Angel Investor Michelle Fradin Joins OpenAI After Sequoia Capital’s FTX Investment Setback
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Michelle Fradin, a former junior partner at Sequoia Capital who spearheaded the investment in FTX, announced her move to OpenAI, where she will lead data efforts.
The shift comes after her departure from Sequoia in July 2023, following the venture capital firm’s significant $214 million loss in its investment in FTX, which drew considerable criticism for its overly optimistic view of the company.
Expressing enthusiasm on Twitter, Fradin said she is eager to contribute to building advanced models at OpenAI, acknowledging the importance of the technology and the talent of her new team. Additionally, she plans to continue her support for entrepreneurs by investing as an angel investor, while appreciating her time and the lifelong friendships formed at Sequoia.
I’m excited to share I’ve joined @OpenAI. I’ll help lead our data efforts as we build ever more useful models.— Michelle Fradin (@michelle_fradin) November 13, 2023
Sequoia Capital’s Recent Investments and Strategy
Meanwhile, Roelof Botha, managing partner at Sequoia Capital Ltd., has expressed high hopes for the future of X Corp., another social-media platform in which Sequoia invested $800 million last year.
However, in a recent statement at a JPMorgan Chase & Co. conference in London, Botha indicated that Sequoia Capital does not intend to become an active investor in companies developing foundational artificial intelligence technology.
Despite U.S. restrictions on China’s access to American technology, Chinese investors are still actively participating in the U.S.-led AI software arena.
Top Chinese venture capital firms, including Sequoia Capital China, Source Code Capital and ZhenFund, have been acquiring minority stakes in various AI startups across the U.S.
Fradin’s move to OpenAI marks a significant transition in her career, aligning with the broader trend of tech talents and investors gravitating towards AI and data-driven ventures. The shift underscores the increasing prominence of AI in the technology sector and the continuous evolution of investment strategies among leading venture capital firms.
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