Monday, March 11, 2024

Jeff Bezos Investing In The Search Engine

As has been said, when you strike at the king, don't miss. Or have pockets deep enough to withstand the ensuing onslaught.
Or something*

From Fortune, March 10:

Jeff Bezos’s investment in Perplexity AI has nearly doubled in value in a few months as Google challenger nears $1B unicorn status 

Given the long list of companies that have tried and failed, challenging Google seems to be a losing proposition. Yet Amazon founder Jeff Bezos recently placed a bet on Perplexity AI, a startup that, despite the daunting odds, is taking on the search giant.

“Startups are all about being bold,” Perplexity CEO Aravind Srinivas recently told Fortune. “Are you building a company that has unbounded potential? That’s risky, but there’s an infinite reward if it works.”

Founded in August 2022, Perplexity aims to challenge Google by offering an AI-based search engine that is “part chatbot and part search engine, offering real-time information and footnotes showing the sources of its answers,” as its website states.

In January, Srinivas shared in a blog post that Perplexity had grown to 10 million monthly active users and had served over half a billion queries in 2023. He also revealed that the company had raised $73.6 million from venture capitalists, companies including Nvidia, and various angel investors—as well as Jeff Bezos, through his Bezos Expeditions Fund. 

The funding round valued Perplexity at about $520 million. Now, just a few months later, the venture is finalizing a new funding deal at a valuation of around $1 billion, according to a report this week by the Wall Street Journal, which cited unnamed people familiar with the matter.

If accurate, that means Bezos’s investment has nearly doubled in the space of a few months. No doubt the ability of Perplexity to quickly reach 10 million monthly active users impressed him, just as, nearly three decades ago, the “startling statistic” of the web growing at 2,300% a year inspired him to start Amazon....


Here's the site: ""
The key to search and Google's monopoly is the Google index of the web. If the antitrust peeps ever wanted to throw a scare into the folks in Mountain View they would start talking about forcing the GOOG to open the index to competitors.
*Ralph Waldo Emerson—"I read your piece on Plato. Holmes, when you strike at a king, you must kill him."
  • Said to a young Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., who had written a piece critical of Plato in response to his earlier conversation with Emerson, as reported by Felix Frankfurter in Harlan Buddington Phillips, Felix Frankfurter Reminisces (1960), p. 59

Later, Omar Little, The Wire: "You Come At the King,You Best Not Miss"