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Pryon, a Raleigh, North Carolina-based provider of AI-powered tools targeting enterprise, today announced that it’s raised $20 million in a series A funding round in partnership with Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, with participation from Breyer Capital and Digital Alpha Advisors. The capital infusion follows on the heels of a $4.5 million seed round in November 2018, and CEO Igor Jablokov says it’ll be used to further develop Pryon’s core product, grow its roster of Fortune 500 customers, and develop strategic partnerships.

“There is an opportunity for organizations to revolutionize their workplaces by giving employees the power of AI at their command,” added Jablokov. “We fill the market space between emerging technologies that are difficult and expensive to implement and existing products that are designed for simple rules-based services.”

With Pryon, Jablokov — who served as program director on IBM’s Watson team and previously founded Yap, a service offering cloud-based speech-to-text that was acquired by Amazon in September 2011 — sought to engineer a platform that “combines the strength of humans and machines.”

It’s on trend. Accenture reports that AI has the potential to increase productivity by 40% or more and to boost profitability by an average of 38%. Furthermore, in a recent Deloitte survey, 42% of executives said they believed that AI will be of “critical importance” within two years, driven by advances in natural language processing, machine learning, deep learning, and computer vision. And Gartner forecasts that by 2022, decision support and augmentation technologies will represent 44% — worth roughly $1.72 trillion — of global AI business value.

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Pryon’s approach leverages AI to orchestrate information across channels with contextual awareness, natural language, and other techniques. It enables employees to interact with a voice-based agent that can retrieve answers and documents from disparate apps and data pipelines, and because it’s modular in design, companies can add functionality as needed.

Pryon is already gaining traction. Its impressive client list includes AT&T, Chick-fil-A, Cox, Delta, Georgia-Pacific, Georgia Power Foundation, Goldman Sachs, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Invesco, the Home Depot, UPS, and several other Fortune 500 companies.

“The Third Wave of technology will bring about great opportunities for enterprises that are willing and able to innovate,” said Steve Case, former CEO of American Online and chairman of Revolution. “Pryon is delivering solutions to empower employees and enterprises to tackle the challenges brought on by this next wave of technological progress. They are another great example of a company that is successfully building disruptive technology outside Silicon Valley.”

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