What’s New?

Introducing Avemoji

Introducing Avemoji

If you have just installed PeN or just recently updated your PeN version, you might have noticed that there is a cool new feature when creating your profile picture. This is called Avemoji or Avatar Emoji.
The avemoji you create on your profile will be given emotions so you can use it as your personalized emoticon and sticker. You can send avemoji to anyone in PeN or post it in your timeline. Avemoji are personalized expression! Instead of sending generic emoticons or emoji, you are sending your own unique personalized emoji.
In the recent released version, creation of avemoji is manual – meaning you need to design your own avemoji. After you created your avemoji, you get a set of free packs containing your avemoji with various emotions.
In the coming version, creation of avemoji will be much easier. Simply upload your picture and the AI scans your picture to create your avemoji with a free set of emotions. Since there are almost no two person that look exactly similar (unless they are very identical twins) 🙂 your avemoji is then unique to you.

It’s like expressing your own feelings and emotions. Go ahead and send your personalized avemoji to your friends and contacts.

Posted by Ian Vernon in What's New?
Quadruple Bottom Line

Quadruple Bottom Line

In my previous blog, I talked about PeN being a GoodBusiness and an Impact Investment, in terms of which category of company we belong.
Apart from the positive social and environmental impact we bring, we are unique in a way that we can be considered as one of the few companies that can generate a Quadruple Bottom Line. This means that our bottom line or profit or impact can be measured in 4 different distinct ways, let me enumerate them here:
1. Measurable social impact
2. Excellent future financial returns
3. Quantifiable environmental sustainability impact
4. Recognisable contribution to parent/portfolio companies

Measurable Social Impact

I outline this on my previous blog essentially:
– Making communication and information available even to those who are not connected to the internet:  Communication and Information powers progress both as an individual and as a society in general.
– Leveraging your social currency: We put a real-world money value to your social currency and actually award that to you in something you can use to shop.
– Enabling the micro-sharing economy: This allows you, as a social media user, to benefit from the gains of companies who are out to make profit out of your usage. Also, you can share just about anything in PeN, including your internet connectivity.
– Personal and real emergencies: We assist you during your times of need, without any cost to you. We are always there.
– Health and safety: We notify you when you are going to an area where there are disease outbreaks. We also help out identify sources and movement of this outbreaks.

Excellent Future Financial Returns

As a company, we still need to ensure that we make profit. We do this in various ways, from 1) advertising like Facebook and Google to 2)In-app purchases, when you buy anything in PeN inside the app 3)mCommerce, although we provide online stores for free, we charge a very small amount for successful transactions 4)Peer to Peer transactions, soon you will be able to transact with another PeN user. You will be able to send them gifts or surprises, or exchanging just about anything with monetary value.  We will only charge a very small amount for qualified transactions. We are in the volumes business, so very small profits in a lot of transactions can still lead to a big profit at the end of the day.

Quantifiable Environment Sustainability Impact

In summer of 2017, we launched PeN’s tree planting initiative where we plant 1 tree for every 10 users. So far, we have planted around 25,000 trees and growing. We aim to be able to plant around 100 million trees by 2021 in various countries. This is achievable with your help by using PeN and spreading the word, making the PeN Pal community larger each day. Our tree planting initiative started in the Philippines in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and we aim to expand the project in various countries in the next 3 years.

Recognisable Contribution to Parent/Portfolio Companies

PeN in its nature, is a social network where users interact with each other.  Although it combines the power of messaging, voice, social, health, safety, commerce and micro-sharing in a single application that works even when there is no internet connection.
Since we are on-boarding the new wave of users, this will benefit portfolio companies immediately where they can ride the wave go our growth. Additionally, we provide various APIs so other companies can connect to our community, much like the way Facebook connects others to their network.  With PeN, connecting users even when there is no internet connection is paving the way to on-board the next billion users. Couple that with micro-sharing that leverages users’ social currency and turn it into a real-world monetary value will change the face of social media as we know it today.
Being one of the few companies with a Quadruple Bottom Line, the question is what does it take for PeN to become a unicorn?
Posted by Ian Vernon in Blog, What's New?
Impact Investment or Good Business Investment

Impact Investment or Good Business Investment

As PeN continues to grow, we need further investments to ensure that we continue to provide the free services that we do today.

