San Francisco, CA based Writer, Inc., an enterprise generative AI company announced on September 18, 2023 that it has secured USD 100m in Series B funding. The company stated that these funds will be used to further invest in industry-specific large language models (LLMs) and add a few more corporate-focused capabilities to its platform.
Co-founder and 2017 SlatorCon speaker, May Habib, started the company in 2012 as a multilingual content management technology provider. It was formerly known as Qordoba, Inc. and became Writer, Inc. in August 2020.
Under the Qordoba name, the company’s flagship product incorporated AI as text intelligence, using deep learning models that tailor predictive text for specific audiences. As Writer, the company builds on its machine learning experience and describes its offer as a “full-stack generative AI platform” focusing on a proprietary set of small language models called “Palmyra.”
The models were trained on “1 trillion tokens of formal and business writing containing no IP or copyrighted content,” as stated on the company’s website. The platform is said to help companies with tasks that include grammar checks and full text generation with domain-specific models. Writer’s customer base includes financial services, healthcare, and other verticals.
An example of a Writer’s domain-specific model is Palmyra Med, which combines two models that were trained and fine-tuned on medical datasets. In the press release, CEO Habib stated that “Our foundation models are best-in-class, and they’re auditable, inspectable, and hostable.” Both Qordoba and Writer were co-founded by Habib and Waseem AlShikh, CTO.
SO thrilled to be announcing our Series B for @Get_Writer!— May Habib (@may_habib) September 18, 2023
Dominant design is emerging for enterprise-grade generative AI internal applications:
it's an LLM, closely coupled with knowledge graphs and AI guardrails, supporting multiple generative AI use cases.
Turns out, it's… pic.twitter.com/FgtsYmNtRh
Venture Capital Backing
Although after 2020 the majority of generative AI startups sprung up from the advent of open source LLMs and datasets, as well as AI chat LLMs, Writer developed their technology over about ten years. An NLP-technology product developed over a long period of time and focused on corporate clients as it reaches maturity has been shown to attract more investors and larger funding amounts, as has been the case as well with companies like DeepL, Unbabel, and Lilt.
Qordoba was successful in raising capital as a language automation company. Generative AI focused Writer raised USD 5m in seed funding in 2020 and about USD 21m in its Series A round in 2021, bringing its total capitalization as of 2023 with Series B USD 100m to USD 126m.
Investors listed in the Series B funding round are ICONIQ Growth, Accenture Ventures, Aspect Ventures, Balderton Capital, Insight Partners, Vanguard Accelerator, and WndrCo.