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  • 0 → 10 Million users in 4 Years ⚡

0 → 10 Million users in 4 Years ⚡

Hi Everyone. This is Take Off. We're like a hidden Easter egg in your favorite video game - surprising, delightful, and adding an extra layer of fun to your tech news consumption.

Here's what we're serving up today:

  • 0 → 10M users in 4 Years ⚡

  • Asteroids ☄️

  • Trending Tools ⚒️ 

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0 → 10M users in 4 Years ⚡

We all know about the rise of ChatGPT wrappers.

However, today we’re talking about the OG of ChatGPT wrappers when ChatGPT wasn’t even a thing. Specifically, their growth strategy.

Copy.ai was one of the first AI content generation product which has seen meteoric growth. Just 4 years into existence, the platform is home to 10M users!

Catching the wave of GPT 3

Paul Yacoubian and Chris Lu worked together for 5 years at the ESO fund before starting Copy.ai where they had a chance to observe Silicon Valley start-ups at very close quarters and with a fine-toothed comb. 

When OpenAI launched GPT-3 in beta in July 2020, Paul was star-struck. 

He got excited about the potential he saw with GPT-3 and he thought to himself:

If a company could talk back to you, could you sell the words it’s producing? If yes, how do we validate that use case as fast as possible?

Paul Yacoubian

His approach: Build an MVP in a matter of weeks, launch it on Twitter and get feedback to keep iterating. 

Selling Taglines for $3/mo

Paul and Chris started building lean products and launching it on Twitter. 

There was a flywheel where when we’d launch, we’d get more followers and more people would be interested in what we’re doing. And so the next time we’d launch, we would have even more of a kickstart to that project.

Paul Yacoubian

Their fourth product was called Taglines.ai which helped solved a big problem that as investors, they saw founders trying to solve all the time:

How do we distill our entire vision down to a couple of words?

With this real pain point in mind, Chris and Paul launched the tool on Twitter, where it got a few hundred signups and their first paying customers within a week. 

They initially charged $3/mo, then $5/mo and then raised it to $10/mo. Customers kept paying. 

However, he realized that at the $10/mo price point, the users started taking the product more seriously and adopting it for other marketing and sales use cases. 

Armed with this insight, Paul went after a broader platform opportunity around these tools.

He thought to himself:

If people would pay $10/mo for a single tool, would they pay for a platform itself?

Paul Yacoubian

Going Beyond Taglines

Having found a real audience that was finding their GPT-3 powered tagline generator useful, the duo set out to build a tool that could generate more than just taglines. 

They bought the domain name - Copy.ai and made a GPT-3 powered tool that churns out marketing copies of different tones, based on a brief description that’s plugged into the tool. 

With that, they launched Copy.ai to the world.

Build and They Will Come

Copy.ai’s growth was nothing short of meteoric. The product hit 2700 users in the first 3 days and 40,000 in the first three months. 

Within just seven months, they grew from $0 -> $1.2M ARR!

But how did they attract so many users in such a short span of time? 

The company’s early users came from Twitter, then other social media platforms.

Paul and Chris leveraged the “Build in Public” ethos - sharing everything from monthly updates to new features on Twitter. This strategy grew an initial audience and created a growth loop. 

Our go-to-market strategy has revolved around generating inbound interest by ‘Building In Public’ on Twitter.

Chris Lu

Building in public enabled the team to hire for open positions, build trust within the community as individuals and as a product: which ultimately led to inbound leads and revenue.

You also have to realize that this was 2020.

OpenAI’s GPT-3 model at that time was primarily available to developers through an API and there was no sort of intuitive web interface to interact with it as we have now with ChatGPT. 

You had this moment in time where people hadn’t used Generative AI yet by themselves and this was an easy tool that helped you do that.

Turning from David To Goliath

Copy.ai later invested in SEO optimization - the product is for content generation after all.

When Copy.ai started investing heavily in SEO in 2022, search volumes for their core keywords such as “AI Writing Generator”, “AI Copywriting” were minimal.

The team at Copy.ai was able to recognize the potential surge in demand for AI copywriting tools. 

This foresight paid off, as they were able to build an SEO strategy that not only met the rising demand but also established a strong competitive edge. 

Paul looked at the SEO playbooks that had worked well for other SaaS companies. One of these was free lead magnets such as Hubspot’s blog title generator or Shopify’s business name generator tool.

This inspiration was one of the cornerstone strategies employed by Copy.ai. The team developed a cluster of these free tools

PS: There are 31 tools on the company’s website currently. 

These tools, designed to address various content creation needs, attracted high-intent visitors and significantly boosted organic traffic. 

Copy.ai now ranks in the #1 spot for several high-intent keywords such as:

  1. AI Writing Generator

  2. Free AI Writing Generator

  3. AI Copy Generator

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Ride the wave of 23% compounded annual growth

That’s the forecasted growth rate of the smart shades between 2023-2033. And RYSE’s automated window shade tech is positioned to dominate the market. They’ve generated over 20X growth in share price for early shareholders, with significant upside remaining as they launch in over 100 Best Buy stores. Invest in the rapidly growing smart shades market →

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