Why We Invested: Jasper

When we first met Dave and his co-founders in early 2021, we were dumbstruck. It was hard to fathom how 13 people in a small Austin office achieved their scale in just a matter of months. What we realized then – and see clearly now – is that this is the right team solving the right problem. 

AI and machine learning algorithms have made great strides in analyzing and predicting human behavior but only recently developed the capabilities to create original written, audio, and visual content through “Generative AI.”  While the applications of Generative AI are broad, Jasper is making it immediately accessible to individual and enterprise content creators, unlocking their creative potential and accelerating content production on an unprecedented scale.

We believe the shift from predictive to Generative AI will fundamentally change the way individuals and businesses create content, and that is why we are excited to invest in Jasper, a company that is leading the first wave of this revolution.

Founder-Market Fit

Dave and his two co-founders – Chris and John – have spent the last decade in online marketing. In 2017, they made their first venture into software when founding Proof, an app designed to increase online conversions using personalization. This got them accepted into Y Combinator, and by the end of 2019, Proof they scaled to +$1M of annualized revenue with hundreds of customers. 

Then, OpenAI released GTP-3, considered by many to be “the first AI that truly understands language.” The tech is broad by nature, and the rush to find applications for this technology is what ignited the Generative AI movement. 

If Dave and his team hadn’t grown up in the content marketing world, it’s unlikely they would’ve been the first to see the opportunity for a product like Jasper. They knew from firsthand experience that model-generated text had just reached a critical threshold, and was now ready for widespread adoption in digital marketing. Dave not only saw an opportunity and seized it, he understood the potential for Generative AI to unlock the creative potential of the masses writ large. 

The Jasper Community

With modern LLM models, establishing a minimum viable product is easy (proof: could you tell we used Jasper to write this post?). The challenge, however, is teaching practitioners how to use it intelligently. Users must understand how the AI “thinks” to get real value from it. Similar to what we’ve seen in the world of open-source software, community is what drives adoption of complex technology. 

When it comes to community, Jasper is unrivaled. Since launching in January 2021, it has amassed more than 70,000 paying subscribers. More impressive, their Facebook group is 67,900 members strong, with hundreds of posts each month on how they are leveraging Jasper for their own businesses. That level of community engagement is exceptionally rare, and it’s exactly what’s needed to turn a broad-based AI model into a tool with practical value. This is what drove our investment in 2021.  

Refining the Vision

Since our initial investment, Jasper has made massive strides in refining its value proposition. Using feedback from its user community, the company has a product roadmap that addresses the pain points felt by its two major customer types – individual creators and larger enterprises. 

For individual creators, Jasper solves the problem of writer’s block. The hard part about writer’s block is it appears everywhere – whether you’re drafting an email, coming up with an Instagram caption, or writing a blog post on “why we invested.” The browser extension Jasper announced today – Jasper Anywhere – removes this friction. Now, users can take generative AI with them wherever they go, across the full range of websites and content platforms they use, whether it be Gmail, Notion, HubSpot, Google Docs, or social media.

Jasper also helps larger enterprises scale their content marketing efforts. Marketing teams can use Jasper to generate blog articles, social media posts, eBooks and website copy much faster and on a larger scale, while maintaining consistent messaging and their brand’s unique voice. This allows marketers to focus more of their time on bigger picture content strategy and initiatives. 

Today, Jasper already makes the $400B content marketing business more efficient. Content marketing agencies we spoke to cited up to 50% reductions in labor costs when deploying Jasper across their operations. Over time, Jasper has the opportunity to work directly with enterprises, capture their unique tone, and build those preferences into a custom content creation model. 

The future is bright for Jasper, and we couldn’t be more excited to support this team as they embark on the next leg of their journey. This Series A financing, and the addition of Insight, Bessemer, Coatue, IVP and HubSpot, among others, is a major step towards bringing AI to the masses.

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