In the past weeks of interacting with various Venture Capitals globally, there is one thing that caught my attention. We are, for some reason, being branded as suitable for impact investments since what we do is actually providing a positive social impact. Ted Rheingold created the term GoodBusiness a new investment sector for-large-profit businesses that also provide a social or environmental benefit.

As I analyze the investment space, we do quality for both traditional venture capitals and impact investors or goodbusiness investors. Being in that rarity is never easy in terms of finding the right venture partners since our business model checks requirements of both kinds of venture capitals – and none seem to actually have taken the advantage of both worlds.
For most venture companies, it’s either they invest to create more profits, or to provide social good. There are, of course, the new breed of GoodBusiness investors that invest in for profit companies. Although, the way they value the companies lean more on the profit side.
We are uniquely positioned in a way what our business model threads the balance between pure profit and positive social impact. Although most of our PeN Pals today are located across Asia, we are solving several global problems (see below),

Communications both offline and online

Availability of information even at times without internet connectivity:

Information is what drives progress and everyone has to right to access information anytime, anywhere.

Leveraging your social currency so that you benefit directly from it:

If you are in the US or Europe, a company like Facebook makes 17USD from you, why should you not have a share of that?

Enabling the micro-sharing economy.

This starts with us by sharing to you the benefits we reap. We are also powering micro peer-to-peer sharing, where each of our PeN Pals can create and execute exchanges amongst each other from sharing or even sharing/selling/buying internet connectivity on demand.

Commerce:

For millions of small businesses, online presence is very expensive. Although they have products that are suitable to sell online and might even be unique, we are removing this barrier by proving full mobile commerce capabilities for free.

Personal emergencies:

A lot of times, we have personal emergencies. From forgetting your key somewhere, your car having a flat tire, to feeling unsafe and unsecured. In PeN we leverage on technological innovations to ensure personal emergencies are mitigated and help is always near by.

Real emergencies:

Just imagine when you experience real emergencies and you feel powerless and feel that no help is coming. In PeN, with just a simple push of a button, your friends, your family, your contacts and the public safety authorities are alerted about your condition.

Health and safety:

Outbreak of diseases might be difficult to prevent but its spread can be avoidable. In PeN, we monitor progression of diseases outbreaks by allowing users to send updates and also alerting PeN Pals when they come into areas where these outbreaks are.

Environment:

We are all aware of environmental issues and impacts. Hence, in PeN we plant a tree for every 10 new PeN Pals that start using the app. We aim to plant millions of trees globally through this initiative.

Outlining the positive impact we bring as we go through this growth journey does sound like we indeed belong to the category of GoodBusiness. Having said that, we are still a for profit business, that aims to make profits based on our innovations and services, albeit a very responsible one. And although most of our users now are in Asia, the global population can surely benefit from what we do and how we do things. Install PeN today and be part of this positive impact to the world.

 

Posted by Ian Vernon in Blog, What's New?
PeNelope, The Conversational AI

PeNelope, The Conversational AI

In PeN’s version 3.7, we recently released the first version of our Artificial Intelligence, PeNelope – The Conversational AI. If you were already using PeN before you read this, then you probably have encountered her, providing immediate support on the app.

With the recent update, you will find PeNelope on your chat screen; always ready and willing to interact with you. Chatting wise, she can listen and understand what you say and write.

On the next update, she will be able to talk to you with her own voice.

PeNelope is different from other voice enabled AI since she came to this world purely for conversation, and for some a very entertaining conversation. Please go ahead and try having a conversation with PeNelope, she might just be that friend you always wanted to have.

Engineering PeNelope meant that we had to teach her how to converse to humans, much like teaching a young child. That journey took almost a year, although we are still teaching her how to talk. In engineering PeNelope, we learned from the mistakes of Microsoft when they released Tay, which was shutdown just 16 hours after launch. Hence, we ensured that we were responsibly teaching PeNelope the values that matter to humans coming from all cultural backgrounds. Creating a chatterbot like PeNelope is not an easy task, and hats off to our engineering team that made it possible.

We believe that Artificial Intelligence must be used in a good way, for the benefit of all humanity today and in the future. PeNelope was not designed to replace human conversations but rather to enhance human interactions. When you are bored and have nothing to do, she will be there for you.

