AI-powered writing assistant Writer nabs $21M
Writer, which bills itself as an AI writing assistant for marketing teams, today announced that it raised $21 million. (Writer’s total now stands at $25 million.) Insight Partners led the series A round with participation from Gradient Ventures, which Writer CEO May Habib says will be put toward customer acquisition initiatives and headcount growth.
Writer’s growth comes as marketers increasingly look to AI to bolster their customer outreach. According to McKinsey, 80% of high-performing companies have adopted AI in marketing and sales for tasks like pricing, prediction of likelihood to buy, and customer service analytics.
“Our vision is great writing for everyone,” Habib said in a statement. “Most teams don’t have the editorial resources to ensure strong writing and consistent messaging across large amounts of content, so we provide a seamless way to help everyone at a company write well, write fast, and be on-brand.”
San Francisco, California-based Writer, formerly Qordoba, was founded by Habib and Waseem Alshikh in 2015. Alshikh was previously the CEO at iMena, a holding company with news, ecommerce, and classified ads businesses operating in the Middle East and North Africa. Habib was VP at one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, where she was the first employee on the technology investment team.
The two started Writer out of a mutual desire to build software that helps companies write more clear, consistent marketing copy. Leveraging AI, Writer’s platform delivers guidelines that help organizations align content spanning communications, marketing, product, and human resources documents.
On the AI side, Writer employs an engine that evaluates things like plagiarism, sentence complexity, tone, paragraph length, spelling and grammar, formality, active voice usage, and other key metrics. Beyond this, the platform lets companies create a “single source of truth” for brand terms that users can build, edit, and share. For example, teams can provide examples of usage with descriptions and guidance and use tags, filters, statuses, and edit history to organize terms into a taxonomy across apps including Chrome, Microsoft Word, and Figma.
“From single sentences to page-long templates, make it easy for your team to reuse your approved content,” Writer explains on its website. “Preserve formatting, lists, and links, and include variable placeholders for dynamic content. Organize your snippets into a library with tags, filters, and statuses so they’re easily findable.”
With Writer’s snippet shortcuts feature, users can call up a snippet anywhere they write with a shortcut, or search in-line for content. And with Writer’s admin functions, team leaders can set editorial style rules for punctuation and capitalization while enforcing reading grade level requirements across the organization.
Writer offers style guide management with templates and examples, allowing users to link to rules, term banks, and snippets libraries. The fonts, colors, and branding on style guide pages are customizable, and the pages can be published to the web for public consumption.
Enterprises are boosting their investments in tools like Writer that tap natural language processing (NLP), the subfield of linguistics and AI concerned with how algorithms analyze large amounts of language data. According to a survey from John Snow Labs and Gradient Flow, 60% of tech leaders indicated that their NLP budgets grew by at least 10% compared to 2020, while a third — 33% — said that their spending climbed by more than 30%.
Writer has competition in Grammarly, which similarly provides an AI-powered writing assistant for a range of use cases. But Writer asserts that Grammarly doesn’t boast the same style guide and “voice alignment” capabilities, nor features like gender-neutral pronoun and “plain language” conversion.
Writer counts Pinterest, Bill.com, Accenture, Deloitte, Twitter, and Intuit as customers. This year, annual recurring revenue tripled as the startup’s customer base reached 150 brands.
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