September 20, 2023

Immigrant Entrepreneurs Secure $100M For ChatGPT Rival That Doesn’t Make Things Up

San Francisco-based startup Writer Inc., a generative AI platform for corporate content, has raised $100 million.

Using AI to write content 

Writer is a generative AI startup that uses its large language models (LLMS) to let enterprises and their employees write and edit content.

This may include emails, documents, and ads adhering to a company’s editorial guidelines.

With the name “Writer”, the startup only produces text, removing the operation of visual content such as images and videos.

Founders May Habib from Lebanon and Wassem Alshikh from Syria used their personal experiences of learning and teaching English to create the platform.

CEO Habib was the first woman in her family to attend college and taught her family how to speak English, and Alshikh taught himself how to speak English at the age of 20 to learn computer science.

“The medium of language to move ahead in the world has always been something we’ve thought about really deeply,” Habib told Forbes.

Accuracy over creativity 

According to Forbes, Habib claims that the latest version of its language AI model will “never create anything factually incorrect,” unlike other AI models.

Hallucination is a major problem with generative AI models like ChatGPT – nonsensical content that could be more useful to the provided source content.

By contrast, Writer highlights portions of text without a source, flagging them for review.

Uber, L’Oreal, Spotify and Deloitte are current companies using the platform.

Each company gets its customized version of Writer’s model, and the data is then stored on the company’s cloud.

“So much of every technology evolution and revolution at work has made us work harder and longer hours, from email to social media to always-on communication platforms like Slack,” Habib told Bloomberg.

“I think generative AI is actually able to reduce much more of the cognitive, manual labor that opens up a much more creative day.”

The $100 Million Deal

Writer has now raised $100 million in a deal that values the company at more than $500 million.

Iconiq Growth led the funding round, with participation from WndrCo, Balderton Capital and Insight Partners.

Two Writer customers, Accenture Plc and Vanguard Group Inc., also invested in the company.

Writer now plans to use the money to invest in its AI models to make them more capable.

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.