During the last days of my involvement with Dingli (a publicly listed company in China) that acquired my previous company in Sweden, I spent days and sleepless nights contemplating on what I want to do next. Prior to that, I invested in a small start-up that is creating an instant messaging solution.
On those unholy hours of deep soul searching, I came to the thoughts of who in the world can possibly influence my thoughts. Nelson Mandela, Dalai Lama, Bill Gates and Richard Branson look like the heroes of my imaginations with the common aspiration of making this world a better place. The question I asked myself is, How can I make this world a better place in my own little ways? I then contemplated in what I am good at and how can that make a difference to the bigger world.
The Idea of PeN
The idea of PeN as a super app or app for everything is not new. I actually pitch idea during the acquisition of my previous company way back in 2011, however at that time they are not interested to go to consumer market… that of course, until I found out Tencent launched WeChat a few months later. So the idea of creating a responsible, secure and transparent super app persisted.
Where WeChat is failing is where PeN will succeed, the market outside China. The question I had to answer is what will PeN be all about? Are we going to revolutionize that simple pen and make it into an app for everything, like you do in the old days use a pen communicate, to draw, to sign checks and more – The same simple pen which in high school, I played with instead of listening to my class lessons.
In the succeeding weeks, I took the instant messaging solution in Sweden and molded it to our vision of connecting the world. Our mission is to connect everyone in the four corners of the world, online and offline – taking from our expertise in mobile technology and background in telecoms.
Connecting the world means we bring easy access communications, information, social media, emergency, health services, shopping and location-based services including the underserved and often ignored population of this world. In doing so we want to improve lives in every little way we can, and leave a lasting legacy in this world. PeN will be free and accessible to all. Going on this journey, Elena Pechko and Charisma Quebral, Abbey Alidoosti shared that vision and later Dr. Jerry Genuino joined to make this vision our mission.
Our success depends on our users, and we will give back what they deserve
Early on we have realized that the success of PeN is dependent on our users, and in that way, we would always give back to our users any benefits we reap in PeN. This is carried over to the services we provide, free services on what typically costs money. From PSTN phone calls to SMS to Emergency and Health Services. We made PeN publicly available in July 2016, a lot of our first PeN Pals have joined us in this journey until today and looking forward to that journey into the future.
We have a digital currency called PeNNeY, of which the original aim is to create a digital currency that our users can use to transact in PeN including paying for services and products. PeNNeY will be free to our users and they will be able to earn PeNNeY from their usage of PeN. In this way, we share the benefits we reap from our users’ continuous use of the app.
As we continued to grow 2 venture capitals in Sweden, ALMI and Spintop joined our journey. A year on our journey continues and have exceeded 1 million users and the time has come to further accelerate our growth and hence started looking for additional venture partners to join our journey and share our vision of making this world a bit better place. As part of this journey, we are improving the way we give back to our users, to you our PeN Pals by introducing a way for you to exchange the PeNNeY rewards you earned to real-world monetary values. You will be able to use your PeNNeY rewards to purchase digital products or physical products in PEN and gift certificates with our partners. We also are introducing an influencer program for those of our PeN Pals with a lot of followers and fans.
To our current PeN Pals I encourage you to continue using the app and maximise the benefits of more usage. To you that will soon become our PeN Pals I welcome you to experience the benefits of PeN and join us in our journey to connect the world and make this world a bit better place for everyone.