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App provides refuge for concerned artists worried about AI, founder struggles to keep it running.

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In Short:

Currently, Cara has nearly 900,000 users, but financial stress is a concern due to a $100,000 bill from a service provider. Founder Jingna Zhang is in talks with service providers and considering options like subscriptions or investors. Despite challenges, Zhang aims to build Cara based on community needs and adapt to the impact of AI on jobs. The team has expanded to 10-20 members managing growing community engagement. Zhang also joined a class action lawsuit against generative AI companies to address concerns.

Cara Founder Jingna Zhang Discusses Recent Challenges and Future Plans

At the moment, Cara has nearly 900,000 users, but financial challenges have arisen due to unexpected expenses. Founder Jingna Zhang shared that a recent bill from a service provider amounted to almost $100,000 for just six days, prompting the team to reassess their financial situation.

Addressing Financial Concerns and Potential Solutions

Zhang expressed hope that the service provider will collaborate to reduce the bill. The team is also exploring options, including a potential subscription model or seeking outside investors to address the financial strain.

Future Plans and Sustainability

Prior to the financial challenges, Cara had plans to introduce a subscription service for users. However, the immediate focus is on resolving financial obligations. Zhang emphasized the importance of exploring all available options to sustain the platform.

Maintaining Control and Building Community

Zhang underscored the significance of retaining control over Cara’s development. While considering potential funding sources, including a friends and family round, maintaining independence in decision-making remains a priority for the founder.

Looking Ahead

In envisioning Cara’s future, Zhang emphasized the community’s needs as a guiding factor. With a focus on adapting to emerging trends, such as generative AI’s impact on job markets, the team remains committed to building a platform that aligns with evolving demands.

Team Expansion and Crisis Management

Currently, Cara operates with a core team of four or five members, with additional engineering support during the crisis. Despite the challenges, the team has mobilized resources to manage platforms like Discord and Instagram, fostering a supportive and collaborative environment.

Involvement in Legal Action Against Generative AI Companies

Zhang reflected on joining class action lawsuits against generative AI companies, emphasizing a desire to advocate for ethical practices within the industry. Despite facing initial skepticism, Zhang remains committed to addressing critical issues within the tech and art production sphere.

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