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Perplexity Poised To Become Latest AI Startup To Hit Unicorn Status — Report

Illustration of a unicorn with a green money background. [Dom Guzman]

Perplexity AI is reportedly nearing completion of a funding round that will give the AI search startup a unicorn valuation of around $1 billion.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the deal is being finalized and the new valuation. No new funding amount was disclosed.

The valuation is quite the jump from the $520 million the company was valued at just two months ago when it closed a $73.6 million Series B led by IVP, with participation from several other firms and strategics such as Nvidia and Jeff Bezos.

The near doubling in valuation in just two months is the latest example of the unwavering belief investors have in seemingly all things AI — regardless of the valuation.

Just last month, San Jose, California-based AI cloud computing startup Lambda raised a $320 million Series C at a $1.5 billion valuation led by Thomas Tull’s US Innovative Technology Fund. The company offers cloud computing services and hardware for training artificial intelligence software. And San Francisco-based Sierra, a conversational AI company, raised $110 million led by Sequoia Capital and Benchmark at a reported valuation of nearly $1 billion.

In addition, China’s artificial intelligence startup Moonshot AI reportedly raised more than $1 billion last month in a round led by the Alibaba Group Holding and HongShan, formerly Sequoia Capital China.

Moving fast

It was just last March when Perplexity  raised a $25.6 million Series A led by New Enterprise Associates (and made our 5 interesting rounds list).

Since then, the company has apparently grown in investors’ eyes as AI has taken off. The WSJ story reported the startup recently surpassed $10 million in annual revenue.

Perhaps most interesting is the fact investors and strategics are willing to back a young startup looking to take on the invincible search titan Google.

The San Francisco-based firm  is looking to solve a problem we all deal with — the inadequacies of searching the web. Perplexity allows users to type straightforward queries on its website and responds with answers generated by its own AI — without getting inundated with ads, paid spots and SEO-enhanced results.

Many have tried to take on Google in search, including Microsoft. Time will tell if this ends any differently.

Related reading:

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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