Introduce your startup and give a short description of what you are doing.
Writefull is a lightweight app that provides feedback on your writing by checking your text against databases of correct language.
You can use Writefull in any writing tool – from MS Word to Gmail. Users simply select a piece of text, hit the short-key to activate the Writefull popover, and choose one of its five options.
Who are the founders, how did you meet, what are your different roles in the startup.
Juan holds a PhD in Artificial Intelligence. He has also worked as a research associate, and has done freelance work for companies like Deezer.
Alberto is currently doing a MsC in Machine Learning at GeorgiaTech (USA). He has worked on a number of projects related to Artificial Intelligence.
We met almost a year ago when we were working for a startup in Amsterdam. At the time we were both working on our own side projects. We soon realised that we wanted to work together. We came up with an idea for a new app and developed it just for fun. As we made a good team, we decided to move on to the next challenge: Writefull.
How was the idea for your startup born?
Juan had to write a lot when he was doing his PhD. He would often use Google to check if his writing was correct, and how pieces of sentences were used in different contexts. He found out that there were more people using this approach and decided to work on a tool that would ease this process. He also realised that Google has a lot of language inaccuracies, and that’s why Writefull works with a database that contains language from more than 5 million books.
What is the main problem in education that you aim to solve.
Writing is difficult. Students often struggle finding the ‘right’ way to say something, especially students whose second language is English. Writefull helps them know:
- if a sentence they have written is correct,
- compare the usage of two sentences to see which one is best to use (e.g. less people VS fewer people),
- get examples of sentences that contain a piece of text (e.g. examples of “with regards to”),
- get the word that fits best a particular context,
- get the best synonym for a particular context.
Writefull is currently helping students from over 200 universities worldwide.
Who are your main competitors? What sets you apart from them?
Writefull has been often compared to Grammarly and Hemingway. However, these two work by checking your text against a grammar rule-set. Grammar rules are limited and often fail to assess if a sentence is actually used or even makes sense. Writefull uses an idiomatic approach that relies on frequency. Cognitively, this calls students to have a hunch, to reflect, to be curious, to work through the struggle of writing.
In which markets / regions are you active. What markets / regions are next.
Writefull has been mainly acquired in the UK, USA and Australia. We are currently adding new languages (Spanish, French, German and Chinese). We plan to expand to South America, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and China.
Who is your target audience.
Our current target audience are undergraduate and postgraduate students.
How do you engage with your target audience. How do you convert them into users of your product.
We’re starting to run some ads on Facebook, but most our users come referred by other students or teachers.
How many users / downloads does your service have?
Over 10.000 users.
What is your business model. How much does your product / service cost.
Writefull works with a subscription. Users can pay per month ($5), biannually ($15), and yearly ($25). Students pay 25% off.
Are there milestones you are especially proud of and would like to share.
We are particularly proud that Writefull is helping students around the world.
What are the next steps in growing your startup.
In the short term, we will be adding support for new languages including, Spanish, French, German and Chinese.