In 2022, Abhay Parasnis, the former CTO of Adobe, founded Typeface, a generative AI startup focused on business use cases. With this, he hoped to leverage generative AI — which was just coming into vogue at the time — to deliver personalized content for brands at scale.
Thanks in part to the hype around generative AI, Font caught on quickly, attracting Fortune 500 customers in its first year, as well as 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 $100 million 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). Valuing the startup at $1 billion, the tranche brings Typeface’s total amount raised to $165 million.
Parasnis says the new capital will be used to expand Typeface’s platform and grow the company’s team.
“Business leaders across the board tell us that they want to embrace generative AI, but they need a solution that meets their unique requirements and is enterprise-ready,” Parasnis said via email. “They need an AI platform that can keep up with the blazing pace of innovation and feel like a natural extension of their brand. They also need the assurance that their valuable proprietary content remains secure and confidential while seamlessly integrating into their existing workflows.”
The Typeface platform consists of three main components, Parasnis explained — the first is a content hub where users can upload resources and guidelines for generating text and images “on-brand.” The second, called Blend, uses AI to train and personalize content to a brand’s voice and style. As for the third, Flow, it offers templates and workflows designed to integrate into existing apps and systems.
Using Typeface, a content marketing manager can generate an Instagram post — or at least a product photo and caption — to promote a new product launch using brand-approved wording and assets. Or a demand generation manager at a business-to-business software-as-a-service company can reuse an event video in a blog post, follow-up email to attendees, and more.
“We provide enterprises with a suite of secure, self-service solutions that empower any employee to produce on-brand content from within their content workflows,” said Parasnis.
There is now no shortage of companies in the generative AI space. (See, for example, Jasper AI, which also recently raised about $100 million at a valuation of about $1 billion.) So what makes Typeface different?
First, Parasnis states that Typeface puts more emphasis on brand management, content safety, and privacy than most of its competitors. The platform offers special AI models for each client, supposedly to ensure that their assets and activities remain private.
What’s not entirely clear is whether Typeface’s models — and the content they produce — could be subject to legal challenges over time. Ongoing cases against popular AI art tools Midjourney and Stability AI claim they have infringed the rights of millions of artists by training their tools on web-scraped images. Meanwhile, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has yet to provide clear guidance on copyright protection for AI-generated works.
Not anticipating headwinds, Parasnis states that Typeface clients own all assets they generate on the platform.
“Every part of the business needs engaging, personalized content to deliver results, and at an accelerated pace,” he said. “Font is revolutionizing the way enterprises deliver content, empowering every facet of the organization to deliver exceptional results at unprecedented speed.”
It may not matter – for now. The risks don’t seem to dampen the enthusiasm around 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 for work within the next 12 months.
VCs don’t shy away either, obviously. According to a PitchBook report released in March, venture companies have steadily increased their exposure to generative AI, from $408 million in 2018 to $4.8 billion in 2021 to $4.5 billion in 2022. deals have also grown, with 107 deals and $358.3 million invested 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 specific needs of enterprises,” said Parasnis. “In addition, we will augment our exceptional team with deep AI, software-as-a-service and enterprise marketing expertise to enrich the value we provide to our growing community. This funding will catalyze a robust product roadmap and go-to-market expansion, enabling enterprises to effortlessly generate personalized content across every customer touchpoint, securely and from within their existing business workflows.”