Money continues to flow into generative AI, with marketing-focused platform Jasper receiving $125 million at a $1.5 billion valuation in its Series A round.
Jasper describes itself as an AI content platform for business and marketing content. It focuses specifically on promotional copy for blogs, websites and social media. Since August, the offering has been expanded to include image content with "Jasper Art."
The $125 million funding round now announced is led by software investor Insight Partners. Other key investors include Coatue, Bessemer Venture Partners, IVP, Foundation Capital, Founders Circle Capital and HubSpot Ventures.
Jasper is currently working to acquire Outwrite, a startup that uses AI to check grammar and style and has more than one million users worldwide. The company is expected to merge its offerings in the coming year.
Co-founder Dave Rogenmoser says he wants to build Jasper into a leader in generative AI. "Every once in a while, a technological advance comes along that changes everything. [...] Generative AI, or using AI for creative work, has been such a moment for me," Rogenmoser writes.
Jasper springs from the GPT-3 ecosystem
For text generation, Jasper relies on GPT-3, which is also where the startup originated, with a years-long background as a marketing and content agency and in software development.
When OpenAI unveiled its text AI in mid-May 2020, co-founder Dave Rogenmoser sensed a new business model. The experienced founding team laid the groundwork for Jasper within a few months and said they received phenomenal feedback for initial demos.
"We thought it would be good. But had no idea how good. The reactions from our early customers were visceral," Rogenmoser writes on Twitter.
Jasper says it uses a version of GPT-3 that is tailored to the needs of marketing. The image generation model is also said to be optimized for marketing purposes, such as stock images.
The image model used is not known, most likely it is Stable Diffusion. Emad Mostaque, the founder of Stability AI, the startup behind Stable Diffusion, is a Jasper investor and is explicitly highlighted in Rogenmoser's Series A round thank-you speech. Stability AI recently announced its own $101 million funding round.