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Glean Raises $200M to Lead AI Innovation in the Corporate World

ByHuey Yee Ong

Mar 1, 2024
Glean Raises $200M to Lead AI Innovation in the Corporate World

Glean Raises $200M to Lead AI Innovation in the Corporate World

Glean is about to redefine how enterprises access and utilize their vast reservoirs of data. Founded by Arvind Jain, a luminary known for co-founding the cloud data management giant Rubrik, Glean leverages GenAI to offer a bespoke solution that promises to streamline the way employees interact with corporate databases.

What Inspired the Creation of Glean?

Glean was inspired by a simple yet pervasive challenge: the difficulty employees face in locating the information necessary for their tasks. This issue, as Jain observed within Rubrik and beyond, significantly impedes productivity, erodes employee satisfaction, and complicates the onboarding process for new hires. A survey by Gartner underscores this problem, revealing that 47% of desk workers struggle with data retrieval, a situation exacerbated by the growing complexity of digital workspaces where the average number of applications used has nearly doubled in five years.

Launched in 2019, Glean initially positioned itself alongside cognitive search tools like Microsoft’s SharePoint Syntex and Amazon Kendra. However, Glean’s trajectory has been characterized by an unwavering commitment to harnessing GenAI for analyzing data across multiple platforms — from support tickets and chat messages to customer relationship management (CRM) systems — transforming raw data into actionable insights and precise answers.

Glean’s Approach to Security and Privacy

Despite the intrinsic value of such a tool, the adoption of GenAI solutions, including Glean, faces skepticism primarily due to concerns over privacy and data security. A poll conducted by Cisco revealed a cautious stance among organizations, with over a quarter restricting GenAI use to prevent potential breaches of intellectual property or the inadvertent disclosure of sensitive information. Addressing these concerns, Jain assures that Glean prioritizes security and privacy, adhering to existing data access permissions and ensuring data integrity by mirroring deletion protocols from original sources.

A significant challenge for GenAI platforms is their propensity for “hallucinations” — the generation of inaccurate or fabricated information. While direct evaluation of Glean’s accuracy is pending, Jain underscores the implementation of several measures aimed at bolstering the platform’s reliability. This includes the development of a model trained on customer-specific data to grasp unique industry terminologies and providing options to select from various GenAI models to enhance the user experience.

Personalization: The Core of Glean’s Success

To maintain its competitive edge, Glean has prioritized personalization as a cornerstone of its service. This commitment manifests in several key strategies:

  • Tailored Search Results: Glean delivers search results personalized to individual roles, job functions, and organizational hierarchies.
  • Utilization of RAG Techniques: Through Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG) techniques, Glean ensures that responses are not only accurate but also traceable to their original sources.
  • Learning from Historical Work Patterns: By analyzing historical work patterns, Glean continuously refines its understanding of user preferences, promising a tailored and intuitive user experience.
  • Emphasis on Relevance and Verifiability: Glean’s focus on relevance and verifiability ensures that users can trust the information provided, as responses are linked back to their original sources for validation.

Glean’s Financial Growth and Market Response

As Glean navigates the dynamic landscape of enterprise AI solutions, its financial growth reflects a burgeoning market readiness and enthusiasm. Here are some key aspects of its market response:

  • Significant Revenue Growth: Glean’s annual recurring revenue has experienced notable growth, indicating strong market demand and adoption.
  • Successful Series D Funding Round: The recent $200 million Series D funding round, led by Kleiner Perkins and Lightspeed Venture Partners, elevates Glean’s valuation to $2.2 billion, underscoring investor confidence in its vision and execution.
  • Robust Customer Base: Glean boasts a diverse and robust customer base, including industry heavyweights such as Duolingo, Grammarly, and Sony, showcasing its wide applicability and appeal across different sectors.
  • Expansion Plans: The influx of capital from the funding round will fuel Glean’s expansion efforts, enabling it to grow its teams, refine its product suite, and enhance its market presence to meet the growing demand from enterprises.

In contrast to the cautious approach indicated by a survey, where the majority of GenAI initiatives remain in the experimental phase, Glean’s success illustrates a clear and present demand for AI solutions that can navigate the complexities of corporate data ecosystems. As businesses continue to explore the capabilities and potential of GenAI, Glean’s model of personalized, secure, and efficient data access offers a compelling blueprint for the future of enterprise AI applications.

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Featured Image courtesy of ArthurHidden on Freepik

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.