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Can I buy OpenAI stock?

OpenAI is a private company, so you can't buy OpenAI stock. But you can invest indirectly through its partners.

How to buy OpenAI stock or ChatGPT stock in Canada

With all the buzz surrounding OpenAI and artificial intelligence (AI), many investors want to get in on the action. Unfortunately, Open AI isn’t publicly listed, so you can’t buy stock in OpenAI or its flagship system, ChatGPT. In 2023, CEO Sam Altman said in 2023 that he has no plans to take the company public.(1)

While this might be disappointing, you can still back OpenAI indirectly by investing in its partners like Microsoft, which extended “a multiyear, multibillion dollar investment” in OpenAI back in 2023.(2)

About OpenAI

OpenAI was founded in 2015 by a group of mostly computer scientists, with Sam Altman and Elon Musk serving as Chairmen. The startup shot to fame by 2023 with the launch of ChatGPT, a free AI-powered advanced language model that can be used to research, create content, write code, translate and more.

As of 2024, ChatGPT has over 180 million monthly users.(3) and is valued at $80 billion.(4)

In 2019, Microsoft partnered with OpenAI to continue developing ChatGPT, with Microsoft providing resources and cloud support in exchange for access to leading AI technologies. Microsoft’s cumulative investment in OpenAI reportedly sits at $13 billion as of December 2023.(5)

Microsoft owns 49% of OpenAI’s commercial arm. The rest of the company’s ownership is divided up among various other stakeholders.(6)

How to invest in OpenAI in Canada

Though you can’t buy OpenAI stock directly, you can buy shares in companies connected with OpenAI, ChatGPT or other AI technologies:

  1. Select your stock. Check out stocks that can give your portfolio exposure to ChatGPT. As with all investments, there’s a risk you could lose money, so assess your goals and circumstances.
  2. Choose a trading platform. Compare fees, features and account requirements between Canada-based stock trading platforms (or check out our guide on the best stock trading platforms in Canada). Provide basic personal and income information to open an account.
  3. Create an account. Fund your account via bank transfer, debit card or credit card.
  4. Buy stocks. Not all platforms offer the same investment choices, but you can place a “market order” to buy stocks now at the current price or a “limit order” to trigger an automatic purchase when the price reaches a preset level.

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Stocks with exposure to OpenAI, ChatGPT and other AI technology

Several companies and prominent figures are reported to have invested in OpenAI since its early beginnings in 2015, including Amazon, Elon Musk, Jessica Livingston and Microsoft. But as OpenAI is a private company, the exact details are unclear.

Other companies that could benefit from the rise of ChatGPT and related technologies are those building their own AI platforms or partnering with OpenAI to integrate technologies.

Kinaxis (TXS: KXS)

Ottawa-based Kinaxis is a market leader in using artificial intelligence to boost efficiency and sharpen decision making in supply chain management. The company has a market capitalization of more than CA$4.15 billion.

CGI Group (TSX: GIB-A, NYSE: GIB)

IT and business consulting juggernaut CGI Group is also a standout player in the industry, with AI-driven solutions for designing, automating and optimizing business processes. CGI’s market cap is over CA$31 billion.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT)

Microsoft has the largest known stake in OpenAI, having invested $13 billion since 2019. Microsoft is also the exclusive provider of computing power for OpenAI’s research, products and programming interfaces for developers. GPT-3 is licensed exclusively to Microsoft.

In turn, Microsoft has integrated ChatGPT technology into its Bing search engine in the form of Bing Chat as well as its Microsoft 365 Azure cloud and other software applications.

Amazon.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN)

Amazon is thought to have invested in OpenAI in the early days,(7) but the arrangement is unclear.

Today, Amazon is working on several of its own AI projects, including application technologies that directly rival ChatGPT technology. AI projects include its Alexa voice assistant and AI tools and services available through its Amazon Web Services.

NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA)

NVIDIA’s graphic processing units (GPUs) have become foundational hardware in AI training, including ChatGPT. In fact, Microsoft has said the supercomputer used to build ChatGPT used thousands of NVIDIA GPUs to power it,(8) and rival companies are following suit.

Although they started in the gaming sector, their AI-specific hardware and software platforms, like CUDA, have made them central to the AI boom.

Advanced Micro Devices (Nasdaq: AMD)

As NVIDIA’s main rival, AMD has positioned itself well in the AI and machine learning hardware space. Like NVIDIA, it produces GPUs that are applicable in AI processing.

Although NVIDIA’s GPUs are the top choice by companies building AI applications, AMD’s competitor chips may prove themselves in the coming years as demand for GPUs increases.

Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL)

Google’s parent company invests heavily in AI. DeepMind, a subsidiary of Alphabet, is at the forefront of AI research. Google also utilizes AI in its search algorithms, advertising, Google Assistant, and cloud services.

In early 2023, Google announced the launch of its own AI chatbot, Bard, a direct rival to ChatGPT.

Baidu Inc (Nasdaq: BIDU)

Often referred to as the “Google of China,” Baidu has invested heavily in AI research and applications, including its Apollo autonomous driving platform and DuerOS voice assistant platform.

Baidu launched its own AI chat-style service called Ernie in March 2023—the first Chinese company to release a direct rival to ChatGPT.

Palantir Technologies (NYSE: PLTR)

Palantir is a data analytics company with platforms such as Palantir Gotham and Palantir Foundry that offer AI-driven solutions. As AI continues to grow and become a more integral part of various industries, Palantir’s stock could increase through the rising demand for such platforms.

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Are there any OpenAI exchange-traded funds in Canada?

OpenAI isn’t publicly traded, so there are no OpenAI exchange-traded fund (ETFs). But you can invest in funds that hold AI-related stocks. There are a number of AI-themed ETFs listed in Canada to choose from, including:

  • Evolve Artificial Intelligence Fund (TSX: ARTI)

ARTI walks the talk, using Boosted.ai technology to score and identify companies that are likely to benefit highly from AI integration in the future. ARTI invests in these companies, allowing investors to benefit from diverse exposure to the industry.

The fund was launched in March 2024 and has a modest 0.60% management fee.

  • Global X Robotics & AI Index ETF (TSX: RBOT)

Like the name suggests, RBOT focuses on companies involved in robotics and AI across a range of global markets and industries. It aims to replicate the performance of the Indxx Global Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Thematic Index.

The fund was launched in 2017 and has a 0.45% management fee.

  • TD Global Technology Leaders Index ETF (TSX: TEC)

TEC invests in global mid- and large-capitalization technology companies. As of May 2024, its benchmark index is the Solactive Global Technology Leaders Index. Top holdings include Microsoft, NVIDIA, Amazon and Google (Alphabet).

The fund was launched in 2019 and has a 0.35% management fee.

Frequently asked questions

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Trading forex on leverage comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades.

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