In 2022, Abhay Parasnis, the former CTO of Adobe, founded Typeface, a generative AI startup focused on enterprise use cases. With it, he hoped to leverage generative AI — which at the time was just beginning to come into vogue — to deliver personalized content for brands at scale.
Typeface, thanks in part to the hype around generative AI, caught on quickly, attracting Fortune 500 customers within its first year as well as partnerships with Salesforce and Google Cloud. And — perhaps more importantly — it won over investors, who this week injected hundreds of millions of dollars into the startup.
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 raised to $165 million.
Parasnis says that the new capital will be put toward expanding Typeface’s platform and growing the company’s team.
“Enterprise leaders are telling us across the board that they want to embrace generative AI, but they need a solution that meets their unique requirements and is ready for the enterprise,” Parasnis said via email. “They require an AI platform that keeps up with the lightning-fast pace of innovation and feels 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 key components, Parasnis explained — the first being a content hub where users can upload assets and guidelines for “on-brand” text and image generation. The second, called Blend, uses AI to train and personalize content to a brand’s voice and style. As for the third, Flow, it provides templates and workflows designed to integrate into existing apps and systems.
Using Typeface, a content marketing manager could generate an Instagram post — or at least a product shot and caption — to promote the launch of a new product using brand-approved wording and assets. Or a demand generation manager at a business-to-business software-as-a-service company could repurpose an event video into a blog post, draft a follow-up email to attendees and more.
“We provide enterprises with a suite of secure, self-serve solutions that empower any employee to produce on-brand content from their content workflows,” Parasnis said.
There’s no shortage now of companies in the generative AI space. (See Jasper AI, for example, which also recently raised $125 million at a $1.5 billion valuation.) So what makes Typeface different?
For one, Parasnis makes the case that Typeface places a greater emphasis on brand governance, content safety and privacy than most of its competitors. The platform provides dedicated AI models for each customer, ostensibly ensuring that their assets and activity remain private.
What’s not entirely clear is whether Typeface’s models — and the content they produce — could be subject to legal challenges down the line. Pending cases against popular AI art tools Midjourney and Stability AI allege that they infringed on the rights of millions of artists by training their tools on web-scraped images. Meanwhile, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has yet to issue clear guidance on copyright protections for AI-generated works.
Parasnis isn’t anticipating headwinds, asserting that Typeface customers own all the assets they generate on the platform.
“Every part of the enterprise needs compelling, personalized content to drive results, and that too, more at a rapid pace,” he said. “Typeface revolutionizes the way enterprises deliver content, empowering every facet of the organization to drive exceptional results with unprecedented speed.”
It might not matter — for now. The risks don’t seem to be dampening the enthusiasm around generative AI. According to a survey by FreshBooks, 25% of business owners say that they’re currently using or testing generative AI tools while two out of three say they’ll try generative AI for work within the next 12 months.
VCs aren’t shying away either, clearly. According to a PitchBook report released in March, venture firms have steadily increased their positions in generative AI, from $408 million in 2018 to $4.8 billion in 2021 to $4.5 billion in 2022. Angel and seed deals have grown as well, with 107 deals and $358.3 million invested in 2022 compared with just 41 and $102.8 million in 2018.
“With a significant demand among enterprises for personalized generative AI, we must rapidly expand our platform and continuously innovate to meet enterprises’ distinct needs,” Parasnis said. “Moreover, we will expand our exceptional team with deep AI, software-as-a-service and enterprise marketing expertise to enrich the value we offer to our growing community. This funding serves as the catalyst for a robust product roadmap and go-to-market expansion, empowering enterprises to effortlessly generate personalized content at every customer touchpoint, safely and from within their existing enterprise workflows.”