Millions​ ​of​ ​researchers​ ​submit​ ​their​ ​manuscript​ ​to​ ​science​ ​journals​ ​for publishing,​ ​every​ ​year.​ ​With​ ​less​ ​than​ ​10%​ ​chance​ ​of​ ​getting​ ​published,​ ​authors​ ​battle​ ​lack​ ​of research-specific​ ​writing​ ​tools,​ ​tedious​ ​guidelines,​ ​and​ ​fuzzy​ ​submission​ ​procedures.

Today,​ ​a​ ​startup​ ​called​ ​Typeset.io​ ​has​ ​raised​ ​a​ ​pre-series​ ​A​ ​round​ ​of​ ​$850K​ ​to​ ​change​ ​all​ ​that and​ ​provide​ ​a​ ​writing​ ​platform​ ​that​ ​allows​ ​authors​ ​to​ ​communicate​ ​their​ ​research​ ​effectively.​ ​The Scientific​ ​Publishing​ ​market​ ​is​ ​pegged​ ​at​ ​$25Billion.

The​ ​funding​ ​comes​ ​from​ ​Haresh​ ​Chawla,​ ​a​ ​partner​ ​at​ ​True​ ​North​ ​(India​ ​Value​ ​Fund)​ ​in​ ​his personal​ ​capacity.​ ​He​ ​had​ ​initially​ ​invested​ ​in​ ​the​ ​venture​ ​in​ ​2015.​ ​The​ ​investment​ ​will​ ​be utilized​ ​in​ ​expanding​ ​the​ ​platform​ ​features​ ​across​ ​the​ ​research​ ​communication​ ​workflow.

So​ ​what’s​ ​the​ ​need​ ​for​ ​a​ ​writing​ ​platform​ ​specific​ ​for​ ​research?

“Research​ ​is​ ​what​ ​enables​ ​scientific​ ​progress.​ ​But​ ​the​ ​tools​ ​that​ ​researchers​ ​are​ ​forced​ ​to​ ​use today​ ​do​ ​not​ ​allow​ ​them​ ​to​ ​express​ ​their​ ​knowledge​ ​effectively”​ ​says​ ​Saikiran​ ​Chandha,​ ​CEO and​ ​co-founder​ ​of​ ​Typeset.io.​ ​“Typically​ ​an​ ​author​ ​has​ ​to​ ​use​ ​4-5​ ​different​ ​tools​ ​to​ ​collect,​ ​write, format,​ ​collaborate​ ​and​ ​submit​ ​their​ ​research​ ​paper​ ​to​ ​his/her​ ​target​ ​journal.​ ​The​ ​experience​ ​is fragmented.”

And​ ​that’s​ ​just​ ​the​ ​beginning​ ​of​ ​the​ ​problems​ ​researchers​ ​face.

Authors​ ​are​ ​forced​ ​to​ ​spend​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​time​ ​and​ ​effort​ ​in​ ​formatting​ ​their​ ​content​ ​to​ ​the​ ​target journal’s​ ​specific​ ​guidelines.​ ​A​ ​typical​ ​journal’s​ ​author​ ​guidelines​ ​run​ ​to​ ​hundreds​ ​of​ ​pages.​ ​Not less​ ​tedious​ ​are​ ​the​ ​procedures​ ​to​ ​get​ ​a​ ​research​ ​paper​ ​submitted.​ ​Continues,​ ​Saikiran​ ​“an author​ ​has​ ​to​ ​go​ ​through​ ​an​ ​average​ ​of​ ​20​ ​steps​ ​to​ ​get​ ​her​ ​paper​ ​submitted,​ ​and​ ​this​ ​is​ ​even before​ ​peer​ ​review!”

How​ ​do​ ​Typeset​ ​aim​ ​to​ ​solve​ ​these​ ​problems?​ ​

“We​ ​started​ ​by​ ​creating​ ​a​ ​Universal​ ​Manuscript Editor​ ​for​ ​researchers.​ ​This​ ​intelligent​ ​editor​ ​brings​ ​down​ ​the​ ​formatting​ ​effort​ ​down​ ​to​ ​zero. Authors​ ​can​ ​write​ ​their​ ​content​ ​on​ ​the​ ​platform​ ​and​ ​in​ ​a​ ​click​ ​get​ ​their​ ​paper​ ​formatted​ ​to​ ​any research​ ​Journal’s​ ​guidelines”​ ​says,​ ​Shanu​ ​Kumar,​ ​CTO,​ ​and​ ​co-founder.

Typeset​ ​presently​ ​has​ ​over​ ​28,000​ ​intelligent​ ​journal​ ​builders​ ​and​ ​is​ ​adding​ ​hundreds​ ​every week.​ ​Our​ ​aim​ ​is​ ​to​ ​cover​ ​all​ ​the​ ​journals​ ​by​ ​December​ ​2017.​ ​With​ ​this​ ​we​ ​would​ ​have​ ​freed millions​ ​of​ ​scientific​ ​researchers​ ​all​ ​over​ ​the​ ​globe​ ​from​ ​hours​ ​of​ ​time​ ​they​ ​spend​ ​in​ ​formatting their​ ​submissions.