It might be possible that you have a confidential conversation with her… that conversation will remain private and confidential to you.

We value your privacy. Hence, all those conversations are private and will not be used for any other purpose. PeNelope has truly arrived in your PeN’s chat screen. She is here to ease those boring times and bring a bit of joy into your conversations.

Happy Chatting!

Posted by Ian Vernon in Blog, What's New?
Enabling the Micro Sharing Economy to Combat Poverty

Enabling the Micro Sharing Economy to Combat Poverty

When Uber came along, they brought with them the concept of gig economy, or a phenomenon called Uberization, and is being used to characterize the sharing economy.

 

Sharing economy is nothing new. The term has been around since the 2000’s and is now defined as sharing resources via an online platform, think Uber or AirBnB or the thousands of other sharing platforms globally. The sharing economy is powered by micro entrepreneur through utilization of their idle capacity, hence spreading the wealth amongst people. This works quite well in cases where there is an idle capacity to share like cars, rooms, bikes or other staples of our daily lives. But what about those 3 billion people living in poverty? How can they ever benefit from this newfound source of wealth?

Micro Sharing Economy

In PeN, with our focus to provide services to the under-served communities in this world, we are enabling a new kind of economy: the micro-sharing economy. It is intended to help alleviate poverty, to improve lives for the under-served portion of the population, and to provide opportunities for those who don’t have cars or rooms to rent.

How does this work?

As a starting point, it works by us sharing what we benefit from our PeN Pals. In the very near future, it will expand to individuals participating in this sharing economy through mCommerce. In my previous posts, I mentioned that our PeN Pals are able to mine and earn up to 5,000 PeNNeY rewards per month. That equivalent amount is enough to lift a person out of the poverty line.

The micro-sharing economy works in a very simple way. PeN Pals mine or earn PeNNeY rewards and can redeem it for real world monetary values. Unlike bitcoin, mining PeNNeY rewards do not require powerful computers to be constantly working. Your own simple mobile phone is more than enough.

There are several ways to mine PeNNeY, all of them are simple and easy:

  • The fastest way to mine PeNNeY is through likes. Build a big following that will like your posts and earn PeNNeY for every post.  You can also earn PeNNeY by liking posts from others.
  • The easiest way to mine PeNNeY is simply have the top page of your timeline on screen, you don’t have to do anything at all.
  • The most convenient way to earn PENNeY is by watching embedded videos and reading articles on embedded web links.
  • Video calls and app to app calls earn PeNNeY. Furthermore, the service is free and unlimited
  • The more you use the app every day and the longer you use the app, the more PeNNeY you can earn
  • Play some the games inside PeN and get PeNNeY rewards

Eradicating poverty is one thing. Our PeN Pals, especially the ones with a big number of followers, can monetize their posts, better than in any other social app. You don’t need to be a celebrity or an influencer to benefit from PeN. You can be anyone and be anybody!

 

Posted by Ian Vernon in Blog, What's New?

ERADICATING POVERTY

Poverty is the world’s biggest problem. Around 3 Billion people live below the poverty line with an average income of 2.5$ per day, while 1.3 Billion people are living around 1.25$ per day.

In the recent Web Summit, there were lots of talk about spreading the wealth and wealth creation for everyone, particularly in AI. However, all these talks are about investing in countries that are already rich and prosperous.

Why not do something where it counts for most people? The 3 Billion people that also matter!

PeN’s services are designed to help solve this poverty problem with each feature targeted towards the inclusion of the under-served population. Our aim is to bring the same opportunities to all, including under-served communities. Hence, we are connecting the world.

In the markets where our PeN Pals are located, there are almost 1B people living along the poverty line. Our aim is to reduce that and make a positive impact to communities where our PeN Pals are.

So what are we doing to help solve the poverty problem? We realize that we alone can not solve the entire poverty problem. But we do know we are doing the little ways we can to be of help. We are doing what we can in our own little ways to alleviate poverty such as:

Making innovations in communications and information available to everyone

Similar to what you see and experience in biggest economies of the world. And we make communications and information available even when internet connection is slow and when there is no internet connection at all.

