Grammarly raises fresh funds at $13 billion valuation

(Reuters) - Grammarly, which makes artificially intelligent software that helps improve people’s writing, has raised fresh capital at a valuation of $13 billion, underscoring sky-high demand for technology tools that provide writing assistance.

The surge in its valuation highlights Grammarly’s stunning growth in recent years after it launched a freemium business model in 2015, helping it amass a loyal base of millions of daily users and other big-name enterprise customers including Zoom Video Communications Inc, Cisco Systems Inc, Dell Technologies Inc and Expedia Group Inc.

In its previous funding round in 2019, it was valued at more than $1 billion. Grammarly said its services are currently used by roughly 30 million people every day.

In the latest round, Grammarly raised over $200 million from investors led by Baillie Gifford and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock Inc.

The startup has no imminent plans to go public, Chief Executive Officer Brad Hoover told Reuters in an interview.

Founded in 2009 by Max Lytvyn, Alex Shevchenko and Dmytro Lider, Grammarly was initially focused on a subscription-based product to help students with their grammar and spelling.

Grammarly uses machine learning to assist not only with basic writing, but also spell-check, grammar, tone of language and context.

Since it was launched, Grammarly has built numerous products, including Grammarly Business, which help large companies across different functions including sales and marketing. Some of its other services include a plagiarism detector.

The startup also recently struck a partnership with Samsung Electronics, and under the deal, Grammarly’s writing suggestions will be integrated with the South Korean company’s smartphone keyboard. That will enable Samsung customers to use Grammarly’s tools, without having to install an app.

Grammarly also has a desktop application for Microsoft Corp’s Windows and Apple Inc’s Mac operating systems.

Reporting by Sohini Podder in Bengaluru; Editing by Anirban Sen and Sherry Jacob-Phillips