Hebbia, a startup developing AI-infused search tools, today announced it has raised $30 million in a Series A round led by Index Ventures with the participation of Radical Ventures. Note that one of the investors Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang (full disclosure: Yahoo! is the parent company of londonbusinessblog.com) and Raquel Urtasun, a former head of AI research at Uber.
CEO George Sivulka says the new money will be spent building Hebbia’s technical team and “accelerating development” of its product platform, in addition to expanding its customer acquisition efforts into professional services sectors.
When londonbusinessblog.com last wrote about Hebbia, the company — founded by a team of Stanford AI researchers — applied AI techniques to create search and digest tools that could understand specialized domain knowledge. One was a Chrome plugin called Ctrl-F, which upgraded Chrome’s search functionality to go beyond matching text patterns with natural language processing, highlighting useful information right on pages.
Now, after something of a pivot, Hebbia is launching a new AI-powered product for in-depth document analysis: a “neural” search engine. Launched today, it can view billions of documents at once, including PDFs, PowerPoints, spreadsheets and transcripts to provide answers to questions like “What are the biggest acquisitions in the supply chain industry in the past five years?”
“With Hebbia, you bring your own data or search a trusted… primary source of data we’ve already indexed for you: earnings transcripts, news, [meeting] minutes, SEC filings, recently passed legislation, scientific research and more,” a company spokesperson told londonbusinessblog.com. “[There’s more] trust and transparency about which corpus informs your search results.”
The inspiration for the neural search engine came from Sivulka’s personal experience. During his PhD research, Sivulka says that many of his friends, who worked in the financial world, had to go through thousands of documents in hundreds of hours of work. AI, he thought, could solve this problem — or at least streamline some of the core processes involved.
It’s early days. But Sivulka says Hebbia’s search engine is being adopted early by financial services firms, who are using it for due diligence and other steps in investment pipelines.
“Hebbia currently has 20 paying companies as clients, including some of the world’s largest private equity firms, hedge funds, consultancies and government projects,” the spokesperson continued.
New York-based Hebbia, which currently has 15 employees, expects to double its workforce by the end of the year.