Jeff Bezos-Backed Perplexity CEO Criticizes Google's Ad-Heavy Model: 'It Ended Up Going The Same Path As Yahoo'


Perplexity, an AI-powered search engine supported by Amazon‘s Jeff Bezos and frequently used by Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang, highlights concerns over Google‘s ad-heavy model. The CEO of the AI search engine cites decreasing engagement and a growing desire for more direct, user-centric search experiences.

What Happened: Perplexity’s Co-founder & CEO Aravind Srinivas revealed the company’s vision to revolutionize the search engine industry, in a recent interview with BNN Bloomberg.

Srinivas explained that the team’s fascination with search and the potential of Generative AI in the software space led to the birth of Perplexity.

When asked about the impact of AI on traditional search models like Google, Srinivas pointed out the decreasing consumer engagement with ads, which could be concerning for companies like Google-owner Alphabet.

“They love products that are designed for them. Google used to be that when it first came out that's why it disrupted… but then it ended up going the same path as Yahoo by becoming an advertising platform,” Srinivas said.

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Perplexity, with its user-centric design and direct answer provision, is gaining traction among internet users. Srinivas emphasized that the platform’s focus is on serving users, not advertisers, and aims to maintain this user-first approach even if advertising becomes part of the revenue model in the future.

Despite being less than two years old, Perplexity is on track to meet its goals, with Srinivas expressing the intention to take the company public in the future.

Why It Matters: Perplexity’s rapid rise in the AI search engine industry has been quite remarkable. The company secured unicorn status in April after a funding round that more than doubled its valuation to over $1 billion. This round was led by investor Daniel Gross, with contributions from notable figures like billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller, Y Combinator CEO Garry Tan, and Figma Inc. CEO Dylan Field.

Additionally, in April, Nvidia’s Jensen Huang met with Perplexity AI’s CEO Srinivas, sparking speculation about potential collaborations. Srinivas shared a photo with Huang and hinted at the meeting’s significance by stating, “Search like a billionaire.”

Perplexity’s potential was evident even earlier in the year when the company was reportedly in discussions to secure additional funding at a significantly higher valuation than its previous round. This was a testament to the growing interest in supporting Perplexity’s efforts to compete with industry giants like OpenAI and Google.

Perplexity’s user-centric approach and its potential to disrupt the advertising industry, as highlighted by Srinivas, could pose a significant challenge to established players like Google, especially considering the rising power of AI chatbots in the tech industry.

Read Next: From Nvidia’s Stock Split, Intel’s Revitalized AI Strategy To Tesla’s Chip Saga: This Week In The World Of AI

Image Via Shutterstock

This story was generated using Benzinga Neuro and edited by Kaustubh Bagalkote

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Posted In: NewsGlobalStartupsSmall BusinessTechAravind SrinivasJeff BezosJensen HuangKaustubh BagalkotePerplexity
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