Have you ever tried — and failed — for way too long to rediscover articles you’ve partially read? This reporter has been there, and I’m not the only one. According to a 2021 Carnegie Mellon study on browser tab usage, many participants admitted feeling overwhelmed by the number of tabs they kept open but were forced not to close them for fear of missing out on valuable information.
Samiur Rahman is familiar with the feeling — so much so that he co-created a product, Heyday, to alleviate it. Launched in 2021, Heyday is designed to automatically save web pages and retrieve content from cloud apps, resurface the range next to search engine results, and manage it in a knowledge base.
Investors include Spark Capital, which led a $6.5 million starting round in the company that closed today. Abstract Ventures, the Not Boring syndicate of Packy McCormick, Ride Ventures, Spacecadet Ventures, and several angel investors participated.
“In 2021, I founded Heyday together with Sam DeBrule. Sam and I recently discontinued a product in the knowledge management space that wasn’t gaining traction,” Rahman emailed TechCrunch. Rahman was previously a software engineer at Amazon, while DeBrule co-founded two startups, Ventfull and Tempo, before joining Heyday. “While building the product, we met a group of early adopters who felt underserved by popular knowledge management tools that require constant manual input. We were still passionate about helping people deal with information overload, so we used our machine learning expertise to build a product that relies heavily on automation to free people from repetitive tasks and use their information more effectively.” Heyday’s user experience is seen from Heyday’s web dashboard.
Heyday, whose client is a browser extension (for Chrome, Firefox, Brave, Edge, and Vivaldi) and apps for desktop or iOS, can pull in files, links, browser histories, and conversations from platforms such as Google Docs, Dropbox, Slack, and Twitter. During setup, users indicate topics of interest to them, link their accounts, and sign up for a daily “Flashback” email showcasing recently researched topics. Searches can be performed in the user’s public engine of choice (e.g., Google, Bing) or from Heyday’s search interface, which recognizes prompts for calendar appointments, file types, recipes, and Twitter profiles.
The system is powered by an AI model trained on more than 15GB of English text scraped from the web that performs a “match-based match” for each query to match content based on its semantic similarity. For each piece of content (e.g., web page or document) a user views, a different model — aligned with Heyday’s collection of articles and tags — predicts related topics that can be presented to that user. Additional models rank content by issues a user has already followed and generate summaries for content.
“It allows us to suggest new topics for users to follow and suggest content for them to compile into existing followed topics so they can automatically populate their knowledge base,” Rahman said. “The challenge for founders involved in knowledge management and productivity is that early adopter who is most excited about trying new tools are likely not representative of the larger population of people who still use Google Docs and Apple Notes by default. We see new products entering the market that initially get a lot of attention from people with a passion for productivity but do not break through to mass adoption. By building a product optimized for ease of use rather than depth and flexibility, founders like us can win the market.”
I’ve only been testing Heyday briefly, but I can confidently say it was helpful to dive back into forgotten rabbit holes. Within minutes of installing the Chrome extension, Heyday flagged articles I had searched last week while researching a feature of “buy now, pay later” apps.
Heyday cracks a lot of personal information. But Rahman says the platform encrypts all data so only users can see their respective timelines. All data is associated with users who choose not to pay for Heyday after the trial period and fwithcustomers who refuse to renew their subscriptions. (He will be deldeletdel deleteyree for the first 14 days and $10 monthly afterward.)
Rahman says that “people who read and research a lot online” — content marketers, entrepreneurs, investors, and the like — are among Heyday’s first users. It’s still early days, but eventually, Heyday plans to build an experience for teams that will aggregate content from individual users into a shared knowledge base.
“Heyday competes with tools and other intertwined systems that people use to remember things — like leaving hundreds of browser tabs open, sending content to themselves, and leaving email newsletters unread,” Rahman said. †[We’re] well positioned to withstand potential headwinds.”
While refusing to reveal sales figures or the size of Heyday’s customer base, Rahman said the closing of the most recent round gives Heyday a runway that will last more than two and a half years. Heyday has four employees from the San Francisco, California office; it plans to lease four more by 2023.