Will SEO optimization tool from Polish Surfer stand up to ChatGPT?

The Wroclaw-based startup has made a global career in its niche in a few years, already having 16k subscribers. Its products that facilitate creating, positioning and auditing content for SEO optimization are used by 150k users from 140+ countries. In 2022, it generated $14 million in revenue and $7 million in net profit.

Until a few years ago, SEO specialists wasted a lot of time looking for relationships between different elements of websites that affect their positions in Google’s search engine. Surfer’s founders decided to tackle this challenge. In a short time, they wrote an application that uses the latest technologies and has better potential for scaling. They showed a beta version of their product at the semKRK industry conference in late 2017. After its presentation, 70% of the attendees wanted to access it, and over time there were 2,000. It cemented the idea that it was worth building the business after all.

Commercialization of the product

Eventually, the paid version of the product went on the market in late 2018, and in just 2 months, the company managed to sell 300 subscriptions. The breakthrough year for the company’s development turned out to be 2019. Its popularity grew thanks to its contribution to foreign Facebook groups dedicated to SEO and the organization of webinars. As a result, the company partnered with well-known SEO influencer Matt Diggity, who invested $20,000 in the company. And he got a booth at November’s Chiang Mai SEO Conference in Thailand, where Surfer went with its new product. It was a content editor, a tool that helps create optimized website content. It was so good that half of the 800 conference attendees purchased a subscription.

Financial results

All this translated into results. In 2018, the company had $0.4 million in revenue; a year later, it had $1.9 million. In 2021, it succeeded in integrating its product with Jasper, an AI-based content creation platform now valued at $1.5 billion. Revenues then rose to $6 million in revenue and net income to $1.9 million. A year later, sales increased 2.5 times, profit almost 4 times, doubling employment to 90 people. Thus, the startup became one of the most promising Polish technology companies globally. Indeed, more than 95% of the company’s revenue is generated from outside Poland, mainly from the US.

Threats

2023 was a challenging year for the company as the AI revolution swept the world, which could shake up the SEO industry. Indeed, ChatGTP became the world’s most popular tool for generating various types of text out of the box. Surfer responded with its AI-powered product, facilitating the automatic creation of optimized search engine content. Revenues increased, but only by half. The company needs to look for new ideas for growth.

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TOP-3

  1. DeepL Translator is a powerful next-generation online translation tool based on neural networks. The service supports 26 languages (as of May 2022).
  2. Eleven Labs is the world’s best technology for speech synthesis.
  3. Tomasz Czajka, Flight Software Engineer at SpaceX. He was a member of the team that was the first from Poland to win the 2003 ICPC finals.

TOP-3 on the Polish site (links lead to the English version)

  1. Booksy is the world’s most popular app for booking appointments at hairdressers and beauty salons.
  2. Vasco Translator V4 is a translation device that works online in 150+ countries, speaks 75 languages, and translates captions from photos from 108 in 0.5 sec.
  3. TOP-10 Polish companies in the gamedev sector 2023. The leader is CD Projekt, ahead of Techland and PlayWay.

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