Elon Musk’s AI start-up xAI closed a $6 billion funding round on an $18 billion valuation, as the entrepreneur ramps up his challenge to OpenAI and technology giants Google and Microsoft in the much-hyped segment.

xAI stated its Series B funding round included participation from a number of key investors, including capital investors Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz, in addition to Saudi’s Kingdom Holding.

In a post on X, Musk revealed the pre-money valuation of $18 billion, before adding there will be more to announce in the coming weeks. He also pushed the company’s ethos on pursuing the truth, “without regard to popularity or political correctness”.

Established a year ago, xAI has made strides in generative AI, launching the Grok chatbot as a direct competitor to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The model has been trained and integrated on to Musk’s social media company X and is available to the company’s premium subscribers.

xAI said it plans to use the cash infusion to take xAI’s “products to market, build advanced infrastructure and accelerate the research and development of future technologies”.

The company added it is seeking to grow its workforce, hiring for numerous roles.