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Ex-Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal raises $30 million for new AI startup

The funding was led Khosla Ventures, which was an early backer for Open AI, as well as Index Ventures and First Round Capital

Parag Agrawal

Parag Agrawal

BS Web Team New Delhi

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Former Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal has raised $30 million for his new artificial intelligence (AI) startup, according to a report by The Economic Times (ET). The Indian-origin entrepreneur was fired from the social media platform by Elon Musk after his takeover in late 2022.

The funding was led by Vinod Khosla's Khosla Ventures, which was an early backer for Open AI, the company responsible for ChatGPT. Other venture firms included Index Ventures and First Round Capital.

Agrawal's startup will reportedly be building software for large language model developers, similar to what is used by OpenAI's chatbot.

Parag Agrawal and Elon Musk

Agrawal has maintained a low profile since his very publicised departure from Twitter (now X). Agrawal was named CEO of Twitter Inc in November 2021 after Jack Dorsey stepped down from the role. He had earlier been the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for the social media firm. However, after a short tenure of 10 months, he left the firm as Musk began to execute significant changes and reforms that led to the firing of 75 per cent of Twitter Inc's workforce. Musk also integrated Twitter into X Corp, rebranding the platform and its logo.

Agrawal had a "golden parachute" clause in his employee contract with Twitter and also held 128,000 Twitter shares, which were valued close to $7 million, at the time of his departure. Aside from this, Agrawal and two other former executives took Musk to court for the non-payment of personal legal expenses amounting to over $1 million.

Now, Agrawal has embarked on his new venture, backed by renowned venture capital entities, that signals a strong vote of confidence in the upcoming AI startup.

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First Published: Jan 10 2024 | 10:19 AM IST

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