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Elon Musk's xAI raises $1B, less than rivals OpenAI, Anthropic, Inflection

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Top stories today:

  1. Elon Musk's xAI raises $1B
  2. Playground v2 released: open-source text-to-image model
  3. Tech IPOs in 2023 total 5, from 112 in 2021
  4. Poor Charlie's Almanack released for free

0. Data and calendar

All values as of 6 AM ET / 3 AM PT, other than S&P500 close (4 PM ET / 1 PM PT).

All times are ET.

1. Elon Musk's xAI raises $1B, less than rivals OpenAI, Anthropic, Inflection

  • $20B valuation was previously mentioned by Elon to potential employees.

  • $135M already put in, with the remaining to be transferred under a “binding and enforceable agreement.”

  • Grok has performed poorly when compared to its rivals, but we expect xAI to launch more innovative products in 2024.

2. Playground v2 released: best apparent open-source text-to-image AI model

We still see OpenAI's DALL-E 3 as having better quality — it is not open-source, however

*Sponsored.

4. Tech IPOs in 2023 total 5, from 112 in 2021, as Shein, Reddit, Skims expect 2024 offering

Tech startups as old as 19 years have been waiting to IPO

5. Poor Charlie's Almanack, compilation of Munger's wisdom, released for free by Stripe Press

6. McKinsey: generative AI could add $340B in bank profits, especially in corporate, retail banking, risk and legal

7. Sanctions have done little to reduce Russia's oil revenues

8. Interesting videos, posts, and memes

9. Other headlines

AI

  • OpenAI's motive for firing Altman still mystery: Reid Hoffman.

  • Microsoft Copilot rolling out GPT 4 Turbo, new DALL E 3.

  • ChatGPT released in Nov. 2022 as OpenAI worried about Anthropic.

  • ASM to invest $324M in Arizona headquarters.

  • AutogenAI, AI for bidding of public contracts, raises $39.5M.

Tech

  • TikTok parent ByteDance offers to buyback $5B in stock at $268B.

  • Apple wants suppliers to use Indian batteries, rather than Chinese.

  • $2.4B VC firm OpenView abruptly shuts down after -10% IRR.

  • Amazon cutting fees for cheap apparel to compete with Shein, Temu.

  • Asana's revenue +18% to $166.5M in Q3 FY24.

  • Gecko Robotics, defense tech, raises $100M at $633M post.

  • Flippa: get a FREE online business valuation.*

  • Danelfin: AI-powered stock-picking tool with up to a 94% win rate.*

  • The CEO Report: become a better leader by subscribing, 100% free.*

  • Beeper: new iMessage for Android app.

  • Mercury Magazines: sign up to win a $250 Apple gift card!*

*Sponsored.

Tech & law

  • AI legislation has stalled in U.S., EU: a look at.

  • Amazon must promise to rank iRobot rivals fairly: EU regulators.

Biotech

  • Weight loss drugs being tested for alcoholism even without company approval.

  • Biolexis raises $10M Series A for metabolic drug candidates.

Business

  • AT&T chooses Ericsson, not Nokia, for $14B revamp.

  • Job openings hit 8.7M in October, 2-year low.

  • Berkshire fights with Pilot 20% owner over valuation.

  • NY governor has concerns about noncompete bill.

  • Hollywood actors vote to approve 3-year contract with studios.

  • 80% of Yale grades are A's: a look at grade inflation.

Crypto

  • Coinbase allows zero-fee transfers via Whatsapp, Telegram links.

  • U.S. lobbying by crypto companies at $76M annual run rate.

U.S. politics

  • Ukraine aid stalls as GOP insists on border restrictions.

  • SCOTUS unlikely to make sweeping changes to income, wealth tax.

  • U.S. military spending, ships built at lowest levels.

  • Tuberville releases hold on 100s of military promotions.

  • Biden: “if Trump wasn’t running, I’m not sure I’d be running.”

World

  • Israel rejects calls to end war as it moves South in search of Hamas leaders.

  • Russia rejects deal to exchange WSJ reporter, Paul Whelan.

  • Putin arrives in UAE, heading to Saudi Arabia.

  • Venezuela orders immediate oil drilling in Guyana's Essequibo region.

  • Plan B Passport: learn how you can obtain one.*

*Sponsored.

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