Grammarly, a Ukrainian-born unicorn, aims to “improve lives” through improved written English style

Should he still be alive, Shakespeare might be happy to learn that a startup whose only purpose is to help people write English correctly has been valued at more than $1 billion.

Such is the case of Grammarly, a San Francisco-based startup with Ukrainian roots,  which has just secured $90 million in a round led by General Catalyst with participation from IVP and other unnamed investors. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but the Grammarly’s unicorn status was revealed by its CEO Brad Hoover in an exchange with TechCrunch.

General Catalyst and IVP were also among the investors in a previous round, in May 2017, when Grammarly raised $110 million.

The company was founded in 2009 by Kyiv natives Aleksey Shevchenko and Maksim Litvin. Its AI-powered software helps people improve writing, monitoring errors in grammar and syntax, as well as incorrect speech constructions in real time.

Grammarly’s solution will explain why an expression should be avoided and recommends a more correct version. The program can also check the text for plagiarism, and suggests the right tone to use depending on who will be doing the reading.

Grammarly claims its algorithms have been “developed by the world’s leading authorities on linguistic technology.” A variety of innovative approaches are used, including advanced machine learning and deep learning, which has earned the startup recognition as “one of the world’s most innovative AI companies.

Since launching its freemium product in January 2015, the company has grown to over 20 million daily active users.

The company has 200 team members in San Francisco, New York, Vancouver and Kyiv.

Topics: Finance, International, Software, Startups, Venture/Private equity
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