AiSDR 2023 Year in Review
Whew… 2023 has been such a fast-paced whirlwind that it’s hard to believe the year is almost over. To put this in perspective, AiSDR wasn’t even around 9 months ago, let alone a full year.
Let that soak in for a moment…
In just 8 months, AiSDR went from “idea” to “business plan” to “MVP” to “launch”. And now, we’re firmly entrenched and razor-focused on growing our business.
Still, in order to grow successfully, it’s important to set aside a bit of time (and blog space) to reflect on the past year. As we stand on the cusp of a brand-new year, here’s a quick look back at the milestones, challenges, and successes that have defined 2023.
A New Beginning
At the beginning of 2023, everyone was troubled by the overall state of the global economy. Rampant inflation, rising interest rates, and widespread layoffs were atop the many concerns of society.
At the same time, the release of ChatGPT opened new horizons for using artificial intelligence and technology. Practically overnight, the entire public discourse changed from doomsday economic scenarios to explorations of AI’s potential.
These two parallel, constantly evolving narratives formed the general backdrop that existed when Yuriy Zaremba, our co-founder and CEO, first came up with the idea of leveraging generative AI as an AI sales development representative in May 2023.
This AI SDR would later be known as AiSDR.
Y Combinator application
Soon after generating (no pun intended) the idea of AiSDR, Yuriy used it as the basis for his application to Y Combinator. If accepted, AiSDR would become Yuriy’s second YC-backed company (his first being AXDRAFT, which was acquired by Onit in 2020).
Then in June, Yuriy had his YC interview. If you’re unfamiliar with the process of a typical YC interview, it goes something like this:
- The interview is a 10-minute conversation over Zoom.
- Attendees include all company founders and 2-3 YC partners.
- The founders are asked several questions about progress, users, and metrics.
- Founders should also be ready to show a demo of what they’re building.
By month’s end, Y Combinator accepted Yuriy’s application, including him in their Summer 2023 batch.
AiSDR is Born
Yuriy’s acceptance into Y Combinator is what really got the ball rolling. However, in July, before he could fly off to California to take part in Y Combinator’s on-site activities, Yuriy had to finish laying the groundwork.
Here’s a brief glimpse at what this included:
- 3 software engineers were added to a product development team spearheaded by Oleg Zaremba (co-founder and CTO).
- AiSDR was officially incorporated.
- 3 more team members were added to focus on product, marketing, and customer support.
- AiSDR’s first 10 customers were signed by the end of the month.
With the foundation built, all that was left was the official product launch.
AiSDR is Launched
August 2023 was another busy month with several major milestones.
The chief milestone was the official release of AiSDR, which included important built-in integrations with Gmail, Hubspot, and Calendly. Shortly after, AiSDR broke through 1,000 total emails sent by all customers.
We also started to gain sales traction as our customer base doubled from 10 to 20, thanks in no small part to Yuriy capitalizing on his six years of experience in founder-led sales.
And, as the cherry on top, Oleg was named one of Forbes 30 under 30, just in time for Y Combinator’s Demo Day in September.
$3M seed round closed
Demo Day is, more or less, the culminating experience for every Y Combinator batch. It’s when YC’s latest batch is given the chance to pitch their ideas and show their products’ unique value proposition and growth potential.
After demo-ing AiSDR’s progress and pitching our room for growth, the rest of September was dedicated to building out current features, setting up new tools, and signing new clients.
Once everything was said and done, AiSDR had successfully raised $3 million in funding.
Shifting from Launch to Growth
If AiSDR’s progress from May to September can be considered fast, then the past three months have been even faster.
In October, we launched our LinkedIn personalization feature, which boosted the quality of email personalization. Instead of just tailoring content by position and industry, emails began to be hyper-personalized, taking into account each lead’s recent LinkedIn data, such as new posts, positions, and education.
We even revamped our UI’s overall design and added capabilities like an advanced scheduler and a subject line designer. Aside from making AiSDR more comfortable to use, it became easier to control when emails would be sent and the appearance of subject lines.
As a result, we’ve seen our median response rate on outbound emails improve to the point where it can consistently outperform the industry standard. For instance, in addition to booking meetings, some of our customers saw response rates of 8-12% (for context, the average outbound reply rate is 5-10%), as well as open rates of over 30%.
Meanwhile, our customer base has tripled, and we’ve expanded our team with several more developers and customer success agents. The quality of our emails is also rapidly improving thanks to a new email feedback feature that allows users to critique email quality, teaching our AI SDR how to write emails better through reinforced learning.
Looking Forward to 2024
By launching a built-in lead database, we’ve positioned ourselves as a prime AI SDR platform that can handle a company’s inbound and outbound sales workflow, from lead prospecting to demo. Our one-stop-shop nature should be attractive to single entrepreneurs who lack time for sales, small businesses that rely on founder-led sales strategies, and enterprises that want to target new audiences.
If 2023 was a story of rapid growth and development, then we’d like to think 2024 will be a story of fine-tuning and expansion. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s in store for next year:
- Salesforce integration
- Microsoft Outlook integration
- Multi-channel outreach
And much, much more.
Book a demo with our team if you’d like to witness and experience AiSDR’s continued development first-hand. You can also follow us on social media for regular updates: LinkedIn, Facebook, X (Twitter), and Instagram.
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