Enterprise AI and NLP startup Pryon launches out of stealth with $4.5 million in seed funding
Pryon, an enterprise artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) startup that emerges of stealth today, announced $4.5 million in seed funding to take the AI market to the next phase of Augmented Intelligence. The seed funding came from key investors include Greycroft Partners, Two Sigma Ventures, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, BootstrapLabs, and Engage Ventures.
The North Carolina-based Pryon was founded in 2017 by Igor Jablokov, the founder of Yap, which was later acquired by Amazon to Create Alexa. Pryon is the developer of an AI platform intended to provide the accuracy and security features necessary for enterprise applications. Pryon’s team designed and built the core human language technologies behind Amazon Alexa and IBM Watson, Pryon is now creating an Augmented Intelligence platform that combines the strengths of people and machines. Using Pryon’s secure, natural language, and voice-based interactive agent, businesses will improve the intelligence, performance, and productivity of their workers.
Pryon is leveraging its experience in machine learning (ML) to create an enterprise solution that goes far beyond today’s helpful, but limited bots, robotic process automation (RPA) tools, and voice assistants. The company’s Augmented Intelligence platform enables and supports a secure, natural language, and voice-based interactive agent for employees. This agent works across numerous devices, improves worker productivity, optimizes performance, increases engagement, and becomes more intelligent.
“Given the accelerating pace of technological change, speed of innovation, and increasing number of agile competitors, businesses are struggling to work at the necessary scale and speed,” said Igor Jablokov, Founder and CEO of Pryon. “Today’s employees are hampered by cumbersome and slow interfaces, siloed information, and old methods of working. In this environment, companies need new ways to combine the individual strengths of humans and machines to remain competitive.”
In the most recent Fortune survey of 500 CEOs, 81% cited “artificial intelligence and machine learning” as either “very important” or “extremely important” to the future of their companies, up from just 54% in 2016.* Pryon is already engaged with several Fortune 500 companies and has proofs of concepts delivering value at the world’s top communications, financial services, and logistics companies. The company’s near-term goal is to lead the Augmented Intelligence market, which is currently valued at $3.5B.
Taking the AI market to the next phase of Augmented Intelligence is possible because of Pryon’s seed round funding of $4.5M. Key investors include Greycroft Partners, Two Sigma Ventures, Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, BootstrapLabs, and Engage Ventures.
“The vast majority of AI startups are focused on the consumer market,” noted Ian Sigalow, Co-Founder Partner at Greycroft. “With Pryon, we saw the opportunity to build something even greater for the enterprise. While this will require overcoming security, reliability, and availability challenges, we believe Pryon has a significant head start with its Augmented Intelligence platform.”
“Pryon exemplifies the type of vision and people we look for in early-stage, applied AI companies,” noted Colin Beirne, Partner at Two Sigma Ventures. “Augmented Intelligence in the enterprise represents a significant opportunity, and we believe Igor and this team are uniquely equipped with the experience to build this technology. We’re proud to be investors in Pryon, and we are excited to contribute our industry perspective and technical expertise to support their growth.”
“At Engage, we partner and invest in companies that we can help gain a unique strategic advantage through our partners,” said Thiago Olson, Managing Director at Engage Ventures. “Igor and the Pryon team represent a unique mix of disruptive visionaries with experience solving complex, large-scale enterprise challenges.” The Engage corporate partners include AT&T, Chick-fil-A, Cox Enterprises, Delta Air Lines, Georgia-Pacific, Georgia Power Foundation, Inc., The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Invesco Ltd., The Home Depot, and UPS.