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YC-backed SigmaOS browser turns to AI-powered features for monetization

Web browsers have realized they are one of the best ways for users to access the present set of AI tools, so they are working on being the first-choice containers for that. SigmaOS, a Y Combinator-backed company, is now banking on users’ desire to utilize AI tools and pay for them as the company is releasing new features like link preview summaries, pinch-to-summarize, and “look it up” browsing features.

Some of these features sound and work like rival browser Arc’s recent releases. But SigmaOS claims that its feature returns better quality results, which is a hard metric to quantify.

The company is releasing pinch-to-summarize on desktop, which works a bit like Arc’s new mobile feature. While the feature summarizer captures sections like information, ratings, reviews, prices, and photos from an Airbnb listing, it just gives a small paragraph of info for an article, which is not sufficient. Arc browser’s summarize function also had its own hiccups in terms of missing out on key information, but it worked consistently across formats.

pinch to summarize

Image Credits: SigmaOS

One of the company’s co-founders Mahyad Ghassemibouyaghchi said that SigmaOS will adapt to different page types in the coming months and will present summaries in various formats based on the web page.

SigmaOS’s marquee feature from this release is called “Look it up.” It browses the web for a given query and makes a summary page out of the information that it finds. This is similar to Arc’s “Browse for me” function, but on desktop. One key differentiator is that users can ask follow-up questions to explore more about the topic.

Look it up

Image Credits: SigmaOS

Besides that, the startup is also releasing link previews on hover and automatic renaming for locked (pinned) pages.

Going all out on AI

Last year, SigmaOS released some AI-powered features such as a contextual assistant called Airis, which can answer your questions about a webpage or the broader web.

At one point, the startup tried to monetize through team-based features. Now, the company is looking to monetize its AI features. It said that all users would get access to AI-powered features but for $20 per month users would get better rate limits for AI features. For $30 per month, they would get unlimited usage and the ability to choose between different models such as GPT-4, Perplexity and Claude 3 Haiku.

Separately, the company is now thinking big by aiming to release an AI-agent-like feature, which will let you use the browser in a hands-free mode. In a demo video, Ghassemibouyaghchi shows how users could clear emails or book an Airbnb by interacting with the browser with voice. This is a similar idea to the Rabbit r1 device, which aims to traverse an interface for you to complete a task.

The company is also aiming to build something called “repeatable flows,” which are automatic actions based on triggers like time. You can think of them as the If This Then That (IFTTT) of browsers, but that’s still in the concept stage.

Separately, SigmaOS’s competitor Arc, which recently raised $50 million in funding at a $550 million valuation, announced in January that it plans to build an AI agent that browses the web for you.

Ghassemibouyaghchi said that more than 100,000 users have been using their product. Until now, SigmaOS has raised $4 million from investors like LocalGlobe and Y Combinator. With this launch, the company aims to gain some traction and wants to prepare for its next raise.

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