenAI's conversational AI technology. While the capabilities of systems like ChatGPT are still limited, businesses in fields from software development to quantitative finance are already using the technology to automate tasks like coding, customer support, and data analysis.
The commercial success of ChatGPT has ignited an arms race among tech giants to develop their own LLMs. Venture capitalists and corporations are also investing billions into startups focusing on similar technologies. OpenAI’s GPT-4 model has attracted a wide range of customers, including Zoom, Wix, Notion, Stripe, Duolingo, and many more, indicating a broad market interest.
Trading firms like Jane Street and Citadel are particularly interested in leveraging large language models like OpenAI's GPT-4 to parse information and generate text summaries that can inform rapid trading decisions. Jane Street has become a major customer of OpenAI, reserving dedicated capacity to access GPT-4 through its API. This privilege is reportedly reserved for companies who commit at least $100,000 to OpenAI annually.
OpenAI's relationship with Microsoft presents a complex competitive dynamic. While both companies are vying for the same customers, Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI gives it exclusive access to integrate OpenAI's technology into its products like Office 365, Bing Chat, and GitHub Copilot. Microsoft is also able to host and offer OpenAI’s services on its Azure cloud servers. Large enterprises such as Ikea, Volvo, and Coca-Cola have opted for OpenAI’s GPT-4 API through Microsoft’s Azure platform, citing better privacy and security assurances.
Earlier this week, OpenAI unveiled its own ChatGPT Enterprise offering. The plan features enterprise-grade security and privacy, unlimited higher-speed GPT-4 access, longer context windows for processing longer inputs, advanced data analysis capabilities, customization options, and much more.
This surging commercial adoption hints at a potentially massive market for AI services. OpenAI's growth is a bellwether for the broader explosion in artificial intelligence, with virtually every major tech firm now racing to develop and monetize large language models.
While hype remains high and capabilities limited, it's clear generative AI has crossed an adoption chasm. The technology already creates enough value for companies to pay handsomely, even in its imperfect state. If today's models represent AI's infancy, OpenAI's revenue boom signals even more transformative commercial applications could arrive as the technology matures.