Dec 22, 2022

Artifact Wants to Record Your Family History in Podcast-Like Audio Recordings

After Ross Chanin’s grandfather died, Chanin mourned not only him, but the fact that he’d never gotten a chance to hear more about his grandfather’s life. Over a conversation with a journalist friend, George Quraishi, it became clear to Chanin that Quraishi’s skill set — interviewing and audio editing — could be conducive to capturing a family’s history.

Chanin and Quraishi started conducting interviews for friends and family and recruited software engineers Martin Gouy and Moncef Biaz to build apps to make it easier to record remote interviews and play them back on the web. Convinced that they had the seeds of a business, Chanin and Quraishi decided to apply to Y Combinator and were accepted into the Summer 2020 batch.

Today, their startup — Artifact — has over 10,000 customers across 15 English-, Spanish- and French-speaking countries. It’s raised $5 million inclusive of a seed round led by GV, which had participation from Atento Capital, Goodwater and Offline Ventures and notable angels such as Y Combinator CEO Michael Seibel, Twitch CEO Emmett Shear and former Blizzard CEO Michael Morhaime. 

“Interviews are incredible storytelling spaces, but they’re generally reserved for the rich and powerful and are not about our parents, grandparents and children,” Chanin told TechCrunch in an email interview. “Our dream is that Artifact will become the place where families the world over tell and experience their stories.”

Artifact charges customers $149 to have an interviewer (mostly moonlighting journalists, according to Chanin) conduct an interview with a family member. Packages include one interview and an edit with a custom introduction, sound mixing by an audio engineer and a web page for listening and adding photos.

It’s a four-step process. First, Artifact customers tell the interviewer who they’ll be interviewing and what they’ll discuss. Then, Artifact invites the interviewee to choose a day and time for the interview, which happens via phone or videoconferencing. The resulting recording — usually 30 minutes in length, give or take 15 minutes — is edited down to a 20-minute “episode,” which can be shared via the web with loved ones or publicly.

Artifact aims to turn around episodes within five business days of an interview. Up to two guests are included in the price of a single interview, with a $35-per-guest charge for additional interviewees.

You can read a lot more in an article by Kyle Wiggers published in the TechCrunch web site at:

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