Jasper, a generative AI startup that raised $125 million in a Series A round at a valuation of $1.5 billion just nine months ago has cut staff, its co-founder and CEO Dave Rogenmoser announced in a LinkedIn post on Tuesday.
Explaining the decision, he stated, “While we’ve served many different use-cases through all of this, we’ve seen that Jasper is at its best when helping marketing teams at mid-size and enterprise companies. We’ve come to realize however, that for us to have the fuel and focus we need to fully go after that opportunity, we need to reshape our own team.”
The CEO did not disclose the exact number of staff being let go as part of the decision but said that the affected people have been among the first to build, market, and support AI products in the industry, “This collection of former Jasper teammates is full of talented, good-hearted, and innovative people. I have no doubt they will continue to excel, and I am personally invested in helping them find the right next role.”
The startup, which identifies itself as an AI content platform, utilizes OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 on the backend to empower individuals and teams in generating various forms of content, including social media posts, blog articles, product copy, and more. It offers these tools through a web-based chatbot, browser extension, and an API. The pricing for Jasper is set at $49 per month for individuals and $125 per month for teams.
What the company offers is essentially referred to as a GPT wrapper, and this category of generative AI startups has been facing intense competition since the launch of ChatGPT. They face competition not only from ChatGPT itself but also from other tools built using OpenAI’s language models (LLMs).
Jasper had over 70,000 customers in 2021, which contributed to its revenue of $45 million for that year. When it announced its Series A in October last year, the company’s CEO had said that they were expecting to close 2022 with $75 million.
ChatGPT was launched on November 30, 2022, so it likely did not have a significant impact on Jasper’s revenue for that year. However, the current year tells a different tale. Indications from website traffic suggest that Jasper is losing customers, as its traffic has declined from 7.2 million visits in April of this year to just 4.5 million in June.