AI start-up Hebbia raises $130m led by Andreessen Horowitz

5 days ago

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The company joins a host of other start-ups riding the generative AI wave, while A16z continues to bet big on the technology.

New York-headquartered AI start-up Hebbia has raised $130m in Series B funding led by Andreessen Horowitz (A16z). Other investors in the latest round include Index Ventures, Google Ventures and Peter Thiel.

The start-up was founded in 2020 by George Sivulka, a Stanford graduate with a master’s in applied physics.

The company has built Matrix, a product that allows users to build AI agents that complete end-to-end tasks. According to the company, it is able to ingest huge volumes of documents at once, including PDFs, PowerPoint presentations, spreadsheets and transcripts, and return specific answers.

Hebbia counts blue chip asset managers, investment banks, law firms and Fortune 500 companies among its customers and said that one example of its product in action was during the Silicon Valley Bank crisis, when asset managers were able to map exposure to regional banks across millions of documents.

In a blogpost, Sivulka said he was proud of the start-up’s team. “Over the last 18 months, we grew revenue 15X, quintupled headcount, drove over 2pc of OpenAI’s daily volume and laid the groundwork for customers to redefine how they work.”

Following the investment announcement, A16z wrote on its site that Hebbia could soon represent “the ultimate analyst”.

“Hebbia is always available to pore through infinite public and private documents, complete infinite responses without errors, make infinite revisions, all with infinite patience,” the firm wrote in a blogpost.

“Excel harnessed the power of the personal computing era. Hebbia is already harnessing the power of the generative AI era.”

Making hay, but getting burned

Start-ups utilising generative AI have been capitalising hugely on investor interest in the fast-evolving technology, with A16z one of frontrunners in terms of investments.

Since January 2024 alone, the US venture capital firm has pumped millions of dollars into Quora’s new chatbot platform, AI voice generator ElevenLabs and Elon Musk’s xAI. The VC firm was also part of a major €385m fundraise for French start-up Mistral AI, which subsequently hit unicorn status as a result.

However, while AI start-ups are making hay while the sun shines, they’re not without their controversy. Generative AI start-up Perplexity landed in a lot of hot water last month amid news of a major fundraise with accusations of plagiarism and ignoring the widely accepted web standard, the Robots Exclusion Protocol.

More widely, hundreds of musicians including Billie Eilish and Katy Perry signed an open letter earlier this year calling on developers to stop using AI music-generation tech, due to concerns it they will replace human artists and ‘substantially dilute’ royalty pools.

Last year, thousands of writers signed a letter written by the Authors Guild, which called on the likes of OpenAI, Alphabet and Meta to stop using their work to train AI models without “consent, credit or compensation”.

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Jenny Darmody is the editor of Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com