AI content platform Jasper raises $125 million at $1.7 billion valuation

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As excitement about AI image and text generators grows, Jasper, a startup it describes as an “AI content” platform, has raised $125 million at a $1.7 billion valuation. This installment is the company’s first, notably, and comes after Jasper’s acquisition of AI startup Outwrite, a grammar and style checker, with more than one million users worldwide.

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CEO Dave Rosenmoser told TechCrunch that the funding will go towards building on Jasper’s core products, improving the customer experience, and bringing Jasper’s technology to more apps. Led by Insight Partners, with participation from Bessemer Venture Partners, IVP, Foundation Capital, Founders Circle Capital, Kotue and HubSpot Ventures, it will also support Jasper’s ongoing effort to fold the Outright brand under itself, he said, and two united companies. ‘ Prasad in 2023.

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“To be a market leader in generative AI, we need the appropriate infrastructure – this is what we will mobilize” [new] for capital,” Rosenmoser told TechCrunch in an email interview. “We want to build a world-class business, [and] To do this, we need capital and highly strategic partners.”

Rogenmoser launched Jasper early last year with JPMorgan and Chris Hull, who together have largely bootstrapped the company. Rogenmoser is a Y Combinator alum who co-founded Proof, a startup that used algorithms to optimize businesses’ websites. Morgan and Hull — who have backgrounds in business-to-business marketing and process automation — also helped launch Proof, whose technology formed the basis for Jasper.

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“I am a marketer by trade and have long been interested in AI and saw how it was becoming more tangible and accessible – moving from theory and education to a transformative, applied technology that can help people, Rosenmoser said. “with the advent of [OpenAI’s] GPT-3, we saw an opportunity to launch an AI content platform that can help businesses and professional creators to brainstorm and get their work done more quickly and efficiently. ,

image credit: Jasper

Jasper leverages AI to generate content for blog articles, social media posts, website copy and more. Using the platform, customers can describe in natural language what they want Jasper to write, whether a keyword-rich piece designed to rank well in search engines or repurpose existing content with additional context. has been done.

Lots of startups do this too – Copy.ai, WriteSonic, Peppertype, Wordtune and Simplified, to name a few. In fact, TechCrunch recently wrote a survey of the market for AI-powered, copy-generating edtech vendors, which is strong. Copysmith secured $10 million in funding for its AI-powered content generation platform last April, while Copy.ai closed a $10 million round in October.

Rogenmoser claims that Jasper’s language models – trained on 10% of the web and fine-tuned to “customer specificity” – set it apart. Among other apps and services, they power Jasper’s browser extension for Chrome that provides contextual content recommendations across platforms including Google Docs, Gmail, Notion and HubSpot.

“The people who win in generative AI will be the ones who have the best feedback loop,” he said. “We are committed to creating the best feedback for the AI ​​loop.”

Jasper’s other differentiator, Rosenmoser says, is JasperArt, a recently launched AI art-generating system. Like systems like the DALL-E 2, Jasper Art transforms cues into images, allowing users to adjust aspects such as the medium (e.g., “canvas,” “pastel”), art style (“Van Gogh”) and mood. Huh.

Jasper AI

image credit: Jasper

While there are many free and paid alternatives to JasperArt (see Static Diffusion, Pixelz.ai and MidJourney to name a few), Rosenmoser touts it as an art-generating system designed specifically for marketing applications. Like creating a copyright-free stock photo. He says one early adopter, Mongoose Media, is using JasperArt to generate flat leds and backgrounds “to scale” around product images for its designers.

Of course, like other AI text-to-image systems, Jasper Art has its limits. The FAQ on the product page notes that the system, which has a content filter to attempt to detect “sensitive” or “vulnerable” images, such as images depicting violence, may include bias that Negative stereotypes tend to generate reinforcing images (such as CEOs who are mostly white and male).

Under the terms of JasperArt’s license, customers also do not have the exclusive right to use the generated images. Generations of the system are free for anyone to rearrange and remix – perhaps an effort by Jasper to ease future intellectual property and fair use challenges. Systems like Jasper are often trained on billions of images from the web, some of which are copyrighted, leading image hosts like Getty Images to ban AI-generated art for fear of legal battles.

Rosenmoser acknowledged that there is “a lot to be learned” about the limitations surrounding AI content generation tools and what the future may look like.

“The biggest challenge facing the AI ​​generation industry is ethics with respect to data and consumer acceptance,” he said. “While we continue to be in awe of the power of our technology, we are aware of the responsibility it entrusts us with. We are committed to remaining accountable to the power of technology but we also recognize that our control is limited. “

Jasper AI

image credit: Jasper

The controversies have not eluded marketers, who appear eager to embrace AI technologies for text and image creation. According to a 2021 survey by Frasi, 63% of marketers would consider investing in AI to create and optimize ad copy. It’s a biased search – the phrase sells AI-powered copy generation software. But vendor-neutral analytics firm Statista reports that 87% of existing AI adopters are already using, or are considering using, AI to improve sales forecasting and their email marketing.

According to Rogenmoser, Jasper has over 70,000 customers and generated $40 million in revenue last year. The company expects to end 2022 with more than double revenue — $90 million — fueled by discussions about AI for EdTech and MarTech.

“We are a hypergrowth company that is also focused on profitability,” Rosenmoser said. “The pandemic has accelerated this business. As organizations look for ways to find efficiencies within teams, AI generation is the natural choice for creators and growing teams. ,

Added Insight Partners’ Jeff Horing in an emailed statement: “It’s not often that you see a significant change in the form of generative AI, and Jasper as a way to transform the way businesses develop content and express ideas.” The company has built a huge community around AI in such a short period of time, and we see new use cases being shared every day, including in the enterprise. We at Jasper Team We look forward to partnering with you as they move forward and expand on their vision.”



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