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Perplexity AI, a search engine driven by artificial intelligence, has secured $73.6 million in funding, bringing its current valuation to $520 million

As established search engine players, such as Google, incorporate GenAI technology into their platforms, startups are endeavoring to redefine AI-powered search from the ground up. Despite the formidable challenge of competing against giants with massive user bases, these emerging search platforms believe they can carve out a niche, no matter how small, by delivering a superior user experience.

One such contender in this new wave of search platforms is Perplexity AI, which recently announced a successful funding round of $73.6 million. The funding, led by IVP and featuring contributions from NEA, Databricks Ventures, Elad Gil, Tobi Lutke, Nat Friedman, Guillermo Rauch, Nvidia, and Jeff Bezos, brings Perplexity's valuation to $520 million post-money. This achievement is noteworthy considering Perplexity's relatively short existence since August 2022.

Perplexity stands out by offering a chatbot-like interface for users to pose questions in natural language, receiving summarized answers with source citations. Unlike traditional search engines, Perplexity's approach aims to enhance user interaction and understanding. Users subscribing to Perplexity's Pro plan gain access to a variety of GenAI models, enabling features like image generation, personalized Copilot assistance, and file uploads for document analysis.

Despite similarities with established competitors such as Google's Bard, Microsoft's Copilot, and ChatGPT, Perplexity emphasizes its distinctive features, including robust search filtering options and the ability to explore trending topics submitted by other users on the platform. Moreover, Perplexity is expanding beyond search by offering its own GenAI models through an API to Pro customers, leveraging its search index and the public web.

However, concerns persist in the GenAI search landscape, including the high operational costs of running AI models and potential issues related to misuse, misinformation, and copyright challenges. While Perplexity's annual recurring revenue is reported to be between $5 million and $10 million, questions linger about the sustainability of GenAI search tools. Despite these uncertainties, investors remain optimistic, and Perplexity is focused on expanding its team and enhancing product functionality to bring the power of AI to a broader audience.


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