This Austin-based Startup Enjoys the Wave of AI Generative Instruments
Tech writers have been expressing concern for years about how AI will replace the need for a variety of human-staffed professions, like truck driving and portfolio management. Turns out, the AI bots are really coming for us.
When Open AI released ChatGPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer), a revolutionary technique that employs a neural network to have conversational exchanges, in November 2022, the content writing sector saw a significant shift that sparked considerable controversy.
But what are there any implications particularly for technical writing’s future? Will technical writers be replaced by AI?
No, AI will not replace technical writers soon but assist the writing process, some startups have been so famous these days thanks to giving out generative AI tools to help writers conduct their tasks faster. Sitting in the front row right now, we can see Jasper, the startup that allows individuals and teams to leverage AI to scale their content strategies.
This startup was founded by Dave Rogenmoser in 2021. With this company’s solution, anyone from individual freelancers to creators at enterprise companies can break through writer’s block, repackage what they’ve written, create original images, and adapt their content to different formats and languages.
Talking about the top-notch technologies of successful companies seems to be a little bit boring. Though, the story of how Jasper can take a seat at the table of this deal is somehow more engrossing. Let’s read on to find out.
Hero Behind Jasper: Defying the Odds and Moving “Mountains”
At the company’s well-known name always stands the ardent vision of the caption. However, in this narrative of Jasper CEO Dave Rogenmoser, it’s not the one-night success, but takes a long way to construct the victory.
In 1979, Dave Rogenmoser was born. At birth, the doctor discovered that Rogenmoser did not have lower legs, but this didn’t hold Rogenmoser back in any way. He battled against the odds and triumphed extraordinarily thanks to his tenacity and guts.
He participated in the Paralympics and won a gold medal, becoming a well-known Paralympic athlete. After the Paralympics, he transitioned into business ownership, marketing, and software development. His narrative is one of inspiration, fortitude, and triumph in the face of every adversity.
Jasper AI was not Dave Rogenmoser’s first endeavor. There are other businesses he started before creating the generative platform.
Dave Rogenmoser’s first company was not a success. In 2015, when he began working with two of his friends, John Philip Morgan and Chris Hull, while they were still in school, and founded RedWood Recruiting.
The triplets were all interested in starting a business as friends. The team’s goal was to aid others in improving their marketing, and their initial project together was a marketing firm that later evolved into a coaching program for marketers. This led to the development of a software company called Proof, which assisted B2B businesses in raising website conversion rates.
After a few years, Proof had really flatlined, and the three no longer saw a way to continue with it. Rogenmoser saw an opportunity to create a product that would perfectly combine what his team already knew how to do well (marketing) with an emerging technology that would change the world (generative AI), and that is how Jasper was created.
After receiving positive initial reactions, the CEO knew his business were onto something. The product market fit was there early on, and they had an existing network that could validate that. From there, the three naturally shifted the rest of the Proof team into Jasper, and everything just took off after that.
As a matter of fact, Dave Rogenmoser got inspired much by the GPT models of OpenAI when it debuted. As an entrepreneur that has been through ups and downs, Jasper CEO surely smelt the potential of this generative tool industry in near future. This led to his decision to adopt his pal’s technology but make it more flawless with the goal of being close to the end customer.
Being “Obsessed” with Helping Customers Take Advantage of Technology
Rogenmoser first showed interest in generative AI when GPT-3 came out in summer of 2020. Although he couldn’t access it at the time, he felt like the technology had finally advanced to the point where its output quality was truly usable and beneficial.
In fact, Jasper uses the same GPT-3 language model that ChatGPT uses (developed by OpenAI) to create human-like copy and content. The firm also provides “Jasper Chat,” a ChatGPT alternative that functions like a chatbot. You can have a natural discussion with AI using Jasper Chat and receive accurate responses to your questions.
In the game of content which takes many different forms, all of which begin with a blank page and a creative drive: blog posts, Tweets, social media ads, YouTube videos, product descriptions, language translations, marketing emails, eBooks, to name a few.
Additionally, the production of content is exploding; every day, business owners, producers, and marketers produce over 2 million blog posts on WordPress and 432,000 hours of video on YouTube. But friction, repetition, and numerous failed attempts come along with any great work of content. That’s where Jasper comes in.
