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Lucidworks Nets $100M For AI-Powered Search

AI-powered search venture Lucidworks has raised $100 million from Francisco Partners and TPG Sixth Street Partners, the company announced today (first reported by Fortune’s Term Sheet).

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The funding amounts to nearly as much (a combined $109 million) as the twelve-year-old company has raised since it was founded in 2007, according to Crunchbase data. Its last raise took place in May 2018 – a $50 million Series E led by Top Tier Capital Partners. So this round is precisely double its last raise.

In a press release, Lucidworks was clear about the fact that the latest financing was not a secondary or partial exit, noting that “no existing investors sold shares as part of this financing and all proceeds will be used to fund Lucidworks’ continued growth and expansion.”

Besides Top Tier, previous backers include Shasta Ventures and AllegisCyber.

The company’s AI-powered solutions aim to  “augment human intelligence by automating tedious, time-consuming tasks to provide richer insights and real-time recommendations.” Specifically, per its website, the company works to help enterprises “make their most valuable data work for their customers and employees.” Essentially what this means, according to CEO Will Hayes, is that Lucidworks has developed a search engine that gets deployed by companies either internally or on their website. For example, Lucidworks powers the search experience for large retailers such as REI to provide “a more personalized and productive” experience for a consumer, said Hayes.

In a blog, the CEO shared some impressive growth metrics, such as the fact that the company quadrupled its value in the past year, and that its flagship “Fusion” product doubled revenue year-over-year over the last three years. He also told me via phone this morning that they company’s headcount has grown from about 125 a year ago to close to 300 today. Lucidworks pivoted in 2014 to focus on its Fusion product, which has increasingly become more of a SaaS offering, but still has a legacy open-source business that supports existing customers.

On a combined basis, the company saw 70 percent ARR growth in 2018 compared to the year prior, according to Hayes. Moving forward, Lucidworks is particularly focused on a “go-to-market” strategy around its Fusion software and enhancing its AI and data science platform, he said.

Users of its “Fusion” product include AT&T, Honeywell, Morgan Stanley, Red Hat, Reddit, Staples, Uber, and the U.S. Census Bureau, among others (according to the company, 400 of the Fortune 1000 use the offering). Lucidworks has recently expanded into the Asia-Pacific region as well as in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa).

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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