Upword Rolls Out AI Research Companion With $3M Pre-Seed Funding

Upword, an emerging knowledge management solutions provider, announced today the launch of its AI-powered research companion tool as well as the completion of a $3 million pre-seed funding round. The research companion uses Generative AI to transform how research is conducted and managed by leveraging data provided by the user. The tool delivers a personalized experience that adheres to traditional research methods while significantly boosting productivity.

The new tool’s public launch follows a successful beta that engaged 30,000 users and 1,000 paying customers. Upword was designed for researchers and students, but among beta users, 50% of paid subscriptions were professionals outside of academia, suggesting broad appeal across industries.  The beta was featured as Product of the Day and listed as one of the top AI products of the year on Product Hunt.

Upword leverages Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG) technology, which vectorizes all data and uploaded content, integrating them with various Large Language Models (LLMs) for queries, search, and brainstorming. This enables hyper-personalization of research outputs. By using multiple leading LLMs from providers such as GCP, AI21 Labs, Anthropic, and OpenAI, we reduce risks, optimize our cost structure, and ensure reliable AI capabilities.

Researchers, marketers, analysts, academics, and students often require highly tailored and context-specific outputs that general AI chatbots struggle to provide. Despite AI’s potential benefits, such as summarization, organization, and knowledge management, 9 out of 10 knowledge workers were disappointed with chatbot outcomes for “important research.”

Upword addresses these concerns by leveraging AI’s capabilities while ensuring high levels of personalization, tailoring, and contextualization for important research. Unlike traditional AI chatbots, Upword operates through a sophisticated interface designed specifically for research management. This interface includes:

  • AI Managed Content Library: Leveraging advanced auto-tagging and vectorizing technologies, the library automatically organizes and classifies the user’s research documents, making it significantly easier to locate and utilize information.

  • AI Co-pilot: Leveraging multiple leading large language models (LLMs) like Open AI, Anthropic, and Gemini, the co-pilot enhances professional content, providing tailored suggestions and support that adapt to the user’s specific needs. Unlike chatbots, it continuously learns about the user’s requirements and research, ensuring more tailored and context-based results.

  • User-Centric Research Experience: Upword is designed to put the user at the center of the research process and ensures an intuitive step-by-step experience. The user-friendly interface allows for seamless navigation through research activities, keeping the user in control.

  • Upword Fetch: This feature harnesses AI search engines and content recommendation engines to suggest materials from the web and the user’s library that could be used for each project based on the user’s project description. – The feature will roll out to all Upword users in the coming weeks.

“For researchers, the advancement of AI has had little effect on the way they work,” said Roee Barak, Founder and CEO of Upword. “The rigorous, step-by-step methodology that defines research has made AI chatbots overwhelming and often inconvenient. While studying in law school, my vision was to build productivity tools that kept me in control, accommodating the need for nuance and rigor in scholarly work while providing the benefits of generative AI. Upword was the result. Now, students, academics, and professionals across many industries have access to a tool that delivers on the promise of GenAI.”

In parallel to its product launch, Upword also announced the completion of its $3 million pre-seed round from prominent investors, including Telefonica (Wayra X), Go Ahead Ventures, and Goodwater Capital. The funding will be used for further development of the new product as well as expansion into additional markets.

“Our primary focus for the next year is on the end user,” added Barak. “We plan to enhance our single-player package by adding more features, improving management capabilities, and integrating with other parts of the research workflow. The year after this, we aim to expand our offerings to businesses and teams, enabling shared workspaces and knowledge collaboration and introducing visualization tools for teams.”


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