The Future is Context-Aware

Why Lightspeed is leading a $4.25M Seed in Granola

Today, Lightspeed is announcing that we’re leading a $4.25M seed investment in Granola, a new, London-based company with a bold vision to build the context-aware workspace of the future. Founded by Chris Pedregal and Sam Stephenson, Granola aims to change the way we all work through tools that deeply understand us, anticipate our actions, and augment our abilities. Though Granola is just getting started, we believe new breakthroughs in large language models, combined with Chris and Sam’s compelling vision for the future, and their best-in-class consumer product experience sets the company up well to dramatically improve how we all work.

However, our conviction in the Granola team began long before they had even conceived of the idea for the product. Around a decade ago, I met Chris in NYC as he was building his previous startup, Socratic, and I was building my company, Anchor. We bonded over our passion for powerful, yet easy to use consumer products and hyper rapid iteration that enabled us both to hack our way to product market fit. Even then, Chris had a strong vision for how technology could be leveraged to help make us smarter. In the case of Socratic, it was through a mobile app which helped students with their homework by using computer vision and AI. Way before LLMs were the coolest thing in tech, Chris and his team were able to deliver an AI-first consumer product that provided real value to tens of millions of students, and was ultimately acquired by Google.

In the years that followed, Chris would occasionally share with me his ideas for new consumer products. Most recently, he shared that he was building a new AI-powered product with another passionate and skilled product builder, Sam Stephenson. Upon learning more about their idea and getting to know Sam, we realized that the two were a perfect combination. Sam complemented Chris’ strong product vision and consumer go-to market ingenuity with the design skills to make complex experiences not only accessible, but beautiful. Plus, Sam had a compelling vision for how “tools for thinking” could be made both more powerful and easier for consumer audiences to grasp, with the help of AI. When they showed us what they were building, it became clear that the combination of these two founders working on this product at this exact moment in time had the potential to result in a generational company.

Chris Pedregal and Sam Stephenson, Granola co-founders

So what exactly are Chris and Sam building with Granola? While we don’t want to spoil their surprise, we can share that they are crafting a game-changing product that infuses the magic of modern code editors (IDEs) into everyday tasks like taking meeting notes, composing documents, scheduling meetings, and replying to emails. Chris and Sam believe that by tapping into the power of large language models (LLMs), Granola can revolutionize knowledge work, making it as seamless and enjoyable as coding with a modern IDE and GitHub CoPilot. They believe days of using “dumb text editors” for knowledge work will soon be a distant memory, replaced by smart tools that effortlessly grasp your context, predict your actions, and amplify your skills. If early iterations of the product are any indication, we very much share their belief.

We’re also excited that Chris and Sam are building Granola IRL in their home city of London. At Lightspeed, we believe London is quickly emerging as one of the world’s central hubs for AI-first product builders. We’re excited to see how Granola adds to this growing community as they assemble a world class team at their new office. The team is currently hiring a founding engineer to play a fundamental role in shaping the company and the product moving forward.

We’re on the cusp of a new era where intelligent tools empower us to unleash our full potential and focus on what truly matters. We believe Chris and Sam’s product will play a big part in this future, and we can’t wait to see its transformative impact in the years ahead. By bridging the gap between modern code editors and everyday tasks, Granola is poised to redefine the way we work, communicate, and collaborate.

-By Michael Mignano, Julie Kainz, Faraz Fatemi, and Paul Murphy

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