Text-checking software maker Grammarly is worth $13 billion in latest funding round

Grammarly CEO Brad Hoover.

Grammarly, a start-up whose software highlights issues as people write in its web app and other programs, said Wednesday that it sports a $13 billion valuation after taking on $200 million in new funding from Baillie Gifford, General Catalyst, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock and other investors.

The backing shows investors are willing to pay a premium for a specific type of productivity software, despite the dominance of cash-rich companies such as Google and Microsoft in the market.

Notion, a start-up whose software enables people to create collaborative documents, said in a statement last month that it had raised money at a $10 billion valuation, and Forbes reported in March that Airtable, a start-up developing next-generation spreadsheet software, was worth about $5.8 billion.

Grammarly’s free service picks up on misspellings, grammatical mistakes and unnecessary words. A paid version offers additional types of recommendations and detects plagiarism. Business and enterprise tiers help workers stay compliant with style guides and a common brand voice. Around 30 million people use Grammarly every day.

Google Docs and Microsoft Word can do some of what Grammarly can do. Services such as Advance Publications-owned Turnitin can find instances of plagiarism. But given all of its capabilities, Grammarly doesn’t have a single direct competitor, CEO Brad Hoover told CNBC in an interview.

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