Text Blaze, which was a part of the recent Winter 2021 Y Combinator accelerator batch, announced that it has closed a $3.3 million seed round. The company’s investment was led by Two Sigma Ventures’s Villi Iltchev and Susa Ventures’s Leo Polovets.
The company’s product hybridizes two trends that TechCrunch has been tracking in recent years, namely 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 writer 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 add to emails, and other notes in rapid-fire fashion. I might save “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 are just part of what makes Text Blaze neat. The product can also save template snippets with various boxes left open for users to fill in. So, a user could have a user-feedback snippet saved, that reserved spots for them to add in names, and other unique information quickly, while reusing the bulk of the text itself.
Text Blaze also has integrations with external services to ensure that its service can save users time. For example, the service can pull in 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 staff of four will grow to around 10 this year, thanks to its new capital. Like nearly every startup that we’ve spoken to in recent months, Barak said that Text Blaze is a remote-first startup with a wide hiring lens.
Text Blaze’s model is freemium, with a consumer paid offering that costs $2.99 monthly. The key limitation in its free product, Barak, is a hard cap of 20 snippets. Past that you’ll need to pay. TechCrunch was modestly confused at the low price point, and relatively robust free feature set that the startup is offering. 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 in what its service can do more than its final monetization scheme.
Some 70% of the company’s users so far 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 a little more than double what its prosumer users will.
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 though 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 under its belt.