Jeff Bezos backs rival Google startup

New information has emerged that Jeff Bezos has backed a $520 million startup that is working to rival Google’s web search dominance. artificial intelligence (AI) to change the way People look for information Online,

According to The Wall Street Journal, the company is nicknamed Perplexity, where its prized product is a platform for “asking anything”, which the team of less than 40 people based in San Francisco, United States calls an “answer engine”.

As reported by international media, Perplexity works as a chatbot-style search engine that answers queries using OpenAI’s GPT technology. The app generates direct text responses to questions, using information from online sources, rather than links to websites, which is also included with its answers.

Users can access a more powerful version of Perplexity’s search engine that uses OpenAI’s most advanced technology GPT-4 for $20 per month.

Given this, the concept caught the attention of Bezos as well as other technology executives and venture capitalists, who invested $73.6 million in Perplexity’s latest Series B funding round, the startup revealed in a blog post on Wednesday.

It was not immediately clear how much of the approximately $74 million investment was provided by Bezos. As the amount is the largest raised by an Internet search startup in recent years, The Journal reports, “the ongoing support of our seed and Series A investors… as well as new investors NVIDIA and Jeff Bezos ( Through the Bezos Expedition Fund. ),” among others.

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Jeff Bezos and the implementation of AI at Amazon

Bezos’ brainchild Amazon is known to have recently committed billions of dollars to AI initiatives, including a $4 billion commitment to generic AI startup Anthropic, the startup behind the cloud chatbot that aims to rival ChatGPAT. Promises.

To date, Perplexity has raised $100 million, the post said, an investment that values ​​the startup at $520 million, according to The Journal.

Srinivas previously worked as a research intern at Google before landing a job as a research scientist at OpenAI, a role he held for just a year before co-founding Perplexity in August 2022, according to his LinkedIn page. Played for.

Perplexity’s website and mobile app are being used by 10 million people monthly, and received 53 million visits in November alone, up from 2.2 million when the service first became available in December 2022. The Journal reported citing data from SimilarWeb.

The founder told The Journal that the startup spent almost nothing on traditional marketing, relying on word-of-mouth and rumors about X to attract new users.

And despite publicly sharing their goal of increasing Google’s market share in online search to nearly 90 percent, Google executives (including former YouTube head Susan Wojcicki and Jeff Dean, a senior vice president who focuses on AI research) have remained in perplexity. Have made personal investments. company.

Experts elaborate that the company still has a long way to go if it wants to overtake Google, whose parent company, Alphabet, has a market capitalization of $1.74 trillion, the fourth largest in the world.

Google, which has a global workforce of about 140,000 people, has also invested heavily in answering the widest range of possible questions in more than 133 languages. Scaling this way is a difficult task for a startup whose team doesn’t yet exceed 50, The Journal reports.

Meanwhile, Perplexity is not yet listed on the stock exchange and it is not immediately clear whether the startup is planning an IPO in the near future.

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