Democratizing Written Communication - TextCortex Raises $1.2 million Pre-Seed to advance proprietary NLG capabilities and launch chrome extension.

Dominik Lambersy
June 30, 2022

First the news

TextCortex is celebrating a special day today. We are happy to announce our first round of $1.2m in funding from renowned investors. The round was led by btov Partners with participation of Speedinvest & Entrepreneur First joined by exceptional Angels Amar Shah and Holger Hengstler.

Having grown to a team of 9 now. We are driven and passionate to be part of the impact natural language generation will have on humanity and are working tirelessly to develop products which benefit human productivity in something as omnipresent as every day writing. With products as omnipresent as our newly launched chrome extension.

AI-generated text for the blog from btov Partners about "Why we Invested in TextCortex".

TextCortex is joining the field to research, build and develop the future of NLG technology from its fundamentals as close as possible to potential users with our network of fine-tuned language models called NeoCortex.

My cofounder Ceyhun Derinbogaz has put it nicely:

“Natural Language Generation will be the next big thing in Tech because we can use it to accelerate almost anything — from writing emails to writing code for software to writing creative content for different industries.

As the famous hedge fund manager Ray Dalio said, Productivity is the key to economic growth and rebalancing inequality.

At TextCortex AI, we see on a daily basis how we are helping individuals and companies to improve their productivity by cutting down time spent on tasks such as email and content writing. I feel very lucky to work on this thrilling new technology while knowing that our work is positively impacting society.”

The long road till today

When Ceyhun and I met at Entrepreneur First in Berlin, I’ve seen a person in him who is passionate about writing (just like me) and an absolute rocketship of a product builder experimenting with a variety of NLG-based products from domain name generators to product descriptions creator. I myself was first introduced to the topic of NLG after reading of the dangers of OpenAI’s GPT-2 in 2019, which also influenced me in my VC times focusing on the founders in the space building a successful business with true AI at their very core. Similar to Ceyhun I had my stint in building algorithms leveraging NLP to predict bitcoin prices on tweets (I believe anyone with the knowledge of machine learning has tried this with rather limited success).

From the very beginning, we were able to deliver products which organically attracted users. People were paying to use our software because they were sick of working with the wrong people, waiting for delays, having too much to create, having not the right mindset, not finding the right words or the right start or suffering from plain writer’s block. All reasons I have heard why our products are the solution to their pain.

The fact is that the demand for digital content of all forms is exploding with commerce shifting into the digital space. Selling a product or service online requires you to publish text around it, but not only one text, you need multiple forms of communication for wildly different target groups. If you want to be searchable in a hyper-personalised world you will not be found if you are not covering the search intent which is built in the daily habit of whole generations.

We saw a market of AI copywriting tools building up with us sitting right in the eye of the storm. Most of them repurposing a single famous API, with us having the chance to build our own NLG brain which we today call NeoCortex.

Our daily mission and the steps ahead

This first funding is a first step. We are well aware of the current tides of the tech markets and set ourselves in fitting shape to sail through them. Having the former DeepL backers btov Partners and with them, the experience of Andreas Goeldi who himself traversed multiple companies through former hard times of the dot-com and financial crisis puts us in a unique position.

Hard times make great companies and as Ayrton Senna said: “You cannot overtake 15 cars in sunny weather…. but you can when it’s raining.”

We are set to build an exceptional team, lead with value, build a habit and be part of what will be one of the most impactful technologies of this decade.

Building the best team to make a dent in Artificial Intelligence

Great ambitions require similarly bold, talented and hungry people. Today we are a team of 9, sitting in 5 different countries, on 3 continents. Working together and reflecting over the seeds we plant and their result every day, every week, every month is key to our motivation. More and more people are reaching out to us to somehow work with us, which make us excited to what’s ahead, to grow great people with the development of our company.

Leading with value first

TextCortex’s philosophy is to deliver value to potential users who haven’t even committed an email to us. It is our first step to validate our ideas, our core growth driver and the quickest feedback route to build value-creating products. Only if we communicate and create value, people will be willing to support us. Helping us to grow our base from word of mouth or by paying for our solution.

Change how written communication and creation work

Translation and proofreading have already gone through what it means to have AI-complemented workflows. DeepL translates your text almost perfectly, Grammarly helps you to proofread your creation in every text box. We want to help people to go from a few bullets to a fully formulated and confident-sounding email. A convincing article around your ideas. We take our users from a blank page to at least 70% of the job done in a single click.

NeoCortex as a European alternative to energy hungry large language models

We are dedicated to doing the hard things. From gathering and validating our own datasets, training our own models, optimizing their size and building a circular learning environment for the proprietary technology we call NeoCortex. Today most of the models running within NeoCortex have only 1% of the size of the current most famous large language model with 175bn. parameters. This means that our technology runs on less computational power and requires less energy in production. Only those hard things will bring us long-lasting benefits.

It’s a new chapter for TextCortex and we are thankful for the almost 7000 users we were able to learn from, our global and diverse team who is skyrocketing our productivity and our investors who have trusted us from either only meeting us virtually (btov Partners, Amar, Holger) or from knowing us from past collaboration (Speedinvest, Entrepreneur First).

We are dedicated to creating a European alternative to all the famous large language models with NeoCortex. Something long due. We need to be bold in developing proprietary AI technology here in Europe, a continent thriving in multilingual challenges.

Bests from Berlin,

Dominik

Find our press release and our media pack here.

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