Primer announces $110 Million Series C investment
Today, we are delighted to announce that Addition is leading a $110 million Series C investment in Primer to help us drive even greater momentum. Addition’s founder Lee Fixel has joined the Primer board, and I am excited to work closely with him as we bring our NLP technology to the biggest and most important organizations in the world. As part of our Series C, we also welcomed Steadfast Capital, Sands Capital, J2 Ventures, and Crumpton Ventures, the investment group founded by Henry A. Crumpton, former deputy director of the CIA’s Mission Center for Counterterrorism, as new investors. We are also grateful to have the continued strong support from our existing investors who have been with us since the start, including Amplify, Lux Capital, DCVC, Section 32, Bloomberg Beta and Avalon Ventures.
Since our launch six years ago, Primer has become a world leader in Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology for mission-critical applications. Today we serve a broad range of government agencies, Fortune 50 companies, leading non-profit organizations and many others around the world. Our customers depend on Primer’s industrial-grade NLP solutions to help them defend the country, build their companies or transform their organizations.
Faster growth and increased investment in deep technology to better serve our customers
Despite many challenges globally, 2020 was a strong year for Primer. We achieved significant revenue and ARR growth driven by multiple million dollar contracts, and importantly our first $10M+ contract. With the capital from the Series C, Primer will be able to accelerate product development for both government and commercial sectors, enabling us to bring our powerful NLP technology and accessible AI products to many more organizations worldwide.
NLP is undergoing a revolution as new AI breakthroughs push the boundaries of machine performance in reading and writing tasks. We are now able to build machines that can achieve human level performance (HLP) in many different language tasks – from information extraction, to document classification to summarization. This $110 million investment will allow us to continue to develop our core technology, and build larger and better performing language models as we push the boundaries of what is possible in NLP.
Growing the team
Primer was started in San Francisco, but we have quickly expanded globally. This year, we opened new offices in London and Singapore and are building out our technical engineering capabilities in those markets to be able to work closely with our customers in Europe and Asia. We look forward to expanding our global footprint and increasing our capacity to build and deploy world-class NLP products to our customers around the world.
To support our growth, we are actively recruiting for many roles within the organization. Over the past year we more than doubled our headcount, growing from 70 to 175 team members. Over 60% of our team today is made up of engineers and machine learning experts with advanced degrees or PhDs, and we continue to be focused on expanding what we believe is one of the leading technical teams in our field globally. As we expand, we will stay true to the DNA of our founding team and continue to grow our investment into deep technology.
As part of scaling the team for the next phase of growth we are pleased to announce the addition of two key executives to the Primer team: Karin Knox, CMO, brings a wealth of experience in leading product marketing and philanthropic product deployment at Palantir; and Sachin Chawla, SVP Engineering, has spent 30 years in leadership roles at Informatica, Oracle, and most recently Trifacta.
Defending the country and building the business
Serving our National Security needs has been a core part of our DNA from Day 1, and the rollout of our NLP technology is having a significant impact. Primer solves information overload by making it easier for intelligence analysts, operators, and decision-makers to use all the information available to them to drive situational awareness and operations. Intelligence teams use Primer to compile comprehensive briefings, monitor global events in real time, identify disinformation, extract insights from massive caches of data, and much more. For government customers, I’m proud to say that Primer is helping drive quick, accurate and data-driven decisions that can save lives.
It has been fantastic working with many large commercial organizations to bring NLP into their business. With our recent Primer Automate launch, we built a strong technical foundation to continue to expand into additional verticals in the commercial sector. We are committed to making NLP as easy as possible to integrate with your enterprise. Now businesses of all sizes can build their mission-critical applications on top of our technology or use Automate to build and deploy flexible NLP solutions, even without a data science team.
Stay tuned for more great things to come this year
I’m proud of the team for what we have accomplished so far. I look forward to this new capital fueling even more growth – we’ve only just begun. If you are interested in being part of a company building world-class NLP technology for mission-critical applications, take a look at our job openings – we’re hiring!