Grammarly raises $200m in funding to reach more people

18 Nov 2021

Grammarly CEO Brad Hoover. Image: Grammarly

CEO Brad Hoover said the funding will help Grammarly make communication easier in a remote-first world.

Grammarly, the company behind the popular cloud-based AI writing assistant, has raised more than $200m in its latest funding round to make its software available to more users.

Launched in 2009, Grammarly uses natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) to help users identify and rectify mistakes in their writing such as in text messages, emails and official documents.

Its writing assistant software has more than 30m daily users across the world and Grammarly said it delivers more than 100bn writing suggestions each month.

The latest funding round was backed by new investors such as Edinburgh-based investment firm Baillie Gifford as well as funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, among others. It brings the company’s valuation to $13bn.

Brad Hoover, CEO of Grammarly, said in his funding announcement that the rise of remote and digital communication has made it “increasingly difficult” to be understood as intended, especially with the rising popularity of short-form messaging.

“Increased global connectivity is bringing new challenges and opportunities to our personal connections and professional successes,” he said. “With our remote-first reality here to stay, effective communication is more critical than ever. That’s where Grammarly comes in.”

The funding comes in the same week Grammarly launched desktop versions for Windows and Mac. “This is a big step toward breaking down technological barriers and achieving effective communication where important writing happens,” added Hoover.

Some of Grammarly’s features include real-time contextual grammatical error correction, checking for consistency, and encouraging inclusive language practices for the LGBTQ+ community. It also offers a business version for large teams, with clients such as Zoom, Cisco and Expedia.

A massive security flaw in 2018 saw the Grammarly browser extension for Chrome and Firefox expose the details of approximately 22m users. The security flaw, which arose from a “high-severity bug”, was fixed by Grammarly within hours with no known consequences.

“Since our last funding round two years ago, we’ve doubled down on our investments in security so our customers can rest assured their data is safe and secure,” Hoover said in his announcement yesterday (17 November).

As well as increasing Grammarly’s reach, the fresh investment will go towards advancing its NLP and ML technology for personalised feedback, as well as to enhance its service for developers, which allows them to use Grammarly in their applications with just a few lines of code.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic