AutogenAI, a generative AI tool for writing bids and pitches, secures $22.3M


Baseball, bat, and glove laying in the grass
Image Credits: bernie_photo / Getty Images

Business is regularly won and lost on the strength of a proposal. Now, a startup out of London called AutogenAI has built a tool based on generative AI that it claims can help businesses write stronger pitches to improve that strike rate, and it has won some money of its own: $22.3 million from Blossom Capital, which it is using to hire more talent, expand its platform and grow its customer base.

The investment values AutogenAI in the region of “hundreds of millions,” we understand from a source. It previously raised some $3.5 million.

As a measure of AutogenAI’s success, it’s managed to pick up 28 clients since it first opened for business less than a year ago.

And as a measure of just how guarded those customers are about the secret sauce they’re using to win their deals, and maybe the taboo that exists around using AI tools to replace or augment human work, AutogenAI is not disclosing a single actual customer name.

“There is still a feeling among customers that using AI would somehow detract from the quality of the work,” Sean Williams, the founder and CEO, said in an interview, explaining why no names are being disclosed.

(AutogenAI does note — in a press release that it proudly says was written by AutogenAI, it is a pitch after all — that the list includes “a global management consultancy, global BPO organisations, quoted and private construction companies and facilities management businesses, as well as charities and non-profits applying for grant funding.”)

Williams cut his teeth on years of working for some of the biggest private firms bidding to provide services to the U.K. government, an enormous business that collectively is worth nearly $500 billion annually.

Being successful in those tenders was a matter of experience, understanding what content to include and how to present it. But it was also a matter of budget: Those with the funds to invest in building strong bids regularly had a stronger chance of winning deals.

AutogenAI’s aim is to address both of these areas.

Williams said that the platform is built on an amalgamation of large language models — it uses LLMs from OpenAI and others, he said — combined with a client’s structured and unstructured proprietary data, and an interface developed by AutogenAI itself to help users query information and create pitches that in turn are based on a company’s most successful past work. These are then presented to the client’s team, which further tailors them — or potentially rejects them — before they are submitted to pitch for a contract.

In theory, one could ask ChatGPT to build a business pitch, but Williams response is that AutogenAI’s versions will be considerably more specific and thus ultimately more useful to its users.

“Companies like OpenAI are focused on AGI, super intelligence,” he said. “We’ve got a much smaller problem: We just want to help our customers win more work and work more effectively.” He estimated that AutogenAI’s software could speed up the process of writing a strong pitch “by 800%.”

That 800% speaks to the second area of winning bids, which is the required budget outlay. Williams estimates that some 10% of a total contract value can be eaten up by the cost of putting a bid together in the traditional way. His claim is that by using its tools it cuts down procurement costs by some 10%, improving the margins on those deals overall, with the time taken to write the first drafts of bids cut down by 70% and helping those working on bids to focus more on strategic additions.

Ophelia Brown, the founder of Blossom Capital, said that the firm was not yet using AutogenAI itself but that it planned to when it next raised funds. Its interest in the startup stemmed from the fact that while AI companies building LLMs are getting a lot of attention right now, those working on applications like AutogenAI are closer to where a wider range of businesses might make purchasing decisions.

“Where this gets interesting is when you can see clear ROI on the spend for the product,” she said. “Companies are willing to pay for something that can help them save time and headcount.” That’s been proven out, she added, through its growth in its first nine months of business.

More TechCrunch

A new crop of early-stage startups — along with some recent VC investments — illustrates a niche emerging in the autonomous vehicle technology sector. Unlike the companies bringing robotaxis to…

VCs and the military are fueling self-driving startups that don’t need roads

When the founders of Sagetap, Sahil Khanna and Kevin Hughes, started working at early-stage enterprise software startups, they were surprised to find that the companies they worked at were trying…

Deal Dive: Sagetap looks to bring enterprise software sales into the 21st century

Keeping up with an industry as fast-moving as AI is a tall order. So until an AI can do it for you, here’s a handy roundup of recent stories in the world…

This Week in AI: OpenAI moves away from safety

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine

IndieBio’s Bay Area incubator is about to debut its 15th cohort of biotech startups. We took special note of a few, which were making some major, bordering on ludicrous, claims…

IndieBio’s SF incubator lineup is making some wild biotech promises

YouTube TV has announced that its multiview feature for watching four streams at once is now available on Android phones and tablets. The Android launch comes two months after YouTube…

YouTube TV’s ‘multiview’ feature is now available on Android phones and tablets

Featured Article

Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

CSC ServiceWorks provides laundry machines to thousands of residential homes and universities, but the company ignored requests to fix a security bug.

