Former Indian-origin Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal has entered the artificial intelligence (AI) race, with reportedly raising $30 million for his startup.
Parag Agrawal, who was sacked by Twitter (now called X) owner Elon Musk in late 2022, raised about $30 million in funding for an AI startup, reports The Information.
Vinod Khosla-led Khosla Ventures, an early backer of OpenAI, “led the funding in Agrawal’s company, which hasn’t been publicly disclosed,” the report noted.
An AI startup founded by former Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal has raised $30 million in a deal led by Khosla Ventures.https://t.co/vdG8U6LOPk
— The Information (@theinformation) January 8, 2024
Two other venture firms, Index Ventures and First Round Capital, also participated in the deal, according to the report.
Agrawal’s startup is reportedly building software for developers of large language models, popularised by OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT.
Late last year, Agrawal, former policy lead Vijaya Gadde and other executives won $1.1 million in legal fees from Musk-run X Corp.
In October 2022, Musk informed Agrawal, Gadde and former Twitter chief financial officer Ned Segal that their employment with the company was terminated as he took control of the micro-blogging platform for $44 billion.
According to reports, these three top executives had an exit package of around $90-100 million when they left Twitter.
Agrawal was set to receive the largest payout at around $40 million, largely due “to the entirety of his shares vesting upon his firing”. Agrawal, who took over from Jack Dorsey in November last year had said that he took the job to change Twitter for the better, “course correct where we need to, and strengthen the service”.
Agrawal, a BTech in Computer Science Engineering from IIT Bombay, was behind Twitter’s pursuit of Blockchain and other decentralised technologies.
He studied in Mumbai between 2001 and 2005 and graduated in B.Tech in the department of Computer Science & Engineering. Since joining Twitter in 2011, Agarwal has led efforts on scaling Twitter Ads systems, as well as re-accelerating user growth by improving home timeline relevance.