Perplexity Brings Tech Veterans Into Advisory Board

According to a Bloomberg Report, Perplexity AI is adding several high profile tech veterans to its advisory board. Perplexity AI is an AI startup that came into being in 2022 and whose purpose is to build an AI search engine that will rival Google’s search engine. The main aim of the company behind bringing tech veterans onboard is to help the company improve its competitive position. Started in August 2022, with the release of Ask, Perplexity’s AI answer engine, the company grew fast to more than 2 million monthly active users in only four months. As of April 2024, it was serving 169 million queries per month according to an April Press release.

According to Perplexity, the tech veterans on its advisory board include former Uber Technologies Inc. executive Emil Michael, Android co-founder and Google advisor Rich Miner, and Mikhail Parakhin, the former head of Microsoft Corp.’s Bing Search.

Aravind Srinivas, the cofounder and CEO of perplexity AI, said in an interview on Bloomberg technology that they were quite fortunate to have scaled up so rapidly. Now, they will be thinking hard about strategy, both in terms of search, how to build their own search index and how to scale it up to even more users.

Emil Michael, a former Uber Technologies Inc executive, will advise Perplexity AI on growth, while Rich Miner will advise on developing new consumer interfaces including on mobile. Michael Parakhin will advise the company on how to shape its search engine, among other topics.

Perplexity AI is facing strong competition from Google and Open AI. Google has said that it is revamping its search engine to include AI summaries in responses to search queries just like Perplexity AI. Bloomberg had previously reported that Open AI is also working on developing a search product.

In April, Perplexity raised $62.7 million in funding and also announced its partnership with Deutsche Telekom and SoftBank. In April, Perplexity also released Enterprise Pro, its first B2B offering. The company has been rolling out the service to select companies across various sectors during February and March. The companies that it rolled out Enterprise Pro to include Stripe, Zoom, Bridgewater, Snowflake, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Universal McCann, Thrive Global, Databricks, Paytm, ElevenLabs, HP, Vercel, and Replit.

Several companies have adopted Perplexity AI’s AI based answer engine to refine their research and development and other processes. For example, the Databricks CEO has been quoted as saying that Perplexity AI’s Enterprise pro has helped his company save more than 5K work hours each month. It has also allowed the company to substantially accelerate R&D, making it easier for the engineering, marketing, and sales teams to execute faster.

Several more companies are also using Perplexity’s Enterprise Pro across various processes including sales and marketing as well as research and development.

Perplexity’s answer engine browses the internet in real time and provides complete, verifiable answers with citations, and adds more context with multimedia answers that include charts, videos, and images. So, the users do not have to browse through several results that may include spammy websites. In this manner, Perplexity streamlines employees’ workflow to help them save time.

The prices of Enterprise Pro start at $40 per month or $400 per year per person. Enterprise pro offers additional features and functions including:

  • Higher Data Privacy: The company never trains its LLMs on its enterprise customers’ data, so these users enjoy higher data privacy.

  • Superior Security: Get alerts about new file uploads to keep your documents in check.

  • Better User Management: Add or remove team members easily.

  • SOC2 Certification: A gold standard in security.

  • Data Retention: User queries stay private and are deleted after 7 days.

  • Single Sign-On (SSO): Quick and secure access to corporate systems.

Some example of how companies are using Perplexity’s AI based answer engine include:

  • Product teams at Zoom use Perplexity’s Focus functionality for targeted search.

  • HP’s salesforce uses Perplexity for rapid, in-depth prospect research, which helps them craft compelling pitches and expedites the sales process

  • Innovation Attorneys at Latham & Watkins are usingPerplexity to conduct targeted research.

  • Health editorial teams at Thrive Global are creating validated behavior change microsteps based on the latest peer-reviewed science with the help of Perplexity’s AI.

  • Data teams at the Cleveland Cavaliers research ticket sales trends and do partnership prospecting with help of Perplexity.

  • Strategy teams at Paytm draft market landscape insights to inform their roadmaps using Perplexity.

  • Marketing and product teams at Amplitude use Perplexity to draft market landscape insights.

Perplexity raised an additional $62.7 million in April 2024, doubling its overall valuation to above $1 billion and its fundraising totals $165 million.

Global expansion is now a top priority for the company. It has partnered with two of the leading telecom companies in the world including Japan’s SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO:9434) and Germany’s Deutsche Telekom. With these partnerships, the company will be able to significantly broaden its reach with access to a combined user base of more than 335 million across mobile and broadband of the two telecom companies.



Perplexity AI press release