Clueso HQ
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May 12, 2024

Announcing our $1.4M seed funding

From 25k users to 0 to back up again. The incredible story behind Clueso that led to our $1.4m seed round.
Akash Anand
Akash Anand
Co-founder & CEO
An image of the Clueso founders

We’re excited to announce Clueso’s $1.4m seed round led by f7 ventures, with participation from Y Combinator!

At Clueso, we’re on a mission to build the fastest way for companies to create studio-quality explainer videos and visual documentation for customer education and employee training. Our AI-powered product turns simple Loom-style screen recordings into highly engaging videos and step-by-step articles with screenshots and GIFs.

Our Journey

When our YC batch started, our product had over 25k users. By the time it ended, we had 0.

For over a year, my co-founders, Prajwal, Neel, and I had been building a startup called Desklamp out of college. Desklamp was a tool to help students and academic researchers make and share notes on PDF documents. It had become immensely popular in universities, and our power users were spending an average of six hours a day on it. Our confidence was sky-high, and the ultimate validation came when we were accepted into YC.

However, as soon as we landed in SF, our YC group partners told us they hated our product. They loved our building skills, but thought we were wasting our efforts on a tool that nobody would ever pay for. We didn’t believe them. In an effort to prove them wrong, we pitched priced plans to universities and research labs. But no one would subscribe. Our own university refused to buy Desklamp. As a last resort, we tried shoe-horning Desklamp into other industries, like legal firms and news agencies. Nothing worked.

So, mid-way into the batch, we made the hard decision to abandon our 25k+ users and pivot. For three weeks, we were stuck in pivot hell. The three of us had different ideas of what we wanted to build and were at each other’s necks.  

At that point, Michael Seibel, group partner at YC, gave us some great advice: solve for a problem you faced at Desklamp. That’s when the idea for Clueso struck us. At Desklamp, we observed that publishing demo videos on YouTube increased feature adoption, reduced churn, and converted more regular users into power users. However, creating these videos was a massive challenge. It took up to two weeks to get a video out – between preparing the script, arranging for a voice actor, recording in the studio, adding animation effects and music, etc.

That’s why we built Clueso.

Why Clueso?

In the US alone, companies spend nearly $102 B every year on employee training [1], across a variety of functions: engineering, sales, operations, customer support, and more. Creating training material is a manual, time-consuming, and expensive process. Over 40% of content creation is outsourced to agencies and third-parties  [2]

Clueso automates a lot of this work. Today, our customers have cut the time it takes to generate training videos and documentation by over 80%, and improved the quality of their materials by 10x.

Here’s how Clueso training videos are better than simple screen-shares: 

  • Our AI auto-removes fumbling, and rewrites the transcript to cover the same content in 60% the time.
  • It replaces their audio track with a professional, natural-sounding AI voiceover
  • Finally, Clueso adds zoom-in effects and custom branding to every video. 

Clueso also creates a written article for every video:

  • Our product smartly takes screenshots and GIFs at key moments
  • AI generates the ideal text tailored to the specific context, be it a knowledge-base article, a feature launch post, or more.

In our entire time building Desklamp, we only managed to create 5 videos over the course of an entire year. Today, some of our customers have made over 100 videos in a single month!

Aspire, a Singapore-based all-in-one finance OS for businesses, uses Clueso to create training videos that serve the purpose of educating both their customers and their internal workforce, which numbers more than 500 employees. 

“Clueso has become the most frequently used SaaS platform within our operations team, significantly saving time and allowing us to concentrate on other important aspects of our roles.”

-Rachel Ridgwell, CX L&D Lead at Aspire

Thank you to our Investors!

We’re still just getting started, and there’s so much to build.  

“We’re incredibly excited about Clueso’s ability to make help content fast, affordable and flexible! As long time operators and builders of both sales and support teams, we know first hand the pain and expense that comes with creating and maintaining engaging content for both internal teams and customers especially at high growth companies with rapidly changing products and policies. Clueso is the solution we wish we always had.” 

- Kelly Graziadei, General Partner f7 Ventures 

A huge thank you goes out to our investors for taking a bet on us, and to all of our customers. We’re incredibly excited to build more together.