October 16, 2019
Grammarly is the newest member of the global unicorn club.
The company, which acts as a digital editing assistant to help people improve their writing, raised $90 million in its latest round of fundraising, bumping its valuation beyond the magic $1 billion mark. Its broad user base, which exceeds 20 million people, and strong track record of financial success are among the top reasons investors are clamoring to build a stake in the AI-driven platform.
"We've been profitable almost since inception nearly 10 years ago," said Grammarly CEO Brad Hoover in an interview with Cheddar. "This round was excellent in the sense that we had the opportunity to work with our current investors. They were of course already up to speed on the company given our work together in the last couple and a half years and were very bullish on our future."
During the company's rapid growth, it has faced some big-name competition. Microsoft and Google have unveiled AI in their own products, but Hoover is not concerned about the tech giants integrating, or copying, Grammarly's services. New feedback features such as Tone Detector, which helps people communicate in a tone that delivers the message as intended, are what separates Grammarly from the competition.
"All these different types of feedback provide a holistic experience that doesn't exist elsewhere," Hoover said.
Grammarly has no plans to sell itself or list itself as a public company. Instead, the company is focused on building its global user base.
"We don't have an exit plan," Hoover said. "We have a very long-term perspective on what we're building here. We believe that everyone in the world, ultimately, certainly starting with those who write in English today, can benefit from a digital communications assistant like Grammarly."
As of October 10, Grammarly joined 406 other companies with a valuation of $1 billion or higher. The total cumulative valuation of those companies is about $1.313 trillion, according to CB Insights.