Emad Mostaque, the CEO and founder of open source platform Stability AI, hinted at plans to go public in the next few years, during the Cerebral Valley AI Conference in San Francisco on Thursday. He also shut down the idea that Stability AI, an OpenAI rival and leader in the generative artificial intelligence space, will ever get acquired.
“I think you can’t just IPO,” Mostaque said during an interview with journalist Eric Newcomer. “You need to have amazing revenue, amazing margins, distribution, and so we’ve been executing…we’re 17 months old.” He also said that the business model of Stability AI’s open source platform will be seen more properly in the next year,” but added that he doesn’t “want to give away my arbitrage opportunities.”
The generative intelligence company landed a spotlight after building Stable Diffusion, an image-generating system, along with Dance Diffusion and the development of open source music. Thus, it’s unsurprising that Mostaque feels strongly about creating open source standards in the world of generated art.
Mostaque was one of the notable 1,100+ signatories who published an open letter this week asking for more regulation in the AI space, but more specifically, for “‘all AI labs to immediately pause for at least 6 months.” His name appeared alongside Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak and Tristan Harris.
“OpenAI should become transparent and probably governed; what is the governance of Open AI? Nobody knows. What is transparent? Completely opaque,” Mostaque said during the panel, defending the petition, which some critics see as destructive or an attempt by some buidlers to slow down competition.
The bullishness around exits, and pause on innovation, comes as Bloomberg reports swirl that Stability AI is seeking funding that would value the business at $4 billion, up from a reported $1 billion post-money valuation that it landed in October when it raised capital from Coatue and Lightspeed Venture partners. Mostaque didn’t comment on fundraising rumors. Earlier this month, Stability AI bought imaging tool Init ML.
Despite all the activity in the space, Mostaque doesn’t think AI is a bubble, saying that “this is bigger than 5G and self-driving customers.”
“When founders come to me, I say build good products and solve problems…most of the stuff is still surface level,” he said.
If you have a juicy tip or lead about happenings in the venture world, you can reach Natasha Mascarenhas on Twitter @nmasc_ or on Signal at +1 925 271 0912. Anonymity requests will be respected.