Dave Rogenmoser ⛳️🤖🦄

Dave Rogenmoser ⛳️🤖🦄

18-10-2022

13:26

Welp, Jasper just raised a $125 million Series A at a $1.5 billion valuation. From launch to unicorn in 18 months. 🦄 We’re one of the fastest-growing startups of all time, but our journey to this point was FAR bumpier than you may think. A thread… 🧵

1) 8 years ago, I sat down w/ JP and Chris, and we conceived the most wildly ambitious goal we could imagine. 1. Start a company (doesn’t matter what) 2. Make $6k/mo to support our families *Most importantly, our friendship and commitment to each other would supersede 1 and 2.

2) After shutting down two failed saas companies, we finally “struck gold” by starting a digital marketing agency. Our first client was doing SEO for a porta-potty rental company for $300/mo. I got my first paycheck of $375. We were "rich".

3) After a year, we pivoted & spent the next 3 years building a course company teaching all things marketing. - “Facebook Ads Mastery” - “Webinar Bootcamp” - “Web Conversion Secrets” - etc. We eeked out a little more money. (I gave JP a huge check as a joke) Still friends.

4) Courses businesses are great for learning, but hard to scale. We wanted to build saas. And wanted to go big. That meant we needed to get into YC. We got declined by @mwseibel because our idea for @useproof was weak. We were thinking too small, he said. He was right.

5) We spent six months growing @useproof and applied to YC again. Turns out that going from zero to $175k MRR in 10 months + having a big vision gives you a great shot at YC. This time around, we got “the call” from @daltonc with those magic words “Welcome to YC”

6) YC was amazing. I can’t recommend it enough. And no, it’s not ALL hard work. We spent plenty of time dreaming of global conquest in our luxury hot tub. The week after Demo Day we raised $2.2M at a $12M cap. We moved to Austin, TX, and were on our way!

7) Software would be easy, right? Wrong. We spent the next two and a half years learning many things, but perhaps most of all: a) Proof was a feature, not a company b) Building a website personalization product is very hard Congrats to @jalehr for making it work w/ Mutiny!

8) Enter the fall of 2020. Growth is stalled. Burning money. Getting weary. I’m so proud of the team we had and the work we were doing, but… We made the painful decision to lay off about half of our small team. I had let us down and hadn't found a way to make it all work

9) We could finally lift our heads up and ask “If we could build anything, what would we build?” We loved marketing. We loved building software. We wanted to use AI. Enter… GPT-3. This was my fateful first text to JP about it.

10) On January 15th, 2021 we launched Conversion dot AI (It would eventually become Jarvis, and after Marvel sent me a letter, would achieve its final form of Jasper.) We thought it would be good. But had no idea how good. The reactions from our early customers were visceral.

11) The last 20 months since launch have been pretty absurd. Customers getting tattoos. People saying “their lives have been changed forever” Even adding $3.6M ARR in a 4-day period 😳

12) Jasper probably looks like an overnight success to outsiders. The truth is, we’ve been working on this problem for 8 years now. For six years we really struggled. But each failure gave us the skills needed to build Jasper today. I feel like I was born for this moment.

13) We started as a little tool to write Facebook ads. Now, we have a clear vision for building the AI Content Platform that gives superpowers to every employee at every company on Earth (+ Mars). This $125M Series A gives us the fuel & the partners to accomplish the mission.

So thank you to all our investors who have believed in us the whole way. And most of all, thank you to our customers and tribe aka Jasper Nation for being the best people in the world to build for!

p.s. We're looking for really great AI and ML people to join the team and help pioneer the AI fronteer. Check out our open roles

Shoutout to the angels in this round @dcancel @amasad @ShaanVP @EMostaque @douglasmerritt @collinmathilde @ClementDelangue @andrewdfeldman @JohnBautista Gary Constance and Tony Maslowski



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