Artisan AI closes a $7.3M seed round to build AI employees for enterprise

Artisan AI, a startup developing AI employees and software for enterprise companies, raised $7.3 million in a round led by Oliver Jung, an early investor in Airbnb, Rippling, and Revolut.

Other investors included Sequoia Scout, Y Combinator, Soma Capital, BOND Capital, Anu Hariharan, Paul Daversa, Fellow’s Fund, Mento VC, and more. Investors had strong confidence in Artisan AI, allowing them to raise on an uncapped 20% discount SAFE, meaning the round would convert at a 20% discount to their Series A valuation.

The YC-backed San Francisco company built Artisans, fully autonomous AI employees, and a unified platform to replace the entire SaaS stack, enabling humans and AI to work together seamlessly and preventing enterprise teams from needing to context switch.

Starting with sales, Artisan aimed to replace and automate the entire GTM SaaS stack. Artisan launched its AI BDR, Ava, in February 2023. Ava automated 80% of a BDR’s role and operated within the Artisan Sales platform, consolidating tens of outbound sales tools into a single platform. It was also the only sales software to automate personalised email writing with dynamic email playbooks emulating the style of a human BDR. Artisan AI saw strong interest from large B2B SaaS companies ready to consolidate their complex, fragmented software stack.

Artisan’s mission was to create an all-in-one platform to replace and consolidate top SaaS products in the GTM space, where Artisans worked alongside human teams to automate the majority of their work. Next in their pipeline were Liam, the Marketing Artisan, and James, the Customer Success Artisan.

Artisan is the only company creating AI employees and consolidating the SaaS stack. CEO Jaspar Carmichael-Jack says: “Our competitors are building solutions that sit on top of existing software stacks - that’s not the right way to go. Our vision is to become the go-to platform for GTM SaaS and digital labour. When you’re hiring AI employees, you’re not going to want to also pay for software tools for them to use. We’re at war against context switching, poor UX and manual workflows. And, we’re on a mission to make B2B SaaS sexy!”

6 months ago, Artisan was accepted into Y Combinator with a team of 3. Since then, they have launched V2 of their platform, onboarded 100+ companies, and have 13 employees working on their product.

Artisan launched V2 of their platform at the beginning of April. This release introduced Level 2 Autonomy of AI Agents, a significant improvement on Level 1, which came out in February 2023. Where Level 1 Ava required manual human review, Level 2 Ava operates on autopilot, independently crafting and sending emails in a variety of styles, without direct human input.

These ‘levels’ are based on the levels of AI agent autonomy, which is a framework central to Artisan’s vision of a future where AI employees and humans collaborate seamlessly.

At the basic end of the spectrum, where most AI solutions today exist, Level 1 autonomy is where the agent acts upon specific instructions without deviation. Level 2, where Ava currently operates, introduces assisted autonomy, where the system can make certain decisions and perform tasks with minimal human oversight.

Artisan is currently working on Level 3 autonomy, where AI agents will not only execute tasks but also begin to manage complex decision-making processes within specified scenarios. The Artisan team will continue to ascend the levels of autonomy until they achieve Level 5 Artisans – AI employees that can perform better than humans in all hard & soft skills associated with a given role.

The complete integration of AI in the office is quickly becoming a reality. Ava currently automates 80% of a Business Development Representative’s (BDR) role. This capability underscores the profound shift in how work is conducted and the role of human workers in the new digital economy.

Carmichael-Jack says: “Work is changing forever, and every person’s job responsibilities will change in the next few years. We are at a pivotal time in humankind, and I truly believe we are on the precipice of the next Industrial Revolution. At Artisan, we’re positioning ourselves at the forefront of this AI Renaissance. We will be the leaders in bringing AI employees to the mainstream.”