Ex-Twitter Engineers Launch Particle: A $4.4M AI-Driven News Reader

Particle.news is a new startup that uses AI to summarize the news in a way that is fair to both authors and publishers. They offer a personalized, “multi-perspective” news reading experience. The company was started by Sara Beykpour and Marcel Molina, two former engineers at Twitter. They worked on products like Twitter Blue, Twitter Video, and conversations. The idea behind Particle is to use AI to make it easier to keep up with the news.

Particle gives you a short, bulleted summary of the story using data from several different sources. The summary can help readers catch up, or they can choose to read more to find out how the story has changed over time. The startup has raised $4.4 million in seed funding from Kindred Ventures, Adverb Ventures, and angel investors such as Ev Williams, co-founder of Twitter and Medium, and Scott Belsky, founder of Behance.

Particle Launches Private Beta

Particle is just now releasing its private beta for testing, and the final product will probably be different. This is because the company wants to make a mobile app in the future and is hiring a senior iOS engineer for that purpose. Recently, Artifact, the now-closed startup from Instagram’s co-founders, used a similar model of using a variety of news sources and then using AI to summarize. For this case, Artifact’s team chose the news sources ahead of time based on how reliable and good they were.

A Solution to Clickbait

Another AI-powered news app, Bulletin, was also recently launched to tackle clickbait along with offering news summaries. A lot of people are interested in this area, so Particle’s founding team could make it stand out. The co-founders came from Twitter, so they know what a real-time news ecosystem is like and have the technical and product knowledge to make a good product. It remains to be seen if publishers who think AI is taking over their space will feel “fairly compensated.”

Adverb Ventures Backs Innovative Startup

In a LinkedIn post about the company’s investment, April Underwood, co-founder and managing director of Adverb Ventures, gave the company high marks: “They asked us to back them, but we could not until our first capital call was over. We had to wait until our first close for Fund 1 to send them the money!” She also said that Adverb had just closed its $75 million Fund 1 a few months ago. As we set out to build a new early-stage company, Sara and Marcel were the kind of founders we hoped to work with. They are going after a big problem. They know how to solve big problems while keeping the quality of their work high. They can also get other smart people to work with them, and the three of them can come up with something that people do not even know to ask for yet. 

AI will affect every part of people’s digital lives, both at work and at home, they say. On top of that, it is hard to find breaking news from reliable sources, and social media is changing quickly.

Because of these factors, you have to think that the way people get their news will be different in a few years. In a modern way, Sara and Marcel are the only ones who can help people get the news they need.

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