Bezos Supports Tech Startup Whose Goal it Is to Take Down Google
The New York Post has reported that Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has recently invested in an AI-powered startup named Perplexity, now valued at $520 million. This investment signifies a significant move in the tech industry, with Perplexity aiming to rival Google’s dominance in web search.
The startup uses artificial intelligence to revolutionize how people search for information online, marking a potential shift in the future of internet search technology.
A New Type of Search Engine
Perplexity, a San Francisco-based company with a team of less than 40, is developing what they describe as an “answer engine.”
This tool, according to The Wall Street Journal, allows users to ask questions and receive direct answers, a departure from the traditional link-based results that current search engines provide.
Direct Answers Over Web Links
According to The New York Post, Perplexity’s search engine operates in a chatbot style, utilizing OpenAI’s GPT technology. Unlike traditional search engines that present users with a list of website links, Perplexity aims to provide direct text responses using information from online sources.
The CEO of Perplexity, Aravind Srinivas, told The Wall Street Journal, “If you can directly answer somebody’s question, nobody needs those 10 blue links.”
Enhanced Search With GPT-4 Technology
Perplexity offers a more advanced version of its search engine, which incorporates OpenAI’s latest GPT-4 technology, says the New York Post.
Available for a monthly subscription of $20, this enhanced version promises users a more sophisticated and accurate search experience.
Significant Funding Attracts Attention
In its latest funding round, Perplexity raised $73.6 million, including investments from tech executives, venture capitalists, and notable figures such as Jeff Bezos.
The startup revealed this information in a blog post. This funding is a testament to the growing interest and belief in the potential of AI in revolutionizing the web search industry.
Bezos' Expanding Focus on AI
Jeff Bezos’ investment in Perplexity aligns with his broader commitment to AI technology.
The Guardian reports that Amazon has invested billions in AI initiatives, including a $4 billion commitment to the AI startup Anthropic.
CEO Aravind Srinivas: From Google Intern to Startup Leader
Aravind Srinivas, CEO of Perplexity, has a notable background in tech. He started as a research intern at Google and later worked as a research scientist at OpenAI. He co-founded Perplexity in August 2022, as per his LinkedIn profile.
His journey reflects the dynamic nature of the tech industry and its continuous evolution.
Rapid Growth and User Acquisition
Since its launch, Perplexity has experienced significant growth in its user base. The company’s website and mobile app are used by 10 million people monthly, with 53 million visits recorded in November alone, a substantial increase from 2.2 million at its launch in December 2022.
These figures, reported by The Wall Street Journal using data from Similarweb, demonstrate the startup’s rapid expansion.
Google Executives Invest in Perplexity
Interestingly, some of Google’s executives, including former YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki and Jeff Dean, a senior vice president focusing on AI research, have made personal investments in Perplexity.
This information was disclosed in a company blog post, highlighting the cross-industry interest in Perplexity’s innovative approach to search technology.
Perplexity's Challenge to Google's Dominance
Despite its promising start, Perplexity faces a significant challenge in competing with Google, whose parent company, Alphabet, has a market cap of $1.74 trillion.
Alphabet’s extensive resources, global workforce, and ability to cater to queries in over 133 languages set a high bar for new entrants like Perplexity, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The Future of Perplexity: Potential IPO?
According to the New York Post, Perplexity is currently not listed on any stock exchange, and there has been no clear indication of an initial public offering (IPO) in the near future.
However, the startup’s rapid growth and substantial investment indicate a strong market interest, suggesting potential future developments in its business trajectory.
Perplexity's Place in the Evolving Tech Landscape
Perplexity’s emergence and growth reflect the evolving landscape of technology, particularly in the field of AI and web search.
With substantial investments, notable backers, and an innovative approach to information retrieval, Perplexity stands as a significant player in the ongoing transformation of the tech industry.