The Austin based company unlocks creativity, making generative AI accessible to businesses and individual creators. With the help of its platform, anyone with a laptop may overcome writer’s block, repackage their writing, produce fresh pictures, and translate their work into other languages and formats.
The underlying AI model is capable of producing lengthy blog posts and eBooks based on a prompt rather than just auto-completed sentences and brief headlines. Any of us can become a brilliant writer or artist thanks to it, and it can also help us avoid wasting hundreds of hours each year.
We have become acquainted with Rogenmoser well over the past year, and there are many qualities that made us want to dive into his rising firm to get a better understanding. For one reason is they’re obsessed with helping customers take advantage of this new technology.
For Jasper specifically, the priority is on staying really close to the end user. It’s easy to get sucked in by all the noise, the fascinating research and breakthroughs coming out, but this growing enterprise wants to maintain a grounded view of what their customers desire.
Customers don’t care about the models, tokens or temperature ratings. They’re just trying to write their blog post, draft an email, or create a landing page a little faster so they can clock out and get home to their kid’s birthday party. And that is the internal beat Jasper is trying to drum. The true focus is on being the best at what customers need the startup to be: the instrument that they use to get their tasks done faster.
There are many players in this game right now, trying hard to get their name on the honor board, but just a few has made it. Having an idea is the most fascinating thing, but it is just the first step. Businesses must differentiate themselves from other rivals not just by technology, but the thing that only they could do.
Outperforming Other Rivals by Identifying the Moat
With AI, the number one question that Dave Rogenmoser gets from VCs and those in this room is, “Where is the moat?”
On a macro level, this startup CEO doesn’t think the moat is in the AI, at least not in the models.
He believes there is a moat around the data. There may be around 15 models that write language rather effectively when they are released the next year, and all of them will allow businesses to fine-tune them only if these businesses have a sizable data collection to do so.
At Jasper, they have their own proprietary data set that their customers create for them through their feedback on what works and what doesn’t as the app generates content. This provides the company with high-quality input and output data sets that they can use to tell any model in the world, “Hey, we want more of this,” and the model can then presumably improve it.
“But if you don’t have that data set, you’re going to be stuck with a base model that is not finely tuned and is not going to work as well. So on the product side, our goal is to make sure that our research is accurate and our data is cleaned up,” said Dave Rogenmoser.
And that is just one of million difficulties that this rising sector is facing. Rogenmoser admitted that there is “much to be learned” regarding limitations on AI content generating tools and potential future regulations.
“The major challenge that the AI generation industry faces is around ethics in regard to data and consumer acceptance,” he said. “While we are in constant awe of the power of our technology, we are viscerally aware of the responsibility that assigns us. We are committed to remaining accountable for the power of technology, but we also acknowledge that our control is limited.”
No matter which obstacles are in front of the content generative platform right now, they can’t stop the team from gaining great achievements since the inception of the company, in just 24 months, this startup has become one of the leaders in the field. Take a closer look at their financial performance, we can see it more clearly.
Jasper Snapping in Big Deal for Riding the Wave of Generative AI Tools
As the enthusiasm all over AI image and text generators has gotten bigger, in October 2022, Jasper raised $125 million at a $1.5 billion valuation. The Funding Led by Insight Partners with involvement from Bessemer Venture Partners, IVP, Foundation Capital, Founders Circle Capital, Coatue and HubSpot Ventures.
Following this success, the company ended their second year with more than 100% YOY growth, but they seemed to be even more motivated by what’s ahead.
“As we’ve told our customers, we’ve used the funding from our Series A to deeply invest in product development, building new features for teams and growing companies. In the first half of 2023, you’ll start to see some results of this investment roll out,” said Dave Rogenmoser, CEO of Jasper.
Rogenmoser was early in spotting the opportunity generative AI created for marketing and sales teams. Their goal is to keep pioneering that space alongside our customers, innovating each year to make Jasper and AI for businesses better.
Moving forward, this startup hopes to expand beyond its individual creator base into large enterprises, which requires new features around collaboration and security. Right now, the team has over 70,000 paying customers, including users at companies like Airbnb, HubSpot, Autodesk, and IBM.
Jasper is shipping at a rapid pace. They recently released Jasper Art for creating original art in seconds. This new feature will produce four photographs in a couple of seconds if you just describe an image, including the things it contains, the atmosphere it should evoke, and its style.
