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In 1998, Jeff Bezos took a risky bet on a small startup named Google, investing $250,000 in Google’s $1M extension round. Today, that investment would be worth nearly $5 billion today, a gain of nearly 20,000% in a little over two decades.

Despite this impressive ROI, Bezos is betting against Google in 2024 with an investment in Perplexity AI, a year-old startup that hopes to disrupt Google’s monopoly on search.

The company was founded in August 2022 by Aravind Srinivas, Denis Yarats, Johnny Ho, and Andy Konwinski with the vision of providing answers (instead of links) for online search queries. The San Francisco-based startup hopes to take on Google with its chatbot-style, AI-powered search engine, which grew to 2 million monthly active users within the four months of launching.

Here’s a look inside the deck that Perplexity AI used to achieve a $520M valuation just one year after launching. The company raised a $74M Series B from notable investors including NVIDIA, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Shopify founder Tobias Lutke, AngelList founder Naval Ravikant, Github founder Nat Friedman, and Vercel founder Guillermo Rauch.

Most founders dread investors asking the infamous question, “What’s your moat if Google decides to compete with you?” Not the case for Perplexity, whose entire business is based on competing with Google. Perplexity’s vision focuses on reimagining modern search: the deck starts by comparing Google’s search results filled with SEO link spam and paid ads with Perplexity’s direct answers powered by AI.

Perplexity AI Pitch Deck - Problem Slide ($74M Series B backed by Nvidia & Jeff Bezos)Perplexity AI Pitch Deck - Solution Slide ($74M Series B backed by Nvidia & Jeff Bezos)

In an earlier deck, Perplexity stated their mission is to be “the world’s most knowledge-centric company” with a focus on “conversational answer engines and search copilots.”

Perplexity AI Pitch Deck - Vision Slide ($74M Series B backed by Nvidia & Jeff Bezos)

The deck also included tweets from Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and Github founder Nat Friedman, the latter of whom became an investor in Perplexity. As of Jan 2024, Perplexity’s AI “answer engine” is used by about 10 million people every month.

Perplexity AI Pitch Deck - Traction Slide ($74M Series B backed by Nvidia & Jeff Bezos)

When considering Perplexity’s odds of defeating Google, their business model is always the most controversial talking point: many detractors don’t believe that consumers will be willing to pay for search.

Perplexity AI Pitch Deck - Business Model Slide ($74M Series B backed by Nvidia & Jeff Bezos)

Click here for more slides from the pitch decks that Perplexity AI used to raise over a $100M from investors like Nvidia & Jeff Bezos, achieiving a $520M valuation within a year of launching. You can also browse hundreds of other examples of AI pitch decks here!

Bezos’ investment in Perplexity adds another layer of intrigue to the story: some see it as a strategic move to gain an edge in the AI race, and others view it as a personal vendetta to topple the tech giant that once benefited from his early support.

Regardless of the motivations, Perplexity AI’s audacious vision, impressive growth, and heavyweight backing make them a force to be reckoned with. Whether they succeed in dethroning Google remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: the search landscape is about to get a whole lot more interesting.