Living in New York is great. Beyond all the tasty food and amazing culture, the entrepreneurial scene is alive and kicking. As a result, if you are interested, you can actually meet new entrepreneurs and start-ups on a daily basis. Therefore, since I have moved to the city about two months ago, I decided to make an effort and participate in these events whenever I can.
At one of these events, I discovered Prooffix, a proofreading marketplace that enables its users to improve their written documents by connecting them to proofreaders who were vetted by the company in advance (this is considered one of the company’s value propositions in comparison to its competitors).
What is Their Product?
On the company’s website, users can upload their English written document (the company just launched a Spanish website as well), and a native-speaking “Fixer,” i.e. a proofreader who was initially pre-screened by the company with subsequent user reviews, will proofread the document and ensure that the user’s grammar and spelling (among other things) are correct.
The Proofreading Market is Growing Really Fast
According to the start-up’s co-founders, Alon & Maggie, Prooffix has proofread a wide range of documents from blog posts to university applications to cover letters.
Prooffix is trying to tap into the foreign student market and to provide a service to individuals who are constantly looking for reliable proofreading as they pursue their academic endeavors and professional careers later on. A Brookings research paper shows that between 2001 to 2012 the number of foreign students in the US increased dramatically from 110,000 to 524,000, which suggests that Prooffix will have an ability to disrupt this growing and attractive market.
Very Interesting Competition
Since the marketplace business model is trending and the proofreading market is very attractive, there are other service providers that try to attract the same customers. Companies such as Fiverr, Elance, Scribendi, Eloquence and others offer automated and non-automated products in various price ranges.
How Prooffix Competes with Its Competitors?
In order to differentiate itself from the current market, the company offers fast delivery (anywhere from 3 hours to 24 hours ), emphasizes the quality of its deliverables with only non-automated, vetted professionals who are interviewed prior to being onboarded, and offers a low price point that starts at $4 per document.
As I always do with my reviews, I decided to test Prooffix’s product. For doing that, I decided to use this post as an example. The user interface on the website was great and simple and is very much self-explanatory. After choosing the type of service (I chose the 24 hours turnaround), I had to upload my document in its word version (although other file types are possible as well).
Then, I had to choose out of multiple “fixers” the one that will fit my needs best. I really liked how every fixer had his profession, reviews and number of jobs he/she had done so far as a reference. Moreover, each one of them had a picture that made the whole selection process more realistic.
I’ve finished the checkout process at 12:03am and received the “fixed” document at 8:14pm. After reviewing the document I was happy to see that indeed all of my original grammar and spelling mistakes were fixed correctly and I also received a motivating comment from my fixer regarding the content of my post!
According to the pitch that I heard at the latest start-up event, the company already generates revenue and has grown very steadily. In order to scale up and develop to the next phase, the team is currently looking for seed funding.
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