startup is raising $50 million as it targets AI-assistant market, says source

FILE PHOTO: AI (Artificial Intelligence) letters and robot hand miniature in this illustration taken, June 23, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) -The startup behind is raising $50 million in fresh capital, a person familiar with the effort said, as it seeks a foothold in the growing market for assistants with artificial intelligence.

The near-finished Series B funding would value the four-year-old company behind, SuSea Inc, at $700 million to $900 million, the person told Reuters. Users have queried 1 billion times since its launch, the person said.

After ChatGPT ignited interest in's AI-infused search engine in early 2023, some of its users began looking elsewhere. Microsoft refreshed its Bing search engine with an AI chatbot of its own, while Alphabet's Google added AI-generated answers for more nuanced queries.'s 11 million visitors in May reflected a year-to-date rise in web traffic, but the number was still below its 20 million peak in February 2023, according to Similarweb data. Its app downloads have decreased an estimated 69% so far in 2024, versus the same period last year, said Sensor Tower, a market intelligence firm. Other AI startups have faced similar headwinds.

Against this backdrop, the Palo Alto, California-based company has morphed into an AI assistant, one that is focused on productivity as well as internet search, its website shows.

Richard Socher, its CEO and former Salesforce chief scientist, told Reuters earlier this year that could craft prose or computer code, as well as navigate a sea of technologies to determine the right answer to a user's query.

Socher did not respond to a request for comment.

The market for powerful AI assistants is nascent and crowded. Google, Microsoft, ChatGPT's creator OpenAI, and now Apple are among the big names pushing new agent-like capabilities for their many millions of users. charges $15 per month for its premium consumer subscription when billed annually, giving access to top AI models from across industry plus other productivity tools. Alternative subscriptions from Google, Microsoft and OpenAI cost about $20 monthly.

The person familiar with's fundraising said its sales are on the rise. Since January, the company's annual recurring revenue has grown five times, the person said, without specifying the figure in dollar terms. has both consumer and business-to-business subscription revenue, the person said.

Venture capital firm Georgian is leading the fundraising, with capital also provided by previous backers of, the person said.

Georgian representatives did not respond to a request for comment.

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!


Next In Tech News

Nigerian judge adjourns Binance money laundering trial to October
New Ray-Ban Meta glasses have outsold previous version, Essilux CEO says
India's Ola Electric likely to set valuation at around $4.5 billion for IPO, sources says
Exclusive-FTC seeking details on Amazon deal with AI startup Adept, source says
SymphonyAI targets second half 2025 IPO with $500 million in revenue run rate
Microsoft's hiring of former Inflection AI staff prompts UK probe
Former Yandex chief Volozh returns with AI infrastructure venture after Russia split
Amazon Prime Day is a big event for scammers, experts warn
Russian tech firm Yandex's ex-international businesses launch as Nebius Group
Self-proclaimed bitcoin inventor faces UK criminal probe for alleged perjury

Others Also Read