Hebbia, a startup developing AI-infused search tools, today announced it has raised $30 million in a Series A round led by Index Ventures in partnership with Radical Ventures. Notably, investors include Yahoo! Co-founded by Jerry Yang (full disclosure: parent company of Yahoo! Technology Flow) and Raquel Urtasun, former head of AI research at Uber.
CEO George Civulka said the new cash will help build Hebbia’s engineering team and “accelerate development” of its product platform, as well as expand its customer acquisition efforts into the professional services industries.
When Technology Flow last wrote about Hebbia, the company — founded by a team of Stanford AI researchers — was applying AI techniques to create search and extraction tools that can understand specialized domain knowledge. One of them is a Chrome plug-in called Ctrl-F, which upgrades Chrome’s search functionality to go beyond text pattern matching with natural language processing, highlighting useful information directly on pages.
Now, after something of a pivot, Hebbia is launching a new AI-based product with a focus on deep document analysis: a “neural” search engine. Launched today, it asks “What have been the biggest acquisitions in the supply chain industry in the last five years?” View billions of documents at once, including PDFs, PowerPoints, spreadsheets, and transcripts, to provide answers to questions like:
“With Hebbia, you bring your own data or you search a trusted … primary source repository. [meeting] minutes, SEC filings, recently passed legislation, scientific research and more,” a company spokesperson told Technology Flow. “[There’s more] Trust and transparency in what Corpus is informing your search results.”
The inspiration for the neural search engine came from Civulka’s personal experience. During his doctoral research, Civulka said, many of his friends who worked in finance had to scramble through thousands of documents during hundred-hour workweeks. AI, he thinks, can solve this problem — or at least streamline some core processes.
It’s early days. But Civulka said Hebbia’s search engine is finding initial traction among financial services firms, which are using it for due diligence and other actions on investment pipelines.
“Currently Hebbia counts 20 paying enterprises as customers, including many 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 headcount by the end of the year.