Home Artificial Intelligence Macro raises $9.3M to layer intelligence on top of digital documents

Macro raises $9.3M to layer intelligence on top of digital documents

Macro raises $9.3M to layer intelligence on top of digital documents

Jacob Beckerman, a former investment logic engineer at Bridgewater Associates, grew frustrated using standard document apps like Acrobat and Microsoft Office to print out and mark up documents. He wondered why there wasn’t a option to read and write on a PC that felt as fluid as paper, which led him to experiment with PDF processing software.

By 2020, those experiments had grown into a completely fledged, custom PDF editor that Beckerman helped to construct from scratch. Using AI, the editor — called Macro — pulls out key terms, sections and equations to make documents interactive and hyperlinked.

The vision intrigued investors, it seems. Macro — the eponymous startup behind the tool, founded by Beckerman — has raised $9.3 million in a seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz with participation from Craft, BoxGroup and 3kVC. The capital infusion comes as Macro prepares to release a word-processing tool and grow the dimensions of its eight-person workforce.

“We imagine that there’s a big amount of room for improvement in open source formats like PDF, DOCX, PPTX, XLSX and email,” Beckerman told TechCrunch in an email interview. “The great thing about these formats is that they’re standards. No one owns them. They usually’re extensible, which implies you’ll be able to actually modify and construct on the usual. So as a substitute of writing proprietary formats from scratch, and as a substitute of ignoring the network effects these formats have already got, we’re extending and constructing on top.”

Macro goals to enhance PDF navigation with AI-powered highlights. Image Credits: Macro

To that end, Macro’s PDF editor — which is accessible totally free alongside a $49 per user, monthly plan for added features and an enterprise tier for volume licensing — lets users click on any cross-reference in a document to get an fast preview. Hyperlinks to pages and sections are inserted via an AI-powered detector if the underlying PDF doesn’t contain them, while web browser–like tabs provide a more flexible option to navigate between pages.

In Macro, documents can link between — in addition to inside — files. Furthermore, the software can compare files, consolidate edits from multiple Word and PDF files right into a single version, generate files from templates, and create one or many PDF documents at a time from a spreadsheet. Other features of note include a filterable side panel of potential detected errors in a PDF and a table of contents generator.

“We’re focused on power users of productivity apps. Finance runs on XLSX. Law runs on DOCX and PDF. Sales, compliance and more run on PDF. All the pieces runs on email,” Beckerman said. “We’re particularly enthusiastic about how we’ve made documents dynamic and interactive (inside DOCX and PDF) and next, we’re focused on making external comms more like chat (fun, fast and more informal) while maintaining backwards compatibility with email.”


Image Credits: Macro

After all, Macro isn’t the primary to attempt to shake up the PDF space. And it’s no wonder, really, given the chance. According to at least one source, PDF is the third-most popular file format on the net — more popular than JPEG, PNG or GIF files even. Research and Markets estimates that the marketplace for PDF editor software can be price $3.79 billion by 2027.

One in all the larger players is PSPDFKit, which provides APIs and a software developer kit that customers can use to power document processing features like e-signing, document viewing and editing and collaboration. One other is Nitro, which allows users to create, convert, edit and sign PDFs inside their browsers.

A degree in Macro’s favor is enthusiastic early adopters, Beckerman averred. He claims that the startup is currently working with “many” of the highest Wall Street investment banks, Am Law 100 and Magic Circle law firms, university endowments, private equity firms and hedge funds. And while he wouldn’t reveal the dimensions of Macro’s customer base — and even give a ballpark revenue estimate — Beckerman said that current economic pressures are working to Macro’s advantage.


Macro detects errors in documents. Image Credits: Macro

“We serve several banks and law firms that operate in counter-cyclical industries like restructuring and distressed investing, which is picking up in the present economic climate,” Beckerman said. “Little did we all know, our quest to upgrade the PDF experience was only the start of a much greater mission. As we begin to serve … organizations, we’re continuously surprised by what number of document problems were still left to resolve. Managing versions, information chaos and busywork still plague most workstreams — we’re excited to resolve these problems for our end users and enterprise clients.”

Macro’s focus in the approaching 12 months can be the aforementioned word-processing tool, followed by an “inter-company communication” tool, Beckerman said. “We’re serious about tailor-made solutions for various verticals,” he added. “We expect horizontal tools have a natural scale advantage, however it’s necessary to grasp how different teams will use the software to get different jobs done.”



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here