Advertisement

How much Sam Altman stands to gain from a Reddit IPO

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman stands to reap a windfall when Reddit goes public later this month.Markus Schreiber/AP
  • Reddit plans to go public later this month at a targeted share price of $31 to $34.

  • Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, has a sizable stake in the company.

  • Here's how much Altman's Reddit stake could be worth — and why it's not as much as some say.

Reddit, which is set to go public later this month, announced its target share pricing on Monday — and Sam Altman stands to reap a sizable windfall.

While his personal shares aren't worth the nearly half a billion dollars that has been reported, they do amount to a fortune.

Business Insider estimates that the OpenAI CEO owns a maximum of just about 1.66 million shares of Reddit. With the company's estimated price per share at $31 to $34, Altman's stake in Reddit could be worth between $51.4 million and $56.4 million.

Neither Reddit nor Altman would comment on the exact number of shares that Altman owned.

Altman has several ties to Reddit: He served on its board, had an eight-day stint as its CEO, and has invested in the company through five of his investment vehicles.

The company's S-1 says "entities affiliated with Sam Altman" own an 8.7% stake in the company, made up of 789,456 class A shares and 11,369,103 class B shares.

News outlets, including BI, were quick to say that Altman owned all these shares when Reddit filed an earlier version of its S-1 in late February. But the truth is far more complicated.

The company's registration statement says Altman "disclaims beneficial ownership of these shares except to the extent of his respective pecuniary interest therein."

Basically, just because the shares are affiliated with Altman doesn't mean they are his. Instead, they belong to his various funds, such as Hydrazine Capital II, a venture-capital fund, and Apollo Projects SPV-B, a special-purpose vehicle.

For instance, Hydrazine Capital II owns nearly 9.9 million shares of Reddit. But the fund's disclosure form indicates that Altman owns, at most, 5% of these shares — or about 500,000 — with the rest presumably belonging to the fund's limited partners, whose identities are unknown.

Applying this method to all of Altman's investment vehicles with ties to Reddit finds that Altman, the individual, owns as much as 1.66 million shares in the company.

His ties to Reddit point to Altman's long history as an investor.

While he's best known as the CEO of ChatGPT's maker, OpenAI, Altman poured both his own money and that of at least one Silicon Valley power broker (Peter Thiel is reportedly the backer of one of his VC funds) into everything from a nuclear-fusion company to a bioscience upstart looking to delay death.

He has made over 155 investments since 2010, according to PitchBook data, and announced his investment in Reddit in 2014.

"I have been a daily reddit user for 9 years — longer than pretty much any other service I still use besides Facebook, Google, and Amazon," Altman wrote on his blog. "I was probably in the first dozen people to use the site, and I shudder to imagine the number of hours I have spent there."

Read the original article on Business Insider