Paddle launches expanded AI Launchpad to help ambitious AI founders accelerate growth - AITechTrend

Paddle launches expanded AI Launchpad to help ambitious AI founders accelerate growth

  • Following the success of the inaugural 2023 program, Paddle’s 2024 AI Launchpad will help 50 promising AI founders accelerate the growth of their businesses.
  • Successful applicants will gain access to an exclusive community of AI founders and experts, the chance to win $20k, and a host of other benefits from Paddle partners.
  • Founderpath has allocated $10 million in funding for selected AI Launchpad participants.
  • Applications open today, 12th March, and will close on Sunday 14th April.

LONDON, March 12, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Paddle, the payments infrastructure provider, today opens applications for its second AI Launchpad, a 6-week program aimed at empowering ambitious software founders to build, launch and scale their AI-powered business ideas. Participants in the expanded 2024 program will gain access to tailored guidance and practical insights from industry experts and will have the chance to win a $20k cash prize from Paddle for the best offering, as judged by a panel of experts.

Ever more businesses are turning to AI to boost revenues, with Paddle’s latest SaaS Benchmarks Report finding that 46% of software companies added AI to their product in the last year. However, building an AI-powered tool is not the same as building a successful, sustainable AI business. Through its AI Launchpad program, Paddle is offering 50 innovative, ready-to-scale, AI-focused companies the support they need to accelerate their growth and effectively monetize their AI products.

AI Launchpad 2023: Helping founders unlock growth

Paddle AI Launchpad was founded in 2023, with a panel of judges selecting Virtual Staging AI, a platform that allows real estate professionals to sell properties faster by using AI to digitally furnish images of empty rooms, as the winner of the inaugural program.

After participating in the Launchpad and receiving tailored advice and mentorship from Paddle and a range of industry experts, Virtual Staging AI decided to switch its payment strategies, with remarkable results. The company has since seen revenue increase 10x, from a monthly revenue of $20,000 to $200,000. Other members of the 2023 cohort also saw a significant positive impact on the revenue and scalability of their businesses thanks to the expert insights and go-to-market strategies provided on the program.

Other Launchpaddler growth stats:

  • In February 2024, Launchpad finalist SiteGPT hit its first $100k revenue month
  • Aibo experienced 60% day-over-day growth in active users during the 6-week program
  • Riju launched on Product Hunt, with 100+ upvotes in its first 24 hours
  • Bulby and Jotverse converted their first ever paying customers during the 6-week program

Michael Bonacina, Founder and CEO of 2023 AI Launchpad winner Virtual Staging AI, said: “What really stood out to us about Paddle’s AI Launchpad program was the access to a dedicated community of generative AI founders. This is because you’re all grappling with the same challenges – how to build a model, how to compete with the likes of OpenAI, how to acquire customers for a new solution – and so it was interesting to hear how others were thinking about those problems.

“We launched back in March 2023, and when we applied to Paddle AI Launchpad in August we had $20k in monthly revenue. By the end of the program, in November, we had $200k in monthly revenue, because we implemented a lot of the things we’d worked on, such as implementing annual plans, we got a lot more customers, improved the product, enhanced the checkout experience, and now we have a product that really speaks to our customers.”

AI Launchpad 2024: Bigger and better

Following the success of the 2023 program, Paddle has doubled the number of places on the program from 25 to 50. Participants will also now have exclusive access to the “Launchpaddlers” community – a hub for Launchpad alumni to network and share resources. Through this community, AI founders will be supported with data, advice, and tailored content, and will also have access to experts in their sector.

This will be spearheaded by Karthik Puvvada, Paddle’s new Founder Relations Manager, who has built founder-facing education and community programs for dozens of startups, who said“I’m thrilled to be joining Paddle to work directly with founders and build leadership communities. I can’t wait to work with the team on taking Paddle’s AI Launchpad to the next level and help SaaS founders remove the invisible barriers that get in the way of growing.”

Founderpath, a $150m fund for SaaS founders, will again allocate $10 million in funding for selected participants who successfully complete Paddle’s programs, providing additional opportunities and resources to further fuel their growth and success. Other partners and contributors for AI Launchpad will include SaaStock, AWS Activate, Google Cloud, PartnerStack, GoodFit,, Gilion (formerly ArK Kapital), Enablix,, SquareOne, and Element Communications.

Additional key elements and benefits of the AI Launchpad program will include:

  • Expert mentorship: Participants will receive personalised, technical guidance from industry experts at Paddle, based on its decade-plus of experience scaling software and AI businesses through effective pricing and payment strategies.
  • Cash Prize: The program will culminate with a cash prize of $20,000 for one founder. This substantial financial boost will catapult the development and market reach of the winning startup.
  • Additional benefits from partners: Participants will receive new perks from Paddle’s partners, including $350k in credit from Google Cloud, $20k in credit from AWS Activate, and free tickets to Founder community events by Code.talks and SaaStock. Fast-tracked entries into SaaStock’s startup competition will also be reserved for select Launchpad finalists.

Christian Owens, Founder and Executive Chairman of Paddle, said: “At Paddle, our goal has always been to help software sellers grow their businesses as quickly and efficiently as possible. We started the AI Launchpad to help a new generation of software founders that are building in one of the world’s fastest-moving categories. We were blown away by the ambition and innovation shown by our first cohort of AI founders so we’re thrilled to be expanding the program for a second year. After seeing the impact the Launchpad had on participants in 2023, we’re excited to grow this community and help more AI founders achieve faster growth and build healthy and sustainable businesses for the long-term.”

Applications for the AI Launchpad will be open from 12th March to 14th April 2024, with the program beginning in May. For more information on how to apply for AI Launchpad, including terms and conditions, please visit

About Paddle
Paddle, the payments infrastructure provider for software companies, powers hyper-scale growth across acquisition, renewals and expansion. With Paddle, companies are finally able to transform their payments infrastructure into a strategic growth lever to respond faster and more precisely to every growth opportunity. Paddle has 300 employees serving over 3500 software sellers in 245 countries and territories globally. Backed by investors including KKR, FTV Capital, Kindred, Notion, and 83North, Paddle aims to define the next wave of B2B SaaS leaders. Visit or for more information

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