OpenAI CEO Sam Altman Among Executives Supporting Startups After Tech Bank Failures

In the wake of the recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and other institutions, OpenAI Chief Executive Officer Sam Altman was apparently among those who floated financial support to tech startups, according to reporting from Reuters. SVB, Silvergate Bank, and Signature Bank notably failed to meet its obligations to its clients during a series of March 2023 bank runs, leaving individuals and organizations in the lurch. In response, Altman — whose company is behind the popular ChatGPT AI-enabled chatbot — sent funds to affected startups to help them make payroll, asking to be paid back when they recover.

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While the tech industry reels from the second-largest bank failure since the 2008 housing crisis, Altman is one of several executives and institutions that came to the rescue of affected tech startups. Brex, a fintech startup, offered emergency lines of credit, receiving at least $1.5 billion in requests, according to co-CEO Henrique Dubugras. Doktor Gurson, CEO of Rad AI, also claimed Altman quickly responded to his email with an offer of at least six figures of emergency funds to cover his employees’ wages. In a tweet, Altman urged investors to provide emergency funds to their startups without conditions.