The hype around ChatGPT, OpenAI’s viral AI-powered chatbot, hasn’t reached a peak yet. That’s the vibe one gets from Y Combinator’s Winter 2023 batch, which features no fewer than 4 startups that claim to be constructing a “ChatGPT for X.”
That latest ventures are jumping on the ChatGPT hype train isn’t surprising, considering ChatGPT’s virality. By one metric, ChatGPT is the fastest-growing app on the planet, having reached 100 million users throughout the first two months of launch. Associating with an app that visible, particularly one which’s within the red-hot generative AI space, is certain to get attention — a fact to which this text is a testament.
The primary ChatGPT-inflected startup that caught our eye was Yuma, whose customer demographic is primarily — but not exclusively — Shopify merchants. Yuma’s platform provides ChatGPT-like AI systems that integrate with help desk software, suggesting drafts of replies to customer tickets which are each “relevant and customised to the support agents” (in theory).
Interestingly, Yuma “got began by accident,” based on founder Guillaume Luccisano.
“That is my third YC startup after Socialcam and Triplebyte,” he writes within the Y Combinator database entry for Yuma.
By means of background, Socialcam was a mobile photo-sharing app that Autodesk acquired in 2012, while Triplebyte is a recruiting and technical screening platform geared toward enterprise tech corporations.
“I released Yuma as a prototype for fun in mid-December 2022, and was overwhelmed with demo requests,” Luccisano said. “That’s after I knew I used to be onto something and needed to turn this right into a real company, once more.”
Yuma isn’t very obviously like ChatGPT, but moderately takes inspiration from the chatbot’s technical underpinnings: text-generating AI models. Customers can train Yuma’s AI models on historical tickets, having it mimic the writing form of a brand and optionally mechanically translate between languages for service agents.
“There are millions of Shopify merchants around the globe generating greater than $10 million a yr. Most of them have taken over some niches and are great at what they do: selling their products,” Luccisano writes. “But all of them have one thing in common: all of them hate customer support. It’s a burden for them and an enormous source of cost, as they receive a whole lot of requests per day … Yumi is solving this in just a few ways.”
Yumi, it ought to be identified, has competition in spades. There’s Author, which deploys home-cooked AI text models to power up enterprise copy. Elsewhere, Forethought is attempting to construct more accurate customer support chatbots with constrained AI models. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg — see ventures like Lang, Neuron7 and Ultimate.ai.
They’re all chasing after a customer support software market that’ll be price $58.1 billion by 2023, assuming the moderately optimistic prediction from Acumen Research comes true. Will Yumi — and its ChatGPT-inspired tech for that matter — get ahead of the pack to nab a slice of it? Only time will tell. In any case, it’s a fairly compelling sales pitch.
One other startup constructing a “ChatGPT for X” is Baselit, which is using considered one of OpenAI’s text-understanding models, specifically GPT-3, to permit businesses to embed chatbot-style analytics for his or her customers. Powered by GPT-3 fine-tuned on “contextual information,” including database schema, Baselit lets users perform database queries in plain English — without having to know any code.
With Baselit, for instance, a marketplace could enable its sellers to ask “Which of my product goes out of stock most ceaselessly?” and get the reply in natural language. Or a product manager could work out the reply to an issue like “Why did our gross merchandise value drop last month?” without having to depend on their data team.
“Baselit is [an] AI copilot for analytics,” co-founder Shubham Rana writes within the blog post announcing Baselit. “Product and business teams [can] use Baselit to question and analyze data using plain English.”
Here’s how it really works: Customers connect Baselit to their databases — whether Postgres, Snowflake, Redshift or BigQuery — and “chat” with said database to get answers to their questions. Baselit auto-generates the relevant structured query language. Then, the outcomes will be exported to quite a lot of visualization tools, including Tableau, Excel, Google Sheets and Power BI.
Like Yumi, Baselit isn’t all that novel — other startups akin to Borealis AI and Y Combinator-backed Defog (which can also be within the Winter 2023 batch) do kind of the identical thing, or no less than claim to. Indeed, the startup’s success might find yourself ultimately hinging more on its customer acquisition efforts than its tech.
That’s not necessarily the case with Lasso, considered one of the last of the ChatGPT-aligned startups we spotted within the Winter 2023 batch. Lasso, interestingly, combines a ChatGPT-like interface with robotic process automation (RPA) and a Chrome extension. Customers send Lasso descriptions or videos of the processes they’d wish to automate and the corporate uses its internal tooling to construct out those automations.
The Lasso platform will be used, for example, to scrape an email for a sales prospect, leaf through a prospecting tool and save the summarized results to a document. “We would like to let anyone no matter timeline or budget automate the work they do by utilizing natural language or just sending Lasso the workflow in a screen recording,” co-founder Lucas Ochoa writes in an introductory blog post.
Lasso’s going face to face with RPA behemoths like UiPath and Automation Anywhere, together with the deluge of startups within the RPA and workflow automation space. But Ochoa argues that Lasso solves most of the setup problems related to incumbent RPA solutions while remaining license-free.
“It’s extremely time consuming and expensive to construct out robot process automations using traditional tools like UiPath, not to say the initial consultant setup fees, which most individuals are forced to pay in the event that they don’t have the resources in-house,” he writes. “Lasso makes it … cheaper and faster to construct any robotic process automation using natural language on Chrome.”
How well Lasso works in practice stays to be seen. However the founding team’s experience instills some confidence. Ochoa and Lasso’s other co-founder, Gautom Bose, previously worked at Google, where their team was tasked with applying the tech giant’s LaMDA text-generating model to business products. As a component of Google’s Creative Lab 5 (an experimental R&D group), they helped to launch apps just like the AI Test Kitchen and the Pixel Buds Pro.
Potentially to Lasso’s profit is the final appetite for workflow automation tools. In a recent survey from Formstack, 62% of corporations say they’re using workflow automation tools, while 44% say their businesses have made a major investment in workflow automation tools over the past 12-24 months.
Plus, while RPA VC funding has fallen from the heights it hit in 2018, it stays a big tranche. In 2020, backers poured $296.4 million into startups within the RPA space, according to Crunchbase.
Not within the RPA space but decidedly involving ChatGPT is BerriAI, whose platform is designed to assist developers spin up ChatGPT apps for his or her organization data through various data connectors.
BerriAI acts as an intermediary between customers and ChatGPT, allowing users to prototype with different ChatGPT configurations, share prototypes and push template configs to programmatically spin up multiple instances.
With BerriAI, an organization could construct a chat or search interface to let employees ask questions on internal documents, or create a tool to automate customer support requests using ZenDesk and Jira Tickets as a knowledge base.
BerriAI charges a steep price for the privilege — $999 per thirty days. But given the thrill around ChatGPT, it — together with Author, Baselit and Lasso — might just attract a lucrative customer base.