Regie.ai, a startup using OpenAI’s GPT-3 text-generating system to create sales and marketing content for brands, today announced that it raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Scale Venture Partners with participation from Foundation Capital, South Park Commons, Day One Ventures and prominent angel investors. The fresh investment comes as VCs see a growing opportunity in AI-powered, copy-generating adtech companies, whose tech promise to save time while potentially increasing personalization.
Regie was founded in 2020 by Matt Millen and Srinath Sridhar. Previously a software engineer at Google and Meta, Sridhar is a data scientist by trade, having developed enterprise-scale AI systems that detect duplicate images and rank search results. Millen formerly was a VP at T-Mobile, leading the national sales teams (e.g., strategic accounts and public sector).
With Regie, Sridhar says he and Millen aimed to create a way for companies to communicate with their customers via channels like email, social media, text, podcasts, online advertising and more. Because companies have so many platforms and mediums at their disposal to speak with customers, he notes, it can be a challenge for content marketers to produce continuously compelling content to reach their customers.
“The way content is getting generated has fundamentally changed,” Sridhar told TechCrunch in an email interview. “Marketers and copywriters working in the enterprise … increasingly [need] to produce and manage content and content workflows at scale.”
Regie uses GPT-3 to power its service — the same GPT-3 that can generate poetry, prose and academic papers. But it’s a “flavor” of GPT-3 fine-tuned on a training data set of roughly 20,000 sales sequences (the series of steps to convert prospects into paying customers) and nearly 100 million sales emails. Also in the mix are custom language systems built by Regie to reflect brands and their messaging, designed to be integrated with existing sale platforms like Outreach, HubSpot, and SalesLoft.
Lest the systems spew problematic language, Regie says that every system goes through “human curation” and vetting before being released. The startup also claims to train the systems on “inclusive” language and test them for biases, like bias against certain demographic groups.
Customers can use Regie to generate original, optimized-for-search-engines content or create custom sales sequences. The platform also offers blog- and social-media-post-authoring tools for personalizing messages, as well as a Chrome extension that analyzes the “quality” of emails that customers send — and optionally rewrites the text.
“Generative AI is completely disrupting the way content is created today. The biggest competitors of Regie would be the large content authoring and management platforms that will be completely redesigned AI first going forward,” Sridhar said confidently. “For example, Adobe’s suite of products including Acrobat, Illustrator, Photoshop, now Figma as well as Adobe Experience Cloud will start to get outdated as Regie continues to build on an intelligent content creation and management platform for the enterprise.”
More immediately, Regie competes with vendors like Jasper, Phrasee, Copysmith and Copy.ai — all of which tap AI to generate bespoke marketing copy. But Sridhar argues that Regie is a more vertical platform that caters to go-to-market teams in the enterprise while combining text, images and workflows into a single glass pane.
“Generative AI is such a paradigm shift that not only productivity and top-line of companies will go up as a result, but the bottom line will also go down simultaneously. There are very few products that can improve both sides of that financial equation,” Sridhar continued. “So if a company wants to reduce costs because they want to assimilate sales tools, or reduce outsourced writing while simultaneously increasing revenue, Regie can do that. If you are an outsourced marketing agency looking to retain more customers and efficiently generate content at scale, Regie can definitely do that for agencies as well.”
The company currently has more than 70 software-as-a-service customers on annual contracts including AT&T, Sophos, Okta and Crunchbase. Sridhar didn’t reveal revenue, but said that he expects the 25-person company to grow “meaningfully” this year.
“This is a revolutionary new field. And as always, adoption will require educating the users,” Sridhar said. “It is clear to us as practitioners that the world has changed. But it will take time for others to get their hands dirty and convince themselves that this is happening — and that it is a very positive development. So we have to be patient in educating the industry. We also have to show that content quality isn’t compromised and that it can perform better and be maintained more consistently with the strategic application of AI.”
To date, Regie has raised $14.8 million.