Introducing our first investments

  • PublishedDecember 1, 2022
  • Written byOpenAI Startup Fund Team

When we launched the OpenAI Startup Fund, we committed to invest early in a small number of startups that are pushing the boundaries of how powerful AI can positively impact the world and profoundly change people’s lives.

We’ve heard from thousands of founders around the globe, all with unique missions to use AI to transform our most important industries.

We believe that our first four investments—Descript, Harvey AI, Mem, and Speak—have outsized potential to reshape creativity, legal services, productivity, and education, respectively, at scale. These companies deeply integrate cutting edge AI models to create experiences for users that were not previously possible.

“We believe there is an enormous amount of value yet to be unlocked for the world with AI,” said Brad Lightcap, OpenAI’s COO and manager of the OpenAI Startup Fund. “We’re proud to partner with the talented founders and teams at Descript, Harvey AI, Mem and Speak, as they’re building the tools that we believe will have a significant impact on everything from legal services to language learning, productivity, and creative expression.”


Descript is a powerful video editor reshaping the way creators engage with content by using AI to make video editing as simple as editing a text document. Our investment comes as Descript released Storyboard, a new framework for making a video that’s as intuitive as making a slideshow.

“It’s clear from talking to customers that Descript is breaking down barriers between idea and creation, and extending video editing capabilities to an entirely new class of creators,” Lightcap said.

Hear from Descript CEO Andrew Mason on the company blog.


Harvey is developing an intuitive interface for all legal workflows through powerful generative language models. Its technology expands a lawyer’s capabilities by leveraging AI to make tedious tasks such as research, drafting, analysis, and communication easier and more efficient. This saves lawyers time, ultimately allowing them to deliver a higher quality service to more clients.

“We believe Harvey will have a transformative impact on our legal system, empowering lawyers to provide higher quality legal services more efficiently to more clients,” Lightcap said. “Harvey’s vision for how AI can increase access to legal services and improve outcomes fits squarely within our mission. We are excited to accelerate Gabriel, Winston, and the Harvey team in achieving this vision.”

Harvey is currently in beta.


Mem is building the world’s first self-organizing workspace. Starting with personal notes, Mem uses advanced AI to organize, make sense of, and predict which information will be most relevant to a user at any given moment or in any given context. Mem’s mission is to build products that inspire humans to create more, think better, and spend less time searching and organizing.

“Mem uses powerful AI to make knowledge workers more productive by removing the tedium and drudgery of organizing and accessing information, ultimately allowing people to focus on the parts of their work that matter,” Lightcap said.

Mem recently lifted the waitlist for its flagship product Mem X.


Speak is on a mission to help more people become fluent in new languages, starting with English. The company initially launched in East Asia with a focus on South Korea, and has nearly 100,000 paying subscribers. Speak is creating an AI tutor that can have open-ended conversations with learners on any number of topics, providing real-time feedback on pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, and more.

“We are very excited to partner with the outstanding team at Speak, who are well-positioned to deliver on this powerful application of generative AI, making language learning effective and accessible,” Lightcap said. “Speak has the potential to revolutionize not just language learning, but education broadly.”

Speak is actively hiring to expand their team.

Looking ahead, we are optimistic that increasingly powerful AI systems will continue to fundamentally change how technology products work, create entire new categories of products and services, and restructure entire industries like healthcare and education. Founders from all backgrounds, disciplines, and experience levels are encouraged to reach out at