Hooked

Help create the next hit story.

  • Hey! Hooked looks cool, what do you guys do?
  • We're redefining storytelling for the mobile generation.
  • Whoa. How do you do that?
  • We've pioneered a new format for mobile storytelling - chat fiction.
  • (Kind of like what you're reading right now )
  • It's become a phenomenon among teens and millennials in the past year.
  • Ummm okay...But do teens even read anymore?
  • They do now Hooked has reached 50MM readers in the past year!
  • We've hit the #1 spot in the App Store in 25 countries.
  • Including the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and S. Korea.
  • That sounds fun but... how is this a business?
  • People love our stories and pay for them.
  • Hooked is a top 100 grossing app - and we're profitable.
  • We've also raised $15MM in funding from top investors in Silicon Valley and Hollywood, like these guys:
  • And also:
  • SV Angel
  • A Capital
  • Founders Fund
  • Cowboy Ventures
  • Sweet Capital
  • and many more...
  • So chat fiction is a thing now What's next?
  • We're just getting started!
  • We're bringing machine learning and Lean Startup to Hollywood.
  • Hooked has developed a magic potion
  • That's equal parts data, A.I., mobile app and good old-fashioned human creativity.
  • We're building the media company of the future - the next Netflix, the next Disney.
  • Wow heady stuff! I've always dreamt of combining art + technology. How can I get involved?
  • We're always searching for like minds - innovative artists and eccentric technologists, who love stories in all forms, and love a grand challenge.
  • We want to create technology-powered art that reaches billions of people.
  • Join us.
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ML Engineer

San Francisco / Remote Read More

ML Engineer Apply For This Job

San Francisco / Remote

What Do We Do?

Hooked is building a mobile-first Netflix, using data to revolutionize how movies are made. We pioneered a new mobile media format called chat fiction which we use to test stories with mass global audiences. These stories reach over 50M users per month across our iOS and Android apps, as well as Snapchat, YT and FB. Using a combination of AI and good old-fashioned taste, Hooked is able to rapidly iterate and identify stories which have hit potential as mobile movies. This makes the process of making movies dramatically more efficient and is at the heart of our approach to becoming the media company of the future.

Hooked has raised venture funding from top investors in Silicon Valley and Hollywood, including Ashton Kutcher, Jamie Foxx, Snoop Dogg, Mariah Carey, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, William Morris Endeavor, SV Angel, Founders Fund, Cowboy Ventures, Greylock and many more.

This would be an opportunity to join a high-growth, venture-backed startup that is reaching hundreds of millions of people worldwide and shaping popular culture.

We’re based in SF but mostly work remotely. We typically meet in our office in the Mission a couple of times a week.

Some Press About Hooked:
The Times – The app that has younger readers Hooked
New York Times – Text Messaging Takes More Apps Into a Chattier Realm

A bit about our founders and the journey that led to Hooked:
Vogue – Why a Tech Entrepreneur Got Rid of All Her Possessions and Lived as a Nomad for a Year
Medium – How We Got 10 Million Teens to Read Fiction on Their Phones

What would and ML Engineer at Hooked work on?

Here are some example projects:

  • Create a recommendation system that provides personalized recommendations to users by leveraging the data generated by hundreds-of-millions of stories being read. The system must be fast, scalable and support testing different candidate recommendation algorithms.
  • For our top stories we work with actors to create audio versions of our story. For the rest of the catalog we have experimented with text-to-speech systems but have found the results more comical than convincing. Build open state-of-the-art TTS systems (wavenet etc) to create TTS system that takes into account semantic context. What emotion needs to be conveyed? Can we condition on this to guide the TTS system?
  • Hooked readers generate vast amounts of granular data when they read -- every tap is a data point. Can we use marry this behavioral information with automatic story analysis using NLP techniques to predict engagement on future stories?


What is it like to work at Hooked?

A note about how we work. We are a small team with a huge footprint. This is only possible because we all share an intrinsic motivation to crack the code on mobile storytelling. At the same time, this is a fundamentally creative pursuit. It's not about grinding out hours unproductively; it's about finding the mental space and time to have true breakthroughs. We strongly believe in work-life balance. People are at their most productive and creative when they are well-rested and in control of their own schedule. For this reason, we primarily work remotely. We have an office in the Mission district of SF where we meet a couple of times a week. Of course, certain things are best done in person. But ultimately, how and when you work is largely up to you. We each have our own style; we're sure you do too. You can read more about our CEO's philosophy on remote work in this article she wrote for the New York Times.

What are we looking for?

  • A degree in CS with an emphasis on ML / AI. Graduate degree in ML is a plus.
  • 4+ years of experience as a software engineer, preferably with 2+ years focused on ML
  • Excellent coding skills in one or more of the following languages: Python, C++, Java, Scala
  • Ability to build and train models from scratch from latest academic research
  • Experience putting large-scale ML systems into production a plus
  • Interest in text, audio and video modeling and generation
  • Comfortable in a small, fast-paced startup environment