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  • OpenAI acquires New York startup Global Illumination.
  • Global Illumination has a history of product design for major tech companies.
  • Acquisition is a strategic move in OpenAI’s expansion and commercial goals.

OpenAI has finalized its acquisition of Global Illumination, a startup based in New York known for utilizing AI in the development of creative tools and digital experiences. This acquisition marks OpenAI’s first public buyout since its inception roughly seven years ago. Details concerning the financial aspects of this transaction remain undisclosed. As part of this merger, the Global Illumination team will now be actively involved in OpenAI’s main products, prominently including ChatGPT.

Founded by Thomas Dimson, Taylor Gordon, and Joey Flynn, Global Illumination has been active in various projects since 2021. The company’s portfolio is substantial, with early product designs and developments for major tech giants such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Google, Pixar, and Riot Games. During his tenure as the director of engineering at Instagram, Dimson played a pivotal role in refining the platform’s discovery algorithms and was key in the initiation and management of several teams.

Global Illumination’s latest venture was the development of Biomes, an open-source sandbox MMORPG with similarities to Minecraft. The future direction of this game remains uncertain in the wake of the acquisition. Though OpenAI had previously refrained from acquisitions, it has an extensive background of financial backing. With significant venture capital from entities like Microsoft and major venture capitalists, OpenAI has consistently operated funds and grant programs geared towards the investment in budding AI enterprises.

Despite ChatGPT gaining international recognition, its development reportedly cost OpenAI around $540 million. OpenAI recorded a revenue of $30 million in the past year, but projections suggest a significant increase in the upcoming years.