Jeff Bezos backs rival Google startup

New news reveals that Jeff Bezos has invested in a $520 million startup that aims to use AI (AI) changes the way people looking for information online.

Nicknamed “Perplexity,” the company’s highly regarded product is an “ask anything” forum that its team of less than 40 people based in San Francisco calls an “answer engine,” according to the Wall Street Journal. .

According to international media reports, Perplexity is a chatbot-style search engine that uses OpenAI’s GPT technology to respond to queries. The application generates direct text responses to questions using information from online sources that contain answers, rather than links to websites.

Users can access a more powerful version of the Perplexity search engine, which uses OpenAI’s state-of-the-art technology GPT-4, for $20 per month.

With that in mind, the concept caught the attention of Bezos and other tech executives and venture capitalists, who invested $73.6 million in its latest Series B round, Perplexity revealed in a blog post on Wednesday.

It’s unclear how much of the nearly $74 million investment came from Bezos. According to the Wall Street Journal, the funding is the largest amount raised by an internet search startup in recent years and comes from “ongoing support from our Seed and Series A investors… as well as new investors NVIDIA and Jeff Bezos (via Bezos Expeditions Fund) ). )”, etc.

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Jeff Bezos and the Implementation of Amazon Artificial Intelligence

Amazon, famously the brainchild of Bezos, has recently poured billions of dollars into AI projects, including $4 billion into generative AI startup Anthropic, the startup behind the Claude chatbot that is expected to compete with ChatGPT competition.

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

According to Srinivas’ LinkedIn page, he previously worked as a research intern at Google and then as a research scientist at OpenAI, a role he held for just one year before co-founding Perplexity in August 2022.

Perplexity’s website and mobile apps have grown to 10 million monthly users, with 53 million visits in November alone, compared with 2.2 million visits when the service first launched in December 2022.

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

Despite its stated goal of increasing Google’s roughly 90% market share in online search, Google executives themselves, including former YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki and senior vice president Jeff Dean, who focuses on artificial intelligence research, have criticized Perplexity. Personal investment. company.

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

Google has nearly 140,000 employees worldwide and invests heavily in answering the widest range of queries in more than 133 languages. According to the Wall Street Journal, scaling in this way is a daunting task for a startup whose team has yet to exceed 50 people.

Meanwhile, Perplexity is yet to be listed on the stock exchange, and it’s unclear whether the startup plans an IPO in the near future.

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