AI Startup Roundup: Perplexity Gets Jeff Bezos’ Backing

Also - Funding raises for developers building assistants for legal and health care sectors

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

January 8, 2024

3 Min Read
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Funding news

Canva, the browser-based design software platform, is near a deal to let employees and investors sell stock worth more than $1 billion to new investors, according to The Information. It is a private stock sale to let insiders cash out; the startup itself will not see any money. At this share price, the deal will value Canva at $26 billion.

If this agreement goes through, it would be one of the largest deals by high-profile tech startups of late, which includes OpenAI and SpaceX.

Since its launch in 2013, the Australian startup has grown to boast 135 million active monthly users as of Q4 2023, according to figures from DemandSage.

Canva’s popularity saw Microsoft launch a rival offering called Designer in October 2022. Microsoft added generative AI capabilities to Designer and Canva raced to match it, releasing a plugin for ChatGPT last September that lets users generate images directly in the chatbot.


Conversational AI platform Perplexity aims to rival ChatGPT and other chatbots by combining generative AI with search. Users type in a prompt and the system returns an answer providing citations and sources from where it got the information.

Perplexity contends its platform makes searching more efficient. Since launching in 2023, Perplexity claims to have 10 million monthly active users with half a million downloads of its mobile apps on iOS and Android. Last May, the startup launched Copilot, an AI research assistant that tailors search queries with custom follow-up questions.

“In an era where misinformation and AI hallucinations are causing increasing concern, we’re built on the idea that accuracy and transparency are prerequisites to making AI-powered search ubiquitous,” Perplexity co-founder and CEO Aravind Srinivas wrote.

Latest funding: $73.6 million, series B

Lead investor: IVP

Angel investors: Elad Gil, former GitHub CEO Nat Friedman, Shopify CEO Tobias Lütke, former Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan Naval Ravikant, Guillermo Rauch, Austen Allred,

Other investors: Bezos Expeditions Fund (Amazon founder's family foundation), Nvidia, Databricks, Factorial Funds, Kindred Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners

Funding plans: Perplexity is eying “rapid” consumer adoption of its AI platform with funds going towards its expansion plans.

Robin AI

London-based Robin AI develops an AI assistant for the legal field. The startup’s legal copilot, available as a Microsoft Word add-in, pledges to cut the time to review contracts by 85%. Robin AI’s assistant is built atop Anthropic’s Claude large language model and combines it with its own proprietary contract data from more than two million contracts. Lawyers further refine the model to ensure quality and accuracy.

The startup’s customers include PepsiCo, PwC, Yum! Brands

Latest funding: $26 million, series B

Lead investor: Temasek, Singapore sovereign wealth fund

Other investors: QuantumLight, Plural, AFG Partners

Funding plans: Capitalize on its strong momentum by expanding its team in the U.S. and opening an office in Singapore to tap the Asia-Pacific market


Paris-based Nabla is developing AI assistants for health care practitioners. Its AI-powered note-generation capabilities and medical coding recognition are designed to save clinicians time so they can focus on caring for their patients. According to Nabla, three million consultations are conducted through its Copilot tool annually, and more than 20,000 providers have adopted its ambient AI assistant.

Latest funding: $24 million, series B

Lead investor: Cathay Innovation

Other investors: ZEBOX Ventures

Funding plans: Nabla is looking to expand across U.S. health care systems.

Read more about:

ChatGPT / Generative AI

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

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