Jordan Verroi, founder of CapGenius tells us about AI text generators.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Jordan Verroi: My family and I are doing well. Initially, when Covid-19 hit, it was tough finding the right balance of wanting to visit my family in Atlanta while I’m here in NY and me not wanting to travel there to infect them potentially. Overall we’ve been in great spirits, and a good solid family environment has continued to nurture and propel our family to tackle problems together, grow from them and use this time to continue to do big things while supporting each other.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded CapGenius.
Jordan Verroi: I left a well-paying job in 2013 where I was recognized as #2 in the company to set out to build a life for myself instead of building a career for someone else’s company, and I haven’t looked back since.
I was down in Miami on a double date, and my date was looking for captions for the burger she was eating. I was rattling off funny one-liners and captions for her, and that’s how CapGenius was born. CapGenius acts like a simple search engine generating on-demand content and publishes it through a downloadable mobile keyboard on the App Store. Users can instantly search for captions, find relevant content, and use it anywhere they access their native keyboard.
I then took it a step further; with over 300 categories based on content, brands can reach their target demographic by sponsoring categories that users are searching for.
How does CapGenius innovate?
Jordan Verroi: Because you can access CapGenius anywhere, our users can easily access the thousands of captions for quick use across all social media platforms. With so many new platforms launching, we’re changing the caption/content game by making it easy for people to use organically, just like they use their emoji keyboard. We’re finding people using it on Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, text messages, work emails, and also new and upcoming platforms just hitting the market.
We recently announced a strategic partnership with GIPHY, now enabling our users to add relatable GIFs to their content based on what categories their searching in.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Jordan Verroi: We’ve been fortunate to see a big uptick in business due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since people have been at home more, they’ve been on their phones consuming more content, which has driven our users to want their content to stick out more with better and more relatable captions. Since its launch in 2017, we’ve seen the biggest amount of downloads last year because of this.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Jordan Verroi: I was lucky to learn so much in the first job I left as a corporate recruiter, which allowed me to bootstrap and hires/build everything with minimal outside contract work. Since CapGenius operates very lean, I was thankfully able to retain my employees while continuing to grow the company during this time.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Jordan Verroi: We’re seeing our users come specifically for the content, so it hasn’t evolved or changed because of the content. Our brand partnerships and deals have shifted a little to video calls more than in-person calls, but the customer can speak with us through the keyboard, and our custom dashboard on the backend can sort and efficiently respond as needed.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Jordan Verroi: No
Your final thoughts?
Jordan Verroi: While the Coronavirus’s impact has been tough on all of us, I’ve been able to use this “downtime” as an opportunity to grow personally exponentially. I’ve been able to eat healthier, work out more, manage my time better since I’m not running around meeting to meeting and read more. All of these things have helped me recenter and refocus my efforts to get CapGenius acquired.
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