Future Tech

US compels Saudi fund to exit Altman-backed AI chip startup

Tan KW
Publish date: Fri, 01 Dec 2023, 10:28 AM
Tan KW
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Future Tech

 The Biden administration has forced a Saudi Aramco venture capital firm to sell its shares in a Silicon Valley AI chip startup backed by OpenAI co-founder Sam Altman, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday.

Altman-backed Rain Neuromorphics, a startup designing chips that mimic the way the brain works and aims to serve companies using artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, raised $25 million in 2022.

Aramco's Prosperity7, a lead investor in the $25 million round for Rain AI, sold its shares in the startup after a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, people familiar with the matter said, according to the Bloomberg report.

The agency, the primary U.S. watchdog for deals with national security implications, instructed the Saudi fund to unwind that deal sometime over the past year, the report said.

Altman and the U.S. Treasury, which oversees the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) process, did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

CFIUS is an inter-agency committee, chaired by the Department of Treasury, which reviews foreign investments in U.S. businesses and real estate that implicate national security concerns.

The US has taken action that could block AI development in the Middle East. In August, the U.S. expanded the restriction of exports of sophisticated Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices artificial-intelligence chips to include some countries in the Middle East.


  - Reuters


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