Last year, OpenAI announced OpenAI Startup Fund, a tranche through which it and its partners, including Microsoft, invest in early-stage AI companies tackling big problems. Mum is the word since the companies received infusions from the fund. But today the OpenAI Startup Fund revealed that it has made a $23.5 million investment in the Mema work-focused app that uses AI to automatically organize notes.

The investment values ​​Mem at US$110 million post-cash and brings the startup’s total funds raised to US$29 million.

Co-founded by Kevin Moody and Dennis Xu, Mem differentiates itself from traditional note-taking apps by emphasizing “lightweight organization,” in the words of Moody and Xu. The workflow revolves around search and a chronological timeline, allowing users to attach tags to topics, tag other users, and add recurring reminders to notes.

Mem users can jot down quick notes, send links and save images from anywhere using SMS, messaging apps and the platform’s mobile client. Collaboration features allow teams to share, edit and comment on notes and directly attach them to shared calendars for faster reference.

Mem’s search experience uses AI to search notes, seeking to understand which notes may be most relevant to a particular person at any given time. Moody and Xu say the platform is designed to augment workers’ knowledge in their typical responsibilities, such as reading pages of information, extracting the parts relevant to a particular question, and transforming the information into an answer or report.


Image Credits: Mem

There is no doubt that knowledge-seeking tasks take time. According to according to Gartner, professionals spend 50% of their work time searching for information and take an average of 18 minutes to find a file (although credibility of indicators such as these has been disputed over the years). one source estimates that document disorganization costs businesses $3,900 per employee each year in lost productivity, making Mem an attractive proposition if the technology works as advertised.

“The top thing we hear from the organizations we talk to is the desire to be able to bring together their vast stores of proprietary knowledge with … generative AI models – to support use cases that range from conducting research to writing to selling and beyond,” Moody and Sue told TechCrunch in an email interview. “The magic of Mem is that we bring your own personal and proprietary data together with state-of-the-art generative language models to unlock truly personalized, factual results. We combine sources of knowledge at the individual, team and organizational levels, leading to significantly better performance in all areas.”

Mem recently released Mem It for Twitter, which allows users to save topics, receive AI-generated summaries of their content, and see suggestions for similar tweets. It also continues to improve Mem X, Mem’s built-in work assistant, with new features like Smart Write and Smart Edit, which use AI to generate text based on a prompt, summarize files, generate titles for documents, and allow users use natural language commands to edit or format text.


Image Credits: Mem

The plan for the foreseeable future is to increasingly lean on these kinds of AI-powered experiences, Moody and Sue say, with support from OpenAI through the OpenAI Startup Fund. Participants in the OpenAI Startup Fund receive early access to new OpenAI systems and Azure resources from Microsoft in addition to capital.

“OpenAI is clearly leading the wave of technological revolution we’re riding,” Moody and Sue said. “That makes the OpenAI Startup Fund the perfect partner for what we’re building—both for the technical expertise and strategic guidance they bring to the table.”

Mem competes with a number of companies that strive to address the same challenges of finding knowledge and organizing notes. In enterprise search, there is Glean, which recently raised $100 million in venture capital round. On the knowledge management side, the wiki-like collaborative workspace of Atlassian Confluence and Notion, which was appreciated at $2 billion in 2020, still dominate.

But Moody and Xu argue that the 16-employee Mem has the advantage of being “self-organized,” which ostensibly results in less manual management and labor. While they declined to reveal Mem’s revenue or the names of major customers, they say Mem is successful thanks to its AI-driven technology.

“We are confident in our unique approach to self-organization and generative knowledge management. … Our personalized machine learning models not only help knowledge workers stay organized automatically, but also go beyond just helping them find things—we actually help people do their jobs,” Moody and Sue said. “The shift to remote work has made effective, asynchronous knowledge sharing more important than ever, and the market slowdown has forced companies to focus on efficiency. Our AI-powered knowledge work saves people time, and the rapid improvement of large language models gives us even more headwinds.”

OpenAI leads $23.5 million round in Mem, an AI-based note-taking app from Kyle Wiggers originally published on TechCrunch

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