Sramana Mitra: Very interesting. I have had a blog for 17 years. I’m always a bit annoyed by the rubbish that gets produced out there.
Rohan Gupta: I am too. As a company that started content marketing, we need to eat our own dog food and produce content in a very thoughtful way.
Sramana Mitra: It’s a funny industry. Recently, we started working with Udemy. We have thousands of hours of entrepreneurship curriculum. We started packaging these into Udemy courses. We’ve released 30 courses on Udemy.
We got to know the community of content writers who are marketing some of the Udemy courses as affiliates. The content is dreadful in a lot of the cases. I can see the problem. The solution is very difficult. Producing good content is a really difficult thing to do. Is it only a matter of correcting grammar and fluidity of expression? There needs to be some core thought that is worth reading.
Rohan Gupta: Exactly. You’ll see that in our product roadmap in the next couple of weeks where we are leveling off from an AI-writing assistant to a co-writer. Something that I get energized by is unlocking the marginal writer. These are folks who are intelligent and have great opinions about the world. They want to share it with the world. They want to start that Medium blog but choose not to because the friction of writing is so high. You actually see this with a lot of ESL writers. Unlocking all of that high-quality content is energizing. It reduces the value of low-quality content.
Sramana Mitra: What percentage of your 12 million monthly active users are actually paying users? It sounds like you have a freemium model?
Rohan Gupta: Unfortunately, I can’t share that number, but we have a healthy conversion rate and healthy revenue.
Sramana Mitra: What do you charge?
Rohan Gupta: It depends on the country. For most folks, it’s $15 a month or $80 a year.
Sramana Mitra: What do you cite as some of the most exciting success stories using your product?
Rohan Gupta: There is quite a variety. What gets me up every morning is reading user feedback saying that they are able to pass their English class and become more confident writers. It has become an indispensable part of their writing workflow. Some other exciting success stories were folks having published novels with the assistance of QuillBot as their editor. That is jaw-dropping for me.
When we started, we didn’t think we’d have that degree of impact. The final thing that we didn’t expect our software to do is that QuillBot helped English language learners learn English better because they were able to see the same meaning in different sentence structures with many different vocabularies.