OpenAI CEO’s $180 Million Bet on Longevity Startup Retro

  • From Jeff Bezos to Jack Dorsey, billionaires are using their wealth to fight aging.
  • According to a report per MIT Technology Review, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is part of the group.
  • Altman quietly funded a longevity startup with $180 million, MIT Technology Review said.

Anti-aging and longevity investments are becoming popular among the wealthy.

Billionaires like Peter Thiel to Jeff Bezosa seemingly growing number of billionaires are investing money in longevity research, or the science that can potentially offer solutions for extending lifespan.

The latest addition to the group is Sam Altman, the 37-year-old CEO of artificial intelligence startup OpenAI. Altman quietly backed a mysterious longevity startup called Retro Biosciences with $180 million of his own funds, according to a report in MIT Technology Review.

According to the report, Altman’s is the sole backer of the startup, which came out stealth in april. Altman did not respond to a request for comment, and Retro declined to comment.

retro says his mission “is to add 10 years to a healthy human lifespan.” The company said he hopes one day to design therapies capable of preventing several types of diseases.

Altman said MIT Technology Review that he considers the companies he is involved in today as “hard” startups, or companies that need a lot of money to pursue expensive and difficult technologies and ideas.

“The central learning of my career has been that. Like, step it up and see what happens,” he said. said the publication.

Retro is not alone in its efforts to extend life. In recent years, a host of longevity initiatives have sprung up to address different ways to help people live longer.

Swiss biotechnology company Rejuveron Life Sciencesfor example, has a portfolio of companies dedicated to therapies for age-related diseases. high-level laboratories focuses on “cellular rejuvenation”. The Saudi government is spend $1 billion a year support a non-profit organization focused on aging. An exclusive conference aimed at convincing the ultra-rich to invest in life-extending treatments took place last year in the Swiss Alps.

According to MIT Technology Review reportAltman’s interest in longevity began about eight years ago, when he came across research on “young blood,” or experiments involving infuse older mice with the blood of young rodents.

Prior to OpenAI, Altman was president of the Y Combinator startup accelerator, position he held between 2014 and 2019. In 2015, he co-founded OpenAI with Elon MuskOpenAI launched the viral AI chatbot ChatGPT in November 2022.

Retro has been pretty tight-lipped about its plans. On its website, the startup said it “begins with cellular reprogramming, autophagy, and plasma-inspired therapies.”

“The main thing for Retro is to be a very good organic startup, because that’s a rare thing”, Altman said MIT Technology Review. “It combines great science and the resources of a great company with the spirit of a startup that gets things done. And that’s the project for now.”

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