Sunil Rajaraman's '01 Scripted.com Raises $700k in Seed Financing
Sunil Rajaraman '01 started his entrepreneurial venture in 2007, and since then Scripted.com has blossomed into a marketplace where over 80,000 freelance writers are joined with small businesses, who are looking for great content.
Businesses join Scripted to secure writers for a wide range of content needs from blog posts and social media posts, to newsletters, articles and copywriting.
Recently, the start-up secured over $700,000 in seed funding, led by Crosslink Capital.
CEO and co-founder Rajaraman '01 recently took the time to tell us more about his business, how it works, and his advice to writers:
Q: Tell us more about Scripted.com. Where did the idea for this sort of company originate? A: We were originally a web-based screenwriting software startup company called Scripped.com. Our mission was to provide screenwriters with high quality collaborative screenwriting software - like Google Docs. We amassed an enormous user-base of writers (now 80,000) and Levi's approached us last summer about hiring out our writers to do non-entertainment industry writing work. The project was a huge success and now we write thousands blog posts, tweets, and other types of written works for business clients.
Q: What year was the company founded? And where? A: In July 2007 in Los Angeles.
Q: How do writers connect with you/your business? A: Writers find us by searching for our screenwriting software, and stick around for the paid gigs we offer them on Scripted. Before a writer can do work for a business, we vet them to see if they are expert at different subjects. If the writer "passes the test," he or she is matched with a business that makes sense. For example, if we determine the writer is qualified to write about finance, we may match him or her with an investment bank, or private equity firm that needs written work.
The businesses come to us through email marketing campaigns and limited advertising.
Q: How are the writers vetted by Scripted.com? A: The process is manual at the moment - we have an accounts team who sees writing samples, determined whether the quality is good, and then passes on the work to a "subject matter expert," who determines whether the writing is authoritative. Along the way, we use technology to check for simple things like plagiarism.
Q: What types businesses would you typically connect writers with? A: Our typical customer is a small company (less than 50) and does about 2 blog posts a week with us at $39/blog post. These are companies that don't have time.
Q: You've had great financing success recently (approximately $700,000 in seed financing led by Crosslink Capital) how did you get connected with Crosslink? A: We were lucky enough to have one of our advisors make an introduction - from there it went well! We really liked Crosslink from the very first meeting.
Q: What are your company's goals for 2012? (And how will you use your most recent funding?) A: We plan on significantly growing the buyer side of the business. We have plenty of writers and plenty of buyers, but want to scale up to about 3,000 blog posts completed each month.
Q: If you were giving advice to current CMCers who want to be writers, what would you tell them? A: To writers I would say this: Sometimes you have to take bad jobs before you get good ones. Put yourself out there, establish a brand and an editorial voice. All writers are entrepreneurs and should strive to have something meaningful to say no matter how mundane the topic.
Q: Are you happy you chose entrepreneurship as your path since CMC? A: 100% yes. I've worked for big companies in the past, and it is nowhere near as rewarding as starting your own thing. We work hard, but we love what we do here.