Chameleon raises $1.9M for smarter product tutorials

Chameleon is a startup that wants to help other startups and online businesses do a better job of explaining their products to users. It announced today that it has raised $1.9 million in seed funding led by True Ventures.

Co-founder and CEO Pulkit Agrawal said that for many companies “user on-boarding is really painful” — they can work really hard and spend lots of marketing dollars to get new users, but those users disappear immediately when they find themselves confused by the product.

In Agrawal’s view, how-to videos and other explainers aren’t the best solution either — it’s not great if someone’s trying to remember everything from a video or constantly clicking back-and-forth between the video and the product itself. (Not that he’s completely against promotional videos, as you can see below. He just doesn’t see them as the best way to explain the details of how to use a given web app.)

With Chameleon, on the other hand, you can include tutorials in the actual product. So if someone’s trying out your product, you can tell them that they should be clicking in one spot to accomplish a certain task — then they can just go ahead and do it.

Once you’ve added a few lines of JavaScript to your site, you can create these tutorials through a WYSIWYG editor that appears as a sidebar on your website, no coding required. These tutorials can also be tied to certain triggers, appearing when a user enters a specific page or makes a specific mistake. And you can test out different versions.

Customers already include Urban Airship and BloomReach.

Chameleon is web-only for now — Agrawal didn’t rule out creating a mobile version eventually, but he said, “The problem does exist on mobile. The problem is bigger on web and the solution is easier on web.” After all, he said, thanks to the smaller screen size, mobile apps tend to have a simpler, more understandable interface.