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Jeff Bezos and NVIDIA just gave funding to AI startup Perplexity

The Perplexity logo

If you’ve been experimenting with different AI services, there is a chance you’ve come across Perplexity. It’s a service available on the web, as a browser extension, and available in mobile app forms and helps you search the net with the power of a large language model (LLM).

Now, the company has just raised $73.6 million in Series B funding which added a raft of new investors including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and NVIDIA. Other investors included Tobi Lutke, Bessemer Venture Partners, Naval Ravikant, Balaji Srinivasan, Guillermo Rauch, Austen Allred, Factorial Funds, and Kindred Ventures.

This round of investments follows an earlier Series A funding round, in total the company has raised a sizable $100 million to date.

Perplexity noted that Cack Wilhelm, a General Partner at IVP which led the funding round, will now be joining the Perplexity Board of Directors to help the company deploy the money well.

For those that haven’t used Perplexity before, it is essentially like Bing and Google but when you search, you give a more natural sounding question rather than just keywords. It then goes out onto the web and compiles an answer like you’d see in ChatGPT but based on the latest information, the only search results you see are those used to generate the answer.

You can also refine searches using the Focus button which lets your answers come from academic papers, WolframAlpha, YouTube, or Reddit. If you prefer to get some writing or code from the AI there’s an option for that too.

Perplexity isn’t perfect by a long shot but a half decent query can easily pull up the answer that you are looking for in seconds. Describing the experience a bit more, Perplexity’s CEO Aravind Srinivas said:

“With Perplexity’s search tools, users get instant, reliable answers to any question with complete sources and citations included. There is no need to click on different links, compare answers, or endlessly dig for information. In an era where misinformation and AI hallucinations are causing increasing concern, we’re built on the idea that accuracy and transparency are prerequisites to making AI-powered search ubiquitous. The times of sifting through SEO spam, sponsored links, and multiple web pages will be replaced by a much more efficient way to consume and share information, propelling our society into a new era of accelerated learning and research.”

It’s very interesting to see the Bezos Expeditions Fund give money to this project. As a search-oriented tool, perhaps Bezos is looking to take away some of Google’s and Bing’s traffic.

Source: Perplexity

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