1 day ago
Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is just around the corner, and the buzz is palpable. But what if we told you there’s a chance for you to not just attend, but also…

Harness the TechCrunch Effect: Host a Side Event at Disrupt 2024

Decks are all about telling a compelling story and Goodcarbon does a good job on that front. But there’s important information missing too.

Pitch Deck Teardown: Goodcarbon’s $5.5M seed deck

Slack is making it difficult for its customers if they want the company to stop using its data for model training.

Slack under attack over sneaky AI training policy

A Texas-based company that provides health insurance and benefit plans disclosed a data breach affecting almost 2.5 million people, some of whom had their Social Security number stolen. WebTPA said…

Healthcare company WebTPA discloses breach affecting 2.5 million people

Featured Article

Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Microsoft won’t be facing antitrust scrutiny in the U.K. over its recent investment into French AI startup Mistral AI.

1 day ago
Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Ember has partnered with HSBC in the U.K. so that the bank’s business customers can access Ember’s services from their online accounts.

Embedded finance is still trendy as accounting automation startup Ember partners with HSBC UK

Kudos uses AI to figure out consumer spending habits so it can then provide more personalized financial advice, like maximizing rewards and utilizing credit effectively.

Kudos lands $10M for an AI smart wallet that picks the best credit card for purchases

The EU’s warning comes after Microsoft failed to respond to a legally binding request for information that focused on its generative AI tools.

EU warns Microsoft it could be fined billions over missing GenAI risk info

The prospects for troubled banking-as-a-service startup Synapse have gone from bad to worse this week after a United States Trustee filed an emergency motion on Wednesday.  The trustee is asking…

A US Trustee wants troubled fintech Synapse to be liquidated via Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cites ‘gross mismanagement’

U.K.-based Seraphim Space is spinning up its 13th accelerator program, with nine participating companies working on a range of tech from propulsion to in-space manufacturing and space situational awareness. The…

Seraphim’s latest space accelerator welcomes nine companies

OpenAI has reached a deal with Reddit to use the social news site’s data for training AI models. In a blog post on OpenAI’s press relations site, the company said…

OpenAI inks deal to train AI on Reddit data

X users will now be able to discover posts from new Communities that are trending directly from an Explore tab within the section.

X pushes more users to Communities

For Mark Zuckerberg’s 40th birthday, his wife got him a photoshoot. Zuckerberg gives the camera a sly smile as he sits amid a carefully crafted re-creation of his childhood bedroom.…

Mark Zuckerberg’s makeover: Midlife crisis or carefully crafted rebrand?

Strava announced a slew of features, including AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, a new ‘family’ subscription plan, dark mode and more.

Strava taps AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, unveils ‘family’ plan, dark mode and more

We all fall down sometimes. Astronauts are no exception. You need to be in peak physical condition for space travel, but bulky space suits and lower gravity levels can be…

Astronauts fall over. Robotic limbs can help them back up.

Microsoft will launch its custom Cobalt 100 chips to customers as a public preview at its Build conference next week, TechCrunch has learned. In an analyst briefing ahead of Build,…

Microsoft’s custom Cobalt chips will come to Azure next week

What a wild week for transportation news! It was a smorgasbord of news that seemed to touch every sector and theme in transportation.

Tesla keeps cutting jobs and the feds probe Waymo

Sony Music Group has sent letters to more than 700 tech companies and music streaming services to warn them not to use its music to train AI without explicit permission.…

Sony Music warns tech companies over ‘unauthorized’ use of its content to train AI

Winston Chi, Butter’s founder and CEO, told TechCrunch that “most parties, including our investors and us, are making money” from the exit.

GrubMarket buys Butter to give its food distribution tech an AI boost

The investor lawsuit is related to Bolt securing a $30 million personal loan to Ryan Breslow, which was later defaulted on.

Bolt founder Ryan Breslow wants to settle an investor lawsuit by returning $37 million worth of shares