How’s​ ​the​ ​user​ ​response​ ​on​ ​the​ ​product​ ​been​ ​like?​ ​

“Absolutely​ ​amazing,”​ ​beams​ ​Shanu.​ ​Within three​ ​months​ ​of​ ​launch,​ ​tens​ ​of​ ​thousands​ ​of​ ​researchers​ ​from​ ​103​ ​countries​ ​are​ ​writing​ ​on​ ​the platform.​ ​“We​ ​are​ ​adding​ ​nearly​ ​5000​ ​users​ ​per​ ​month,​ ​and​ ​at​ ​the​ ​moment​ ​our​ ​users​ ​are completing​ ​120+​ ​academic​ ​papers​ ​per​ ​week​ ​on​ ​the​ ​platform,​ ​with​ ​almost​ ​95%​ ​of​ ​new​ ​users coming​ ​via​ ​word​ ​of​ ​mouth”,​ ​adds​ ​Saikiran.​ ​Saikiran​ ​and​ ​Shanu​ ​aspire​ ​for​ ​Typeset​ ​to​ ​become one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​biggest​ ​consumer​ ​SaaS​ ​success​ ​stories​ ​from​ ​India.

Shanu​ ​attributes​ ​it​ ​to​ ​the​ ​team.​ ​“In​ ​2​ ​years​ ​since​ ​we​ ​began​ ​work​ ​on​ ​this​ ​platform,​ ​we​ ​have grown​ ​to​ ​become​ ​a​ ​25-member​ ​team.​ ​Our​ ​core​ ​engineering​ ​and​ ​product​ ​team​ ​come​ ​from prestigious​ ​universities​ ​such​ ​as​ ​NUS​ ​Singapore,​ ​Stanford,​ ​IIT,​ ​IIM,​ ​NID​ ​etc.​ ​We​ ​are​ ​looking​ ​to grow​ ​more,​ ​with​ ​this​ ​round​ ​of​ ​funding.” According​ ​to​ ​Shanu,​ ​the​ ​underlying​ ​technology​ ​can​ ​be​ ​used​ ​on​ ​an​ ​array​ ​of​ ​other​ ​documents, where​ ​compliance​ ​to​ ​formatting​ ​rules​ ​is​ ​set​ ​mandatory​ ​by​ ​the​ ​publisher.​ ​In​ ​fact,​ ​students​ ​from top​ ​universities​ ​are​ ​already​ ​using​ ​Typeset.io​ ​to​ ​write​ ​their​ ​thesis​ ​and​ ​assignments​ ​on​ ​the platform.

Typeset.io’s​ ​competitors​ ​are​ ​Authorea,​ ​ShareLaTeX,​ ​Overleaf,​ ​and​ ​LyX.​ ​“In​ ​a​ ​direct​ ​sense,​ ​even Microsoft-word​ ​and​ ​Google​ ​docs​ ​are​ ​our​ ​competitors”​ ​explains​ ​Saikiran.​ ​“Authorea, ShareLaTeX,​ ​Lyx,​ ​and​ ​Overleaf​ ​require​ ​users​ ​to​ ​learn​ ​LaTeX​ ​and​ ​these​ ​tools​ ​are​ ​not user-friendly.​ ​Microsoft-word​ ​and​ ​Google-docs​ ​are​ ​not​ ​built​ ​for​ ​research​ ​content​ ​creation​ ​and thus​ ​lack​ ​critical​ ​features​ ​such​ ​as​ ​auto-formatting,​ ​structured-XML​ ​output,​ ​and​ ​journal​ ​templates. Also,​ ​none​ ​of​ ​the​ ​competitors​ ​provide​ ​an​ ​end-end​ ​workflow​ ​integration​ ​such​ ​as​ ​peer-review, reference​ ​library,​ ​and​ ​single​ ​click​ ​submissions.”

Commenting ​ ​ on ​ ​ the ​ ​ funding, ​ ​ Haresh ​ ​ Chawla ​ ​ says ​ ​ “It’s ​ ​ been ​ ​ fantastic ​ ​ working ​ ​ with ​ ​ the ​ ​ Typeset team ​ ​ for ​ ​ over ​ ​ two ​ ​ years ​ ​ now. ​ ​ They ​ ​ are ​ ​ attacking ​ ​ a ​ ​ tough ​ ​ problem ​ ​ in ​ ​ a ​ ​ massive ​ ​ market ​ ​ and ​ ​ have the ​ ​ potential ​ ​ to ​ ​ become ​ ​ one ​ ​ of ​ ​ the ​ ​ successful ​ ​ global ​ ​ B2C ​ ​ companies ​ ​ from ​ ​ India”.

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