While working at Vetan, a startup that helps small and medium-sized (SMB) businesses manage employee payroll, Ranti Dev Sharma realized that SMBs often lacked the tools to thrive online through organic sales. Hiring an agency costs more than they can budget for, and generating content is costly—both in time and money.
“Having a good online presence is critical for e-commerce stores like Shopify and Woo because online traffic is the foundation of their business,” Sharma said in an email interview with TechCrunch. “But existing content marketing solutions are incomplete. , requires search engine optimization (SEO) expertise. Businesses need multiple SEO tools and hire content strategists, writers and agencies to outsource their content marketing efforts.”
Thus, Sharma co-founded with Jatin Mehta and Ayush Jasuja fast brand, which aims to use generative artificial intelligence to bring “high-quality” affordable SEO content to SMEs. SpeedyBrand announced today that it has raised $2.5 million in a funding round led by GV (Google’s venture capital arm) and Y Combinator, at a post-money valuation of the company at $15 million.
SpeedyBrand’s platform is powered by generative artificial intelligence to create custom SEO-optimized content for brands, including websites and social media posts. Brands start by choosing a theme. They then let the platform generate text and suggest images that might be appropriate for the type of content they generate.
From SpeedyBrand’s dashboard, the generated content can be edited and further customized before publishing to various channels. The analytics component allows brands to track the performance of content after it goes live.
“A slowing economy requires cost-effective marketing solutions,” Sharma said. “Speedy is well-positioned to help businesses provide affordable solutions.”
But there are reasons to be wary of the technology.
One is that generative AI, no matter how good it is, can and does get out of control. AI models sometimes confidently invent facts due to a phenomenon known as “hallucination.” And, because of bias and other imbalances in the training data, text-generating AI can spew toxic, downright offensive remarks.
Another potential problem for brands is generative AI plagiarizing copyrighted works.one study GPT-2, ChatGPT’s indirect predecessor, was found to be able to prompt to “copy and paste” entire passages in its training data.
There’s also the problem of generative AI spreading spam on the internet.As The Verge’s James Vincent wrote in a recent article piece, generative AI models are changing the economics of the web — making it cheaper and easier to generate low-quality content. Newsguard is a company that provides news source review tools, exposed Hundreds of ad-supported websites with generic-sounding names contain misinformation created using generative artificial intelligence.
Sharma claims that SpeedyBrand is not a content factory and that it will take steps to reduce any toxic content that the platform’s artificial intelligence may produce. He claims that SpeedyBrand’s AI can personalize to brand tone and generate provably “plagiarism-free” content, incorporating feedback from content editors to improve future output.
To what extent is all this true? It’s hard to say without a third-party audit. But brands undoubtedly eager to jump on the generative AI train seem to be embracing SpeedyBrand.
The company has a team of six, about 50 paying customers and more than 1,000 users. Annual recurring revenue is $100,000, and Sharma expects to hit $1 million next year.
That’s impressive considering the competition. SpeedyBrand faces a challenge from Typeface, which recently raised $65 million in venture funding. Startups like Movio, copywriterCopy.ai, Sellscale, Jasper, Omneky, and Regie.ai are also using generative AI to create (ostensibly) better marketing copy, images, and even videos for ads, websites, and emails.
This is a huge and growing market.Stasta Report 87% of current AI adopters are already using or considering using AI to improve their email marketing.other Report The generative artificial intelligence market is expected to be worth more than $110 billion by 2030.
Given close to half of small and medium business owners are responsible for their own content marketing, a group that has a stronger incentive to adopt tools that, at least superficially, save time, money, and enormous hassle.
“Speedy saves the company’s marketers time on their marketing efforts—from strategy to content generation to distribution,” Sharma said. “Speedy gives them and their teams hours of time each day so they can focus on their core business.”
SpeedyBrand plans to use the proceeds of the round to launch more text and image generation tools.