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SpaceX and Microsoft vets raise $5.4M for Gradial, a Seattle startup using generative AI for marketing

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Gradial execs, from left: Deip Kumar, CTO; Anish Chadalavada, COO; Doug Tallmadge, CEO. (Gradial Photo)

Gradial, a new Seattle startup using generative AI to help marketing operations teams increase productivity, raised $5.4 million in a seed investment round led by Madrona.

Founded last year by former managers at SpaceX and Microsoft, the company’s software allows brands to build websites, campaigns, and other marketing-related experiences by simply typing written sentences. It also helps streamline related workflows to speed up how content is edited and updated — for example, taking a design from Canva or Figma and implementing it across a company’s website and apps.

Gradial is one of many up-and-coming startups taking advantage of new large language model technology that is automating the way people write code, produce content, and much more.

“The emergence of generative AI gives us the ability to re-think how businesses interact with the software workflows and data that they use every day,” Matt McIlwain, managing director at Madrona, wrote in a blog post. “What if we can build on top of these incumbent systems to automate and shape the way we want to work?”

Gradial, previously known as Pano AI, is targeting a wide range of potential customers. The company already has several Fortune 500 marketing teams using its software.

“We are building the tools to enable marketing at the speed of thought,” said Doug Tallmadge, Gradial CEO and co-founder.

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Gradial also has a tool that lets sales teams surface data from CRM systems from text prompts.

Tallmadge was previously a software engineering manager at SpaceX. Other co-founders include Anish Chadalavada, a former AI strategy manager at Microsoft and investor at Point72 Ventures, and Deip Kumar, who also worked at SpaceX and Microsoft. All three co-founders graduated from Dartmouth.

Chadalavada said customer research shows that many marketing leaders want their teams spending less time on manual execution and more on creative strategy.

“The execution process of making content and pushing that across channels into the content management system ends up clogging up a lot of their resources,” he said. “The whiteboarding and the creative time loses as a result.”

Gradial employs seven people and will grow headcount with the new funding.

General Advance, Outsiders Fund, and Space Capital also invested in the seed round.

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Source: Geek Wire

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