A guide by Paul Yacoubian, a founder of Copy.ai
Paul Yacoubian is a co-founder of Copy.ai — a GPT3-based application for AI-generated copy. Paul is not a technical founder but he has a huge experience in startups. Copy.ai was launched on Twitter in October 2020. Due to Build In Public, it became one of the fastest growing startups the next year, and allowed the team to raise $11M in the seed round in October 2021.
Paul and his cofounder Chris has launched several other GPT-3 based products before Copy.ai — they never took off. But Paul was sharing on Twitter every single step of his decision-making process, features and benefits, as well as when it was time to kill the product that did not have any traction.
Paul was inspired by the example of Elon Musk.
— I was trying to figure out why he can work on the most impossible problems? How is he able to raise unlimited amounts of capital for his companies? And how is he able to create these brands that both customers and non-customers adore? It became apparent that his willingness to be open and communicate and build his own audience on Twitter was the differentiating factor. On Twitter, your followers are the community that you build around yourself. You will attract people that are interested in what you tweet about. The easiest way to get started is to engage with people that you want in your community. If you prioritize trying to add value to that community, they will start following you. It creates this flywheel effect. —
When Paul started sharing he had a bit over 1K followers. But every launch would help him to grow his audience. Documenting Copy.ai journey for several month got him to 35K followers. Meaning, every new feature introduced to the service, now was getting the feedback from a large number of current and prospective users.
Raising round also was not so challenging due to his personal brand and Copy.ai band that became pretty recognisable on Twitter.
In March 2021 Paul and Chris raised a $2.9M seed round to move further with introducing Copy.ai to markets worldwide.
In October 2021, they raised $11M Seed A round, having reached by then $2.4M ARR and 5K paying users.