Perplexity AI, the conversational AI-powered answer engine at the leading edge of results accuracy and transparency, today unveiled its next leap in product development with the launch of its iOS application, now available for immediate download on the App Store. The company also announced that it has closed on $25.6 million in Series A financing led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) with participation from Databricks Ventures and existing angel investors Elad Gil (co-founder Mixer Labs/Color Health), Nat Friedman (former CEO of GitHub) and Bob Muglia (former CEO of Snowflake and President of Microsoft) and Paul Buchheit (creator of Gmail). Prior investors —many of whom are pioneers in search, consumer products and artificial intelligence— include Yann LeCun (VP and Chief AI Scientist at Meta), Andrej Karpathy (founding member OpenAI & former Head of Tesla AI), Amjad Masad (Founder and CEO of Replit), Oriol Vinyals (VP of Research, DeepMind), and Clem Delangue (Founder, CEO of HuggingFace) among others.
Perplexity AI revolutionizes the way people search and interact with the internet by providing concise, fully cited answers in real-time. Unlike traditional search engines, which point users to lists of existing web pages that are heavily influenced by SEO and advertising, Perplexity’s responses are formed fully in the context of the questions posed, with rigorous emphasis on accuracy and transparency of information.
The company has seen strong momentum in its web product offerings, consistently growing about 100% month-over-month with 10M monthly visits and 2M unique visitors in February alone. Previously available via the company’s website and as an extension on the Chrome Web Store, the new iOS application enables Perplexity to introduce new features like user sign-in for personalization, persistent search history and social sharing.
“We have built a first-of-its-kind conversational answer engine that is grounded in providing accurate and relevant information through citations. This is a first step in our mission of building the world’s most transparent information service and maximizing the knowledge and productivity of the average consumer,” said Aravind Srinivas, Co-Founder and CEO, Perplexity AI. “When people search online for answers to their questions, they are presented with endless lists of links that can be manipulated by advertisers and search engine optimization. Individuals are then tasked with sifting through those websites and distilling the information, much of which may not be accurate in the first place. With Perplexity AI, we aspire to fix all of that.”
Formed in 2022 by Srinivas, Denis Yarats, Johnny Ho and Andy Konwinski, Perplexity AI was inspired by the founders’ academic backgrounds in scientific research and question answering. The founders previously held positions at OpenAI, Meta, Quora, Bing and Databricks, inspiring Perplexity AI’s core offering of clear citations alongside searches. The funds from the Series A round will be used to fuel Perplexity AI’s growth and expansion plans, including developments on user sign-in, optimizing the application’s knowledge database and continuing to protect user privacy.
“Finding truth in the noise was already a daunting task, and the extraordinary potential of generative AI comes with a host of new challenges. With AI-generated content set to proliferate exponentially over the coming months and years, there has never been a more urgent need for quality over quantity,” said Peter Sonsini, general partner at NEA who joins Perplexity AI’s board in conjunction with the financing. “In less than a year, the founding team at Perplexity AI has developed a transparent, trusted and delightfully simple service that advances the way people consume and share knowledge. We’re excited to partner with Aravind and the team as they continue to build out the product and accelerate growth.”
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