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Antler Australia

Antler Investor Memo Series: Creator platform Focia uses AI to generate and optimise content

- May 1, 2023 3 MIN READ
Focia cofounders Mika Siddiqui and Umesh Wimalawardana
Focia cofounders Mika Siddiqui and Umesh Wimalawardana

Early stage investment company Antler Australia recently backed a new cohort of startups as part of its ongoing program to build great local tech companies.

Startup Daily is sharing the details of each venture in the “Antler Investor Memos” series, which is designed to give you a quick,  sharp understanding of the startups and people involved, with many seeking follow up capital following Antler’s initial pre-seed investment.

Company name: Focia 

Formation date: 2022

Stage of business: Pre-Seed

Founders: Mika Siddiqui and Umesh Wimalawardana 

Current investors: Antler

Currently raising: Yes

 

Description of business

The creator economy is now estimated to be worth over US$100 billion with 165 million creators joining the worldwide industry in the last two years alone, according to the latest data from Adobe.  

The rapid growth of the creator economy has seen people across industries, geographies and backgrounds developing  platforms to express themselves, cultivate an engaged audience, and ultimately, monetise their content. For two-thirds of creators, however, it often takes three years to build and grow their online audience.

The all-in-one creator economy platform, Focia, enables creators and marketers to turn their ideas into highly engaging content by predicting the performance and engagement of posts, suggesting content improvements before being posted and utilising generative AI to assist in the creation of content ideas.

Powered by generative AI and machine learning, Focia creates and optimises bespoke content for creators, and predicts which posts will perform the best. It’s proprietary models forecast which content audiences want to engage with and optimises new posts accordingly. 

For many creators the changes to social media  algorithms have impacted how their content is discovered, Focia’s technology helps creators predict emerging trends, adapt content to algorithmic preferences, and create targeted engaging posts. 

Antler investment thesis

“Mika and Umesh bring the exceptional technical capability required in this space and impressed us with the quality of their output and pace of execution. Excellent team dynamics and common values date back to their shared experience as highschoolers in New Zealand,” said Cath Rogers, Partner at Antler Australia.

“We invested in the business when the product demonstrated improved Instagram engagement for images and it has since evolved to service other formats, social media channels, improved generative capability and added scheduling making the product more relevant to enterprise users such as agencies in addition to individual creators”.

Traction/milestones

Since launching its beta product, Focia now analyses over 20,000 images per week and has 1,000 users signed up to its waitlist From analysing engagement of users pre and post using Focia, an average of 15% uplift in engagement was shown.

One creator and user of Focia was able to amass over 1M total likes on their TikTok account with the help of Focia’s trending analytics. With Focia’s proprietary modelling, a common technique called cross-validation was used to determine an accuracy rate of 80% for engagement predictions.

Latest funding

Pre-Seed from Antler

Use of funds

Focia secured Antler’s Pre-Seed investment late last year, it has leveraged this initial funding to launch its beta app in market, develop generative AI capabilities to create content, build its predictive category model, and finalise its in-platform editor. 

The founders say

“There currently are no sources of truth for creators and understanding how various platform’s algorithms work can feel like a gamble for most creators,” said Mika Siddiqui, cofounder of Focia. 

“Aspiring creators often require help growing their audience. Our proprietary modelling not only predicts which content will perform the best, it also discovers emerging trends, optimises and even creates content to target this. Our all-in-one platform seeks to help creators through every aspect of the journey. 

“At Focia, our ultimate ambition is to become the one platform that every aspiring creator needs to grow. We will expand from predicting what works to allowing creators to edit, collaborate and monetise all within one platform.

“Antler has provided us with coaching sessions and workshops that have been extremely pivotal in the way we run our startup. The fact that we have access to the Antler community has especially been helpful in understanding how to grow our startup and what directions to take.”

What’s next?

Antler, a global early-stage VC, is revealing all its latest investments made in ambitious Australian founders and startups. With over 100 investments in early-stage companies, Focia is one of its most recent portfolio companies.

 

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