Pryon Inc., an artificial intelligence startup that caters to large enterprises, said it has raised $100 million in new financing mostly backed by billionaire Thomas Tull.
(Bloomberg) — Pryon Inc., an artificial intelligence startup that caters to large enterprises, said it has raised $100 million in new financing mostly backed by billionaire Thomas Tull.
About 80% of the Series B funding round comes from Tull through his multibillion-dollar US Innovative Technology Fund, Igor Jablokov, Pryon’s founder and chief executive officer, said in an interview. Other investors include Aperture Venture Capital, BootstrapLabs and Breyer Capital, Pryon said Tuesday in a statement viewed by Bloomberg News.
The round values the Raleigh, North Carolina-based company at more than $500 million, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.
Investors have been scrambling to make bets on AI-related startups, as more of the technology has come to market showing its viability. Other startups that have received significant backing in the broader AI space include OpenAI, Cohere and Anthropic.
Pryon said it will use the funds to add to its team, expand into international markets and boost its partnerships.
The company’s platform organizes customer data and provides chatbot or search-style interfaces for companies to allow employees to sift through and share data.
“This is akin to what you’re seeing with ChatGPT, but it’s only your private and secure materials that you can interact with,” Jablokov said, adding that customers can use the product to search through Microsoft Word files, SharePoints, PowerPoints, employee handbooks and more.
Before starting Pryon in 2017, Jablokov founded Yap, a speech recognition software company that was acquired by Amazon.com Inc. in 2011 and helped develop Alexa software. Jablokov named Pryon after the codename used by his startup.
Pryon previously raised $20 million during a Series A financing in 2019, according to a press release. Pryon now has 100 employees and clients in the energy, financial, government, health care, industrials, materials, technology and utilities sectors, Jablokov said.
Tull’s fund, which focuses on venture bets in defense technology, launched in 2022 and has invested in startups including Capella Space Corp. and Shield AI.
“We see a great opportunity with Igor and the whole Pryon team, and look forward to seeing the incredible work they are able to accomplish to bridge the gap of AI adoption.” Tull said in an email.
Tull was the founder of Legendary Entertainment, the movie studio that sold to Dalian Wanda Group for $3.5 billion in 2016.
–With assistance from Michael Hytha.
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