In 2022, Abhay Parasnis, former CTO of Adobe, founded Typeface, a generative AI startup focused on enterprise use cases. With that, he hoped to use generative AI – which was just coming into vogue at the time – to deliver personalized content for brands at scale.
Fonts caught on quickly, thanks in part to the hype surrounding generative AI, attracting Fortune 500 clients in its first year and forming partnerships with Salesforce and Google Cloud. And — perhaps more importantly — it won over investors, who poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the startup this week.
Today, Typeface closed a $100M Series B round led by Salesforce Ventures with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Madrona, GV (Google Ventures), Menlo Ventures and M12 (Microsoft’s Venture Fund). Since the startup is valued at $1 billion, Typeface’s total revenue is $165 million.
Parasnis says the new capital will be used to expand Typeface’s platform and grow the company’s team.
“Business leaders are telling us across the board that they want to leverage generative AI, but need a solution that fits their unique needs and is right for the business,” Parasnis said via email. “They need an AI platform that can keep up with the rapid pace of innovation and feels like a natural extension of their brand. They also need peace of mind that their valuable proprietary content will remain secure and confidential while seamlessly integrating into their existing workflows.”
The Typeface platform consists of three key components, Parasnis explained – the first being a content hub where users can upload assets and guidelines for creating “on-brand” text and images. The second solution, called Blend, uses AI to train and personalize content according to a brand’s voice and style. The third solution, Flow, offers templates and workflows designed to integrate with existing apps and systems.
Using Typeface, a content marketing manager could create an Instagram post — or at least a product photo and caption — to promote a new product launch with brand-approved wording and assets. Or a demand generation manager at a business-to-business software-as-a-service company could turn an event video into a blog post, a follow-up email to attendees, and more.
“We offer organizations a range of secure, self-service solutions that empower any employee to create on-brand content from their content workflows,” said Parasnis.
There is now no shortage of companies in the field of generative AI. (See, for example, Jasper AI, which also recently raised around $100 million at a valuation of around $1 billion.) So what makes Typeface different?
On the one hand, Parasnis argues that Typeface places more emphasis on branding, content security, and privacy than most of its competitors. The platform provides each client with dedicated AI models and allegedly ensures their assets and activities remain private.
It’s not entirely clear whether Typeface’s models — and the content they produce — could face legal challenges later. Pending lawsuits against popular AI art tools Midjourney and Stability AI claim they violated the rights of millions of artists by training their tools on web-scraping images. Meanwhile, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has yet to issue clear guidance on copyright protection for AI-generated works.
Not expecting any headwinds, Parasnis claims that Typeface clients own all the assets they generate on the platform.
“Every part of the business needs compelling, personalized content to drive results, and do it faster,” he said. “Fonts are revolutionizing the way businesses deliver content, empowering all areas of the business to achieve exceptional results at unprecedented speeds.”
Maybe it doesn’t matter – for now. The risks don’t seem to dampen enthusiasm for generative AI. According to a FreshBooks survey, 25% of business owners say they are currently using or testing generative AI tools, while two in three say they will try generative AI professionally within the next 12 months.
VCs obviously don’t shy away from it either. According to a PitchBook report published in March, venture firms have steadily increased their positions in the generative AI space, from $408 million in 2018 to $4.8 billion in 2021 to $4.5 billion in 2022. Angel and seed deals have also grown, with 107 deals investing $358.3 million in 2022, compared to just $41 and $102.8 million in 2018.
“With significant enterprise demand for personalized generative AI, we must rapidly expand our platform and continuously innovate to meet the unique needs of enterprises,” said Parasnis. “Additionally, we will augment our exceptional team with deep AI, software-as-a-service, and enterprise marketing expertise to increase the value we bring to our growing community. This funding serves as a catalyst for a solid product roadmap and go-to-market expansion, enabling companies to effortlessly generate personalized content at every customer touchpoint, securely and within their existing business processes.”