AI writing aide developer Grammarly has raised more than $200 million in a funding round led by Baillie Gifford. The investment puts Grammarly’s valuation at about $13 billion and is earmarked to widen the company’s reach and upgrade its products as the AI writing assistant technology continues to improve and draw more competition.
Grammarly is best known as a web plug-in and digital add-on for writing programs and communications platforms. The AI performs real-time analysis of the user’s writing, including spelling, grammar, brevity, and language style, sharing suggestions along the way. There are more than half a million applications and websites using some form of Grammarly, with the enterprise market accelerating particularly quickly. Grammarly claims more than 30 million people use its services each day and that its AI offers more than 100 billion suggestions for improving writing every month. The growing interest comes partly from the shift to more remote work in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent spike in written communication since people aren’t able to talk to each other in person at an office.
“At Grammarly, we believe communicating with confidence and empathy enables genuine connection, unlocks new achievements, and strengthens collaboration,” Grammarly CEO Brad Hoover wrote in a blog post about the funding. “Grammarly is at the forefront of addressing the need for effective communication. We apply best-in-class NLP and ML methods and continuously fine-tune them to deliver precise and explainable communication feedback across user-friendly interfaces.”
The growing pressure on Grammarly for new features and services comes partly from the mushrooming number of rivals that have begun scoring funding rounds of their own as demand for the technology continues to rise. Last week, interactive AI writing guide developer Writer closed a $21 million funding round led by Insight Partners to boost its marketing copy AI platform, with a similar focus on NLP as a selling point. And OpenAI’s GPT-3 language model has helped startups like Copy.ai, which raised $2.9 million to use GPT-3 to help businesses write advertisements, product descriptions, social media posts, and other text.
“Grammarly will also continue to advance our NLP and ML technology to deliver personalized communication feedback tailored to users around the world,” Hoover wrote. “As we delve further beyond syntax to semantics—with features like full-sentence rewrites, tone adjustments, and fluency feedback—we’ll deliver even higher-quality communication suggestions across more stages of the communication process.”
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