Former Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal secures $30Mn for AI startup: Report

Parag Agrawal, former CEO of Twitter, has successfully raised around $30 million in funding for his undisclosed artificial intelligence startup, reports The Information. Khosla Ventures, an early supporter of OpenAI, led the funding round, with participation from Index Ventures and First Round Capital.

While the startup has not revealed its name or specific products, the report states that it seems to be developing software catering to developers of large language models (LLMs), as well as consumers of the tech. LLMs game to hyper-limelight last year, when OpenAI’s ChatGPT brought about accelerated advancements to generative AI. Agrawal’s venture aims to serve both LLM developers and their end-users.

Parag Agrawal, with a history of leadership roles in major tech companies, previously steered Twitter (now X) as CEO from 2021 to 2022. His tenure at Twitter began in 2011, and he rose through the ranks to become CEO after the departure of Jack Dorsey in November 2021. Agrawal’s contributions as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Twitter greatly shaped the company’s technical strategy, particularly in the domains of AI and machine learning.

However, Agrawal’s stint as Twitter’s CEO was short-lived, as he was replaced by Elon Musk in October 2022 in a bitter senior management lay-off drive that Musk initiated. Musk’s takeover of Twitter, now known as X, was finalised on October 27, 2022, following a series of events that saw him become the platform’s largest shareholder with a 9.2% stake.

The transition of leadership at Twitter involved a dramatic series of events, including Musk’s initial bid to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share. This move, announced in April, faced challenges and uncertainties, with Musk attempting to put the deal “on hold” in May, citing a need for more data on bots present on the platform. Ultimately, Musk’s takeover was finalised in October 2022.


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