February 20, 2023

Investment Notes: Chronicle $7.5m Seed

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February 22, 2023

Investment Notes: Chronicle $7.5m Seed

James Tynan

Jethro Cohen

We are thrilled to have co-led a $7.5M Seed round in Chronicle along with Accel, and to be investing with some of the leading product builders and operators from Apple, Google, Meta, Superhuman, Slack, Intercom and more.

The Problem

Robert Gaskins, the creator of Powerpoint, wrote in his book, ‘Sweating Bullets’, that Powerpoint was created to design slides for the overhead projector. Over the next forty years our ways of working fundamentally changed. But the metaphor of a light-powered slide projector has remained. And the massive adoption of Powerpoint means we all now live in a world of slides.

Slide decks have become the go-to way of sharing information inside organisations - giving formal presentations, explaining projects, running team meetings, and sharing asynchronous updates.

For many of these use cases, Powerpoint is a frustrating and time-consuming creation tool. Most people don’t have the skills to make their slides look amazing. You can’t easily plug data into Powerpoint and have it update in real-time, so companies spin up teams dedicated to updating reports. Adding interactivity to a presentation is an advanced skill.

After all the time we spend creating slide decks, it’s ironic that consuming them is so boring that it’s referred to as “death by Powerpoint.” Presentations are often dull, and consuming them is needlessly clunky - particularly on mobile devices which can require pinching and zooming to read text. Remote meetings are even worse because once the presentation is up it becomes a wall between the presenter and the audience.

The Solution

Chronicle is a new form of storytelling software that will make creating and consuming presentations an easy, powerful, delightful, and collaborative experience.

How can you make beautiful presentations quickly without skill or lots of effort? Chronicle gives users superpowers with “blocks”. Instead of aligning text boxes and tweaking charts, Chronicle allows users to drop data or text into a block and magically turn it into a beautiful version of whatever they want.

Maybe you have a bullet point list of some statistics from your acquisition funnel. Chronicle will turn these bullets into world-class information design at the click of a button. No need to pixel push, or design something from scratch.

Chronicle cuts the time it takes teams to create a presentation from hours to minutes.

Chronicle is also recreating the consumption experience. The flexible nature of blocks means presentations can adapt to fit whatever screen the viewer might be using - no more pinching and zooming. Chronicle also makes it easy to add “depth” to a presentation - enabling a viewer to pause and dig into more detail if they wish while maintaining a clean design language. Collaboration is also a big focus - the presenter will be able to direct audience attention and enable team members to collaborate on the presentation in real-time.

The Team

Mayuresh Patole (Co-founder and CEO) has been thinking about visual storytelling since he was a teenager. Growing up in India, he’s been obsessed with visuals and design since childhood.

He got into IIT, the premier engineering college (and unicorn factory) in India where he met Chronicle’s Co-founder and COO, Tejas Gawande. Mayuresh started moonlighting by teaching founders about design and formed a cult-like following. He was soon spending all his nights building mind-blowing presentations. Soon over 300 people were queuing up outside his dorm to learn from him.

Before founding Chronicle, Mayuresh worked at BCG as a consultant where he was top of his cohort. He then switched to their Digital Ventures arm in Australia as a designer and venture builder.

Tejas started his career in consulting at Monitor Deloitte, before moving to Asia Pacific's largest retail and e-commerce network, Luxasia, as a Product Manager. In these roles, Tejas became known for his love of great productivity tools, launching a Substack newsletter - It’s Probably Nothing - where he dissects the good, the bad, and the ugly of our modern productivity stack to his thousands of subscribers.

Where to from here?

As recovering strategy consultants we couldn’t be more excited to be partnering with Mayuresh and Tejas to blow up Powerpoint. If you’re similarly excited by the future of storytelling, sign up to be among the first to use Chronicle here.

Chronicle is also hiring a series of roles, which are posted on their job board here.

If you’d like to hear Mayuresh tell his own story, tune into the High Flyers podcast here.