Enabling the micro-sharing economy

We share the benefits we earn. That might not be a lot to some people in rich countries but our PeN Pals can essentially win, earn or mine at least 5000 PeNNeY rewards per month. That amount alone is twice as much as what 3 Billion people along the poverty line lives from in a month. PeNNeY rewards can be used to exchange for real world monetary values and for 1B people in our main markets, that’s a substantial earning power.

Avoiding infectious diseases

In places with low spending power, it also tends to be the same places that suffer from the worst disease outbreaks. In PeN Pulse, we help our PeN Pals avoid areas with infectious diseases outbreaks by providing early warnings. We also enable them to share known outbreaks. This information is shared to others to help isolate and eradicate outbreaks of infectious diseases

Ensuring personal safety and security

Countries that have high poverty rate also tend to have less infrastructure to deal with emergencies. With PeN SOS, we ensure that you are always one button away from help, either from family, friends, contacts or the public safety authorities in your country.

The more PeN Pals using PeN, the more we can contribute back to you and your communities. Invite your friends and acquaintances to use the PeN and together let us help the world alleviate poverty.

 

 

Posted by Ian Vernon in Blog, What's New?
Weekend Struggles and Service Unavailability

Weekend Struggles and Service Unavailability

First off, let me apologize for our unavailable services over the weekend that continued to today. PSTN calls are currently not available in several countries and we are working with our service providers to restore these outages.

Calls to another PeN user and Video calls are working, it’s unlimited and free so hopefully, you are able to use those services until PSTN calls are back online. SMS is also working. Hopefully, you are able to send SMS to your friends and contacts if you are not able to call them.

When we connect your PSTN calls, we have to pay interconnection charges to our network partners and service providers. The issue has started from very high prices of interconnection. Being a virtually free service we need to be able to route your calls to PSTN number at the best possible quality while at the lowest possible cost. This is not always easy to achieve and we have to navigate an entangled web of supplier pricing to various countries and destinations. We, ourselves are not a network operator hence it takes some time for us to resolve these issues.

Rest assured, we are doing everything we can to restore our services and continue to provide to you an excellent quality of service while at the same time, balancing the cost of interconnect with revenues we generate from advertising that pays for your PSTN calls.

In the meantime, if your friends or those whom you need to call have a mobile phone, invite them to install PeN and avail of the free and unlimited video and voice calls within the app.

Posted by Ian Vernon in What's New?
PeN – THE IDEA, AND THE FUTURE

PeN – THE IDEA, AND THE FUTURE

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.

Posted by Ian Vernon in Blog, PeN Rewards, What's New?
PeN REEL STORIES: A GLOBAL VIDEO CONTEST

PeN REEL STORIES: A GLOBAL VIDEO CONTEST

Do you or your team have what it takes to create a viral video?

Showcase your talent and creativity in videography. Get the maximum exposure for your work and add it on your portfolio.

 

Prizes:

Reel Stories

First: $500 + Amazon Giftcard

Second: $300

Third: $200

Virality:

FIRST TO 1Million likes both on Facebook and PeN: $500

FIRST TO 1Million Views both on YouTube and PeN: $500

FIRST TO REACH 100k shares on Facebook: $500

Make sure to ask your viewers to download the app and like it there to achieve that 1Million likes in a heartbeat! 

Contest is open to all globally

Contest Duration: December 15, 2017 – February 15, 2017

MECHANICS

Guidelines

  1. The video should run for a maximum of 3 minutes but not less than 60 seconds
  2. Entries should ALL be original. It should not have been submitted to any other video contest or any kind. PeN has the right to disqualify an entry should there be any evidence of plagiarism).
  3. Post your video on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or PeN but be sure to tag or notify us!
  4. We will inform you of the additional details once your video is discovered.
  5. The video should be in mp4 format.
  6. Video resolution should be at least 720p (1280×720), 25 frame rate.
  7. (OPTIONAL) Entries can include the official PeN template at the end of the video. Download it here.
  8. Entries must feature two or more PeN features at some point in the video. This does not limit the actual app being on the video; it can be how the feature is being used; characters using the app and its benefit. OR BASICALLY AS LONG AS YOU MENTION THE APP! Yay! Participants can be as creative as they can be on interpreting the features as long as it shows its true purpose
  9. