Microsoft-backed OpenAI has completed a deal that values the artificial intelligence company at $80 billion or more, the New York Times reported on Friday, citing three people with knowledge of the deal.

The company would sell existing shares in a so-called tender offer led by venture firm Thrive Capital, the report said.

Under the deal, employees will be able to cash out their shares of the company rather than a traditional funding round which would raise money for the business, the report added.

OpenAI did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

It agreed to a similar deal early last year. The venture-capital firms Thrive Capital, Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz and K2 Global agreed to buy OpenAI shares in a tender offer, valuing the company at around $29 billion, the report said.

(Reporting by Zaheer Kachwala in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)