OpenAI CEO Sam Altman sent startup six-figure loan to make payroll after Silicon Valley Bank collapse, report says

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman sent startup six-figure loan to make payroll after Silicon Valley Bank collapse, report says
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman reportedly gave money to the startup Rad AI to help it survive the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images
  • OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is among tech execs giving money to startups after Silicon Valley Bank's collapse.
  • Altman told Reuters startups need money to pay employees and bills while SVB's situation is addressed.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, the company behind the popular ChatGPT, is one of several tech executives reportedly sending money to startups concerned about making payroll and staying afloat after Silicon Valley Bank's collapse.

Doktor Gurson, CEO of Rad AI, told Reuters Altman responded to an email within an hour or two with an offer of at least six figures in emergency funds so he could pay his employees, requesting only that he pay Altman back once he's able.

"Sam has been sending stuck startups money today with no docs, just saying 'send me back whatever you can whenever you can'. What a legend," Sam Altman's brother, Jack Altman, tweeted Saturday.

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Altman is one of several tech executives offering assistance to startups affected by the downfall of SVB, which was closed by regulators on Friday after falling stock and a series of headwinds prompted a bank run among clients. Its implosion marked the second-largest bank collapse in the US since the 2008 financial crisis.

Brex, a fintech startup, announced Friday that it would offer emergency lines of credit to startups, and the company's co-CEO Henrique Dubugras told Reuters they received over $1.5 billion in requests from nearly 1,000 companies this weekend.


Altman encouraged investors to provide emergency funds to their startups with no strings attached in a tweet amid SVB's collapse on Friday.

"Even if SVB can't find a buyer or a loan over the weekend, a lot of the money startups have on deposit will be made available to them," Altman told Reuters. "But in the meantime, people are facing a real liquidity crunch through no fault of their own, and employees need to get paid."

Altman did not confirm the amount he gave to Rad AI, or any other startups, but Gurson told Reuters he would guess Altman has given at least $1 million to his startup and others.

Multiple startup founders told Insider's Ryan Hogg they have no way to pay employees while they await further information about their deposits from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which seized SVB's assets Friday.

Altman did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.