Ousted Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal is back with an AI startup; gets $30 mn in funding led by Khosla Ventures

Twitter (which goes by X now), has been on a whirlwind journey in the last couple of years. Back in 2021, then-CEO Jack Dorsey stepped down and was replaced by CTO Parag Agrawal. However, his tenure was short-lived as billionaire Elon Musk took over the microblogging platform just a year later, sparking a mass exodus of employees from the company. Since then, the myriad of changes has included new features and a complete rebranding to X. Meanwhile, not much was known about ousted CEO Parag Agrawal’s fate. But that’s not the case anymore, as Agrawal is back with an artificial intelligence (AI) startup that has already raised $30 million in funding that is led by Khosla Ventures.

Parag Agrawal

Agrawal joined Twitter 10 years ago when there were fewer than 1,000 employees in the company. On joining his designation was Distinguished Software Engineer and he rose to become the Chief Technology Officer at Twitter before ultimately taking over from Dorsey as the CEO, before being ousted. He was also responsible for running Twitter’s Bluesky project which was aimed at creating an open and decentralized standard for a social network protocol that led to some far-reaching changes being proposed. 

Since then, Agrawal has been hard at work creating an AI startup that aims to develop specialized software for developers of Large Language Models (LLMs), The Information reported, citing two people familiar with the deal.

For the unaware, LLMs are Machine Learning (ML) models that can understand and even generate human language text. These models form the basis of AI programs such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google Bard.

While the AI startup’s name wasn’t revealed, it was made known that entrepreneur Vinod Khosla-led Khosla Ventures led its funding, a company that was previously an early backer of Sam Altman’s OpenAI. Other ventures that invested in Parag Agrawal’s AI startup are Index Ventures and First Round Capital. All in all, the AI startup has raised $30 million in funding.

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