Today, I’m excited to share that pager is emerging from stealth with our first product and a fresh round of funding as we endeavor to build the future of internet discovery. We’ve raised a $5.2 million seed round, led by GV’s M.G. Siegler, with participation from an incredibly accomplished and diverse group of participating investors, founders, and operators. This includes new investors Collide Capital, Black Angel Group, Coalition Operators, Michael Mignano, Pete Skomoroch, and Eugene Wei, and existing investors like Homebrew, Haystack, and Scott Belsky. We’re thrilled to have the privilege of working with so many great minds over the coming years.
At pager, we see photographs as mechanisms for communicating experiences, and see screenshots as the photographs of our digital life.
From the advent of the camera, nearly 200 years ago, photographs have always been about taking you there. Enabling you to feel what it would have been like for you to be wherever the picture was taken. Today, our cameras are the primitives of modern social media, and sharing our life with others through cameras is undoubtedly the biggest consumer hit in the last 10 years. We’re captivated by the ability to discover the world through each other’s eyes, and we now spend more than 5 hours a day consuming content from lives across the world.
Now, as our digital world becomes more personalized, our experience of it becomes more isolated. Our friends don’t have the same algorithms as we do — their interests are adjacent, but not the same. And with this personalization comes a need to express our individual experiences to others — something that’s become increasingly difficult to do in the visual content era. As a result, screenshot usage has exploded since the beginning of the pandemic, growing from 3.2 images per day to more than 5 images per day in 2022. Today people take about as many screenshots as did mobile photographs in 2010, and yet screenshots haven’t changed much in 30+ years.
At pager, we see a new vision for screenshots: one that finally fulfills the promise of photographs, taking you directly to the content within and enabling the frictionless sharing of digital experiences so that we can discover the internet through the eyes of others.
Our first product is a visual link-in-bio for creators powered by our smart screenshots. As it turns out, creators take 5x more screenshots than the average person and no other cohort spends more time linking content on behalf of their community. Whether it’s clothing, makeup, a restaurant, or a destination, creators spend time discovering the best of the internet and curating it for their community. And pager is the simplest way to share everything you’re into from anywhere online.
With pager, creators curate visual collections of screenshots that are automatically linked by pager - so they can focus on making valuable content for their community. pager makes it easy to share dozens of links in an intuitive and visual format and it’s available in private beta starting today!
Building on top of screenshots represents a new frontier for consumer internet products. Rather than building products about sharing physical experiences, we’re leveraging photographs of our digital experiences to enable internet discovery through the eyes of others. But doing this is hard! Like really hard!
Screenshots are a problem solver’s paradise. The images are devoid of meta-data. Just pixels and a date. And it’s on us to figure out the rest. This has been our unique challenge from day one: we must solve new technical challenges just to enable the product experiences we envision.
Our team has done an incredible job of breaking down what might feel like an intractable problem into tangible milestones we’re constantly working towards. Like this summer when we realized server-side processing was too slow, we re-architected a massive machine learning model to run on device which led to a 50x performance improvement. After a big push like that it’s so rewarding to see people’s reactions to what our models enable and how fast they run on their phones.
It’s amazing to see how much we’ve grown as a company — from hosting 3 students as summer interns to get a prototype running to having the opportunity to work closely everyday with an amazing team of 10 people. And from working at my mom’s house in the midst of the pandemic to having the privilege of opening an office in Dumbo as we continue to grow our team! We’re hiring for several roles including engineering, product, and community. We’d love to hear from you — send us your best work here — and help us transform how the world discovers and shares their life online!