Citing documents filed with the IRS and a state regulator, a report by TechCrunch said that Musk could not have given the non-profit the $100 million he originally claimed.
“In fact, while the source of much of OpenAI’s funding remains unclear, filings contain only around $15 million of donations that can be traced definitively back to Musk,” the report claimed.
I’m still confused as to how a non-profit to which I donated ~$100M somehow became a $30B market cap for-profit. If this is legal, why doesn’t everyone do it?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 15, 2023
The report said that in 2016, the Musk Foundation made a $10 million donation to a non-profit associated with current CEO Sam Altman, called YC.org. YC.org, in turn, made a $10 million donation to OpenAI – which remains the only publicly disclosed cash contribution from Musk to OpenAI.
YC also gave OpenAI $16 million in 2017, of which at least $5 million was likely Musk’s, the report said.
Musk recently claimed he donated $50 million
Musk, in an CNBC interview this week, said that he donated $50 million — exactly half of which he claimed before – to OpenAI. When asked how much he had donated to OpenAI, Musk replied: “I’m not sure the exact number but it’s some number on the order of $50 million.”
Musk’s OpenAI connection
Musk was previously connected to OpenAI and tried to take control of the startup in early 2018. However, Altman and OpenAI’s other founders rejected Musk’s proposal. Musk then walked away from the company and has been claiming that he donated $100 million.
I donated the first $100M to OpenAI when it was a non-profit, but have no ownership or control
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 24, 2023
“I donated the first $100 million to OpenAI when it was a non-profit, but have no ownership or control,” he said in one of his tweets.