Text Blaze raises $3.3M for its speed-writing automation service – TechCrunch

by Joseph K. Clark

Text Blaze, a part of the recent Winter 2021 Y Combinator accelerator batch, announced closing a $3.3 million seed round. The company’s investment was led by Two Sigma Ventures’ Villi Iltchev and Susa Ventures’s Leo Polovets.

The company’s product hybridizes two trends that TechCrunch has been tracking in recent years: automation and the written word. On the automation front, we’ve seen Zapier grow into a behemoth, while no-code products and RPA have made the concept of letting software boost worker output increasingly mainstream. And on the writing-assistance side of things, from Grammarly to Copy.ai, it’s clear that people are willing to pay for tools to help them write better and more quickly.

So what does Text Blaze do? Two main things. First, its Chrome extension allows users to save “snippets” of Text that they can rapidly add to emails and other notes. I might keep “Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines” to “/intro in Text Blaze, saving myself lots of time whenever I kick off a new podcast script.

But saving snippets and quickly inserting them into various text boxes in a user’s browser makes Text Blaze neat. The product can also save template snippets with different packages left open for users to fill in. So, a user could have a user-feedback snippet held that reserved spots for them to add names and other unique information quickly while reusing the bulk of the Text itself.

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Text Blaze also has integrations with external services to ensure its service can save users time. For example, the service can pull CRM data from Hubspot into a text snippet used in Gmail. The idea is to link different services and data sources automatically, helping users shave minutes from their days and hours from their weeks.

So far, Text Blaze has run lean, according to its co-founder Dan Barak, who told TechCrunch that its four staff would grow to around ten this year, thanks to its new capital. Barak said Text Blaze is a remote-first startup with a wide hiring lens like nearly every startup we’ve spoken to in recent months.

Text Blaze’s model is freemium, with a consumer-paid offering that costs $2.99 monthly. The fundamental limitation of its free product, Barak, is a hard cap of 20 snippets. After that, you’ll need to pay. TechCrunch was modestly confused at the low price point, and relatively robust free feature set the startup offers. The co-founder explained that the company’s long-term plan is to sell into enterprises, making the pro version of Text Blaze more of a tool to generate awareness of what its service can do than its final monetization scheme.

So far, 70% of the company’s users have signed up using their corporate email, which could provide a wide avenue into later enterprise sales. According to the Text Blaze website, business users will pay more than double that of prosumer users.

The company’s strategy appears to be working. Not only is it attracting users — its Chrome extension notes more than 70,000 users — and early revenue, but it also managed to convert Iltchev and Polovets into believers in its product. “When I first saw Text Blaze, it reminded me of the early days of Zapier, which helped professionals to automate repetitive tasks, except Text Blaze provides a more approachable and easier-to-adopt entry point through written communications,” the Two Sigma investor told TechCrunch.

Susa’s Polovets said that he “fell in love with the [startup’s] product,” adding that he “wanted to invest as soon as I tried the product.” Text Blaze’s round closed a few weeks ago. Let’s see how quickly it can scale with the new funds.

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