Perplexity Raises $62.7M, Unveils Enterprise Pro, and Partners with SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom

Perplexity Raises $62.7M, Unveils Enterprise Pro, and Partners with SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom

Perplexity, the AI-powered search engine challenging Google's search engine dominance, has raised $62.7 million in funding, bringing its total valuation to over $1 billion. The company also introduced Perplexity Enterprise Pro and inked partnerships with SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom to expand its global reach.

The funding round was led by investor Daniel Gross and included notable participants such as Stanley Druckenmiller, Garry Tan (CEO of Y Combinator), Dylan Field (CEO of Figma), and Jeff Bezos. This latest investment brings Perplexity's total funding to over $165 million.

Perplexity CEO Aravind Srinivas emphasized the company's focus on growth, stating, "We will use the additional funding to grow our usage across consumers and knowledge workers in enterprises." The startup has already seen impressive traction, serving 169 million queries per month and cementing its position as a leading AI-native answer engine.

To capitalize on the growing demand for its services, Perplexity has introduced Enterprise Pro, its first B2B product. The product has already been adopted by a diverse range of companies, including Stripe, Zoom, Bridgewater, and the Cleveland Cavaliers, with use cases spanning from supporting cancer researchers to assisting developers with coding questions.

Ali Ghodsi, CEO of Databricks, praised the impact of Perplexity Enterprise Pro, saying, "Perplexity Enterprise Pro has allowed Databricks to substantially accelerate R&D, making it easier for our engineering, marketing, and sales teams to execute faster. We estimate it helps our team save 5k working hours monthly."

Enterprise Pro boasts enhanced features such as increased data privacy, user management, SOC2 certification, and single sign-on (SSO) integration. Prices start at $40/month or $400/year per seat.

In addition to its enterprise offering, Perplexity has forged partnerships with two of the world's largest telecommunications firms—Japan's SoftBank Corp. and Germany's Deutsche Telekom—to market its capabilities to a combined user base of more than 335 million customers across mobile and broadband.

Perplexity's rapid growth and investor enthusiasm highlight the potential for a new generation of AI-powered search tools. However, the company faces well-established competitors like Google and OpenAI. Perplexity's CEO, Aravind Srinivas, acknowledges the challenge but believes their focus on accuracy and nimbleness gives them an edge. He states, "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."

Investor Daniel Gross highlighted the importance of specialized products like Perplexity, saying, "Acquiring truthful answers deserves its own dedicated product. Features like citations, and getting high-quality information from authoritative sources—these are the kinds of things you can do if you specialize as a product company, versus trying to make something general."

Is Perplexity poised to become a serious challenger to Google? Only time will tell—many have tried and failed to wrangle any significant marketshare from Google. Either way, one thing seems increasingly likely: the future of search is AI-driven.

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