Organizations today rely on a growing number of apps to get work done. According to Statista, in 2022, companies were licensing an average of 130 software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps, up from just 8 in 2015.
What that means for employees, generally, is more work — more work getting up to speed with the various tools, reading documentation and completing tutorials, and even prepping for certifications, in some cases. A recent poll from Okta, the IT services management company, suggests that “app overload” is a top productivity blocker, with 26% of employees responding to the survey saying that it makes them less efficient at work.
A partial solution, believes Yoav Einav, a Belmont-based entrepreneur, is a tool that lets users create visual documentation — videos, mainly — for software onboarding. Einav is the co-founder and CEO of Guidde, which leverages generative AI to automatically create embeddable video clips that instruct on how to use different web-based software apps.
Einav founded Guidde in 2020 alongside Dan Sahar. Both previously led product teams in data, machine learning operations and cybersecurity at companies like Qwilt, an open edge cloud startup, and Iguazio, a data management and orchestration platform.
“Guidde was founded in order to address a glaring gap Sahar and I experienced, which is how to enable users to be productive and drive engagement in business-to-business applications,” Einav told TechCrunch in an email interview. “This was exacerbated as companies shifted to more hybrid and remote work, causing onboarding and training to be severely hampered.”
Guidde works by capturing a user’s in-app activity through a Chrome extension, then transforming the recording using AI, automation and contextual analysis to create a video with an “AI-generated storyline,” as Einav describes it. Guidde-created videos can optionally feature an AI-generated voice in a desired language, background music and tags (which the platform automatically generate) that highlight key parts of a software workflow.
“Video creation today is fragmented, lengthy and challenging — it typically involves multiple tools, multiple people and entails sometimes weeks of work to produce even a single video,” Einav said. “Guidde fuses multiple point-products with the power of AI to establish a single platform that allows anyone in an organization to create, edit, publish and analyze video and documentation for any software in minutes.”
I was a little skeptical of Guidde’s claims, I must say, given generative AI’s tendency to fail at even the most basic use cases. But in my brief testing, the platform delivered on its promises more or less
Once the requisite Chrome extension installs, you can begin recording the process or workflow you wish to capture for a documentation video. Ingesting the finished recording, Guidde automatically splits it into labeled chapters — each with a description — based on actions taken during the recording, like button presses and browser tab switches, and generates an intro and outro voiceover.
Were I in the business of crafting a lot of SaaS tutorials, I could see myself using Guidde regularly — at least as a starting point. The AI isn’t perfect. But fortunately, any generated labels and descriptions can be edited before a video’s published.
Guidde also offers a streamlined video editing suite with effects like motion transitions, frame timing adjustment and cropping. If the platform’s synthetic voice options don’t suit a customer’s fancy, they can record their own to pair with the instructions in the video.
“We believe that we’ve found a nascent sweet spot at the intersection between PowerPoint and Loom that combines the simplicity of presentations and the engagement of video, so we appeal to the majority of enterprises where PowerPoint is a daily tool they’ve used for years but async video still isn’t heavily used,” Einav said. “Many teams that use Guidde often replace legacy desktop tools such as Camtasia, which they use for technical video production.”
Now, Guidde might not be able to convince every prospective corporate customer that its video creation platform, which is priced at $35 per user per month for medium-to-large-sized teams, is a worthwhile investment. According to a 2019 Kultura survey, 67% of employees admit to not giving in-house training videos their full attention, instead skimming the videos or listening to them while doing something else.
On the other hand, perhaps that’s Guidde’s selling point. If staffers aren’t watching videos that closely, why should employers spend a lot of time, energy and money producing them?
“We’ve held hundreds of conversations with employees across organizations large and small over the past two years,” Einav said. “Time and time again we heard the same issues: Many people hate recording their own voice and aren’t skilled at it, … subject-matter experts often aren’t the ones creating content, … [and] content lacks consistency and finish since each person uses a different look and feel, environment, voice and so on … We dove into the issues they faced today [and tried to solve them].”
Guiddes appears to have gained a following indeed, with a customer base that stands around 500 brands — including Payoneer, Redis and LiveNation — with “tens of thousands” of users combined. Revenue grew by more than 500% between last year and this year, meanwhile, Einav claims.
VCs see potential. Guidde today announced that it raised $11.6 million in a Series A funding round led by Norwest Venture Partners with participation from Entree Capital, Honeystone Ventures, Crescendo Ventures and Tiferes Ventures, bringing the company’s total raised to $15.6 million.
Guidde plans to use the new capital to expand its engineering and data science departments while growing its go-to-market team, Einav says. The startup has 17 employees at present, and aims to nearly double that number by the end off 2024.