Additionally, they’re launching Jasper Anywhere, a new browser plugin, to bring generative AI to all websites and content platforms that their customers use, including, but not limited to, Google Docs, Gmail, Notion, HubSpot, Shopify, social media networks, and content management systems. That means content creators will be able to bring the Jasper magic to their email inboxes, marketing campaign systems, and blogging tools.
In the long term, Rogenmoser said he believed his platform would become medium agnostic, adding audio and video generation to its offerings.
Their performance during the last 24 months has been incredible, but what’s ahead is unpredictable. Having been in the industry for years, Dave Rogenmoser understood the power of collaboration, that’s why this startup started a process of acquiring AI generative platform Outwrite, to get his Jasper to a new level.
The Next Bold Move to Boost Growth
Along with 2022 growth including 100,000 customers and 100% year-over-year growth came another exciting change: Jasper announces the official acquisition of Outwrite. This happened in December 2022 when the hype of AI generative tools has been dominant the internet.
Since the dawn of this tech company, it’s been a tool people have to log into to create content before copying and pasting in its final destination. That works great for some projects, but it would be better if Jasper were already a part of the customers’ existing tools. Dave Rogenmoser wishes to extend his platform’s visibility to be everywhere when people write, completely at their beck and call.
After speaking with numerous businesses that make excellent browser add-ons, Rogenmoser “felt in love” with the Outwrite product and its Australian team. In case you’re unfamiliar, Outwrite is a sophisticated platform and browser extension that enables you to create more powerful content (it has more than a million users globally in 211 countries!).
Whereas Jasper helps users create original content, Outwrite focuses on improving the grammar, style and structure of a user’s writing. It functions across all browsers and can even be opened in programs like Microsoft Word and Google Docs. This acquisition further Jasper’s goal of giving creative aid from generative AI wherever they work.
“Outwrite shares the belief that generative AI is the future of content creation, and Jasper is the leader in the space,” said Nick Hough, CEO of Outwrite. “We’ve seen a great deal of traction for our grammar focused extension and believe our partnership with Jasper will allow us to bring that to a global audience.”
Since ChatGPT and generative AI tools are freaking us out these days in the first quarter of 2023, some raise concerns if these advances are going to replace the human workforce. On the other side, venture capital firms seem to see this new rising sector as a great pie, they have invested over $1.7 billion in generative AI solutions over the last three years, with AI-enabled drug discovery and AI software coding receiving the most funding.
Rogenmoser has talked about this in an interview since his tech company is one of the top players in the field.
Dave Rogenmoser on the AI-Centric Future to Come
The CEO claims that there will be significant advancements in writing, image, and coding in the general field of generative AI.
“You’re going to see audio and more things around video,” he said.
Rogenmoser also thinks people are just going to see it packaged up in more niche ways, so we might have a Jasper that has somehow solved fast food restaurant workflows, or something that does legal work much better than his company.
“I see this tree of niche use cases that go really, really deep and solve that one problem really well. Any of these little, tiny little niches could be huge companies over the next 10 years.” he said.
In terms of Jasper’s future, Rogenmoser stated that although marketing has historically been the startup’s main use case, he is most enthusiastic about creating his tech business for sales and customer success teams.
“I don’t know exactly when we’ll do that – we definitely want to be laser-focused on marketing right now,” he said. “But ultimately, we want to start working our way out into other teams inside the company and solving for them one at a time.”
Despite the advances made in the field, Rogenmoser shares the worries of others who worry that biases in data may result in biased content, as was the case with Amazon’s abandoned sexist hiring algorithm. According to him, generative-AI firms must pay close attention to user feedback regarding biased content and modify training data as necessary.
Others have expressed concern about how humans would fit into an AI-centered future, but Rogenmoser is confident that AI will enhance rather than replace human capacities.
It’s unusual to witness a change as fundamental as generative AI, and Jasper is positioned to be a platform to revolutionize how companies create content and communicate ideas. In such a short period of time, the company has created a sizable community around AI, and we regularly see new use cases being shared, especially in the workplace.
Like other businesses, Jasper must identify an issue, effectively resolve it, and then assemble a team capable of continuing to do so more quickly and effectively. And they’re on track. They have a great product, right people, and now they just need to bridge the gap and get everyone in sync on how they want to keep building this fantastic product.
Though future remains vague, this supernova is likely to go further than any of our anticipations.