Forget medicine, in the future you might get prescribed apps

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

Natasha and Danny and Alex and Grace were all here to chat through the week’s biggest tech happenings. This time around we had whatever passes for a quiet week as far as news volume. But that still meant we had to cut stuff and move the rest around. But, once we got done editing the notes doc down, here’s what was left over:

Okay, the GPT-3 hype seems pretty reasonable

This morning TechCrunch covered an interesting round for, a startup that employs GPT-3 to help other companies with their writing projects. GPT-3, or Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3, is a piece of AI from the OpenAI group that takes text from the user, and writes a lot more for them.

As part of the process of covering the round, I got caught up in the idea of AI-powered writing. I’ve long been more curious than afraid of automated writing. So when the Copy team described their very positive impressions of the GPT-3 AI writing tool to TechCrunch during an interview, I was intrigued.

To scratch this newly-formed itch, I doodled around this morning with a competitor of sorts to the Copy team , Headlime. And, freaking heck am I am impressed at what folks have managed to build around the GPT-3 technology.

Sure, GPT-3 can add words to a prompt. But the technology can do a lot more than that. The GPT-3-powered Headlime managed to not only write some medium-good stuff for me, but also managed bring in concepts concerning my reporting beat that were in my head but not in the prompts I provided.

I can’t do better than just show you what I mean. So, here’s what happened when I used Headlime for the first time, sans help.

Here’s the first thing that Headlime showed me, a language selector and a request for a description of the post that I wanted to write. I (Read more...)

Writing helper raises $2.9M in a round led by Craft Ventures, a startup building AI-powered copywriting tools for business customers, announced a $2.9 million round this morning. The investment was led by Craft Ventures. Other investors took part in the deal, including smaller checks from Li Jin’s newly-formed Atelier Ventures, and Sequoia.

The startup is notable for a few reasons. First for its model of building in public. I initially heard of the company through its monthly updates that it posts on Twitter. Thanks to that, I can tell you that generated monthly recurring revenue (MRR) of $53,600. That figure, up 46% from January, works out to annual recurring revenue (ARR) of $643,200. also shares usage numbers, and, humorously, the number of Twitter followers that its founder Paul Yacoubian picked up in the last month.

The startup is also worth watching because it is part of a growing cohort of companies building atop GPT-3, what its progenitor the OpenAI project describes as an “autoregressive language model with 175 billion parameters.” More generally, it’s a piece of AI that can generate words.

Some investors are rather bullish on startups using the technology. Recently on TechCrunch, for example, Madrona’s Matt McIlwain wrote that “the introduction of GPT-3 in 2020 was a tipping point for artificial intelligence” that will lead to “the launch of a thousand new startups and applications.”

So far that’s holding up. Not only has managed to find early in-market traction, TechCrunch has covered a number of other startups busy leveraging GPT-3, including OthersideAi (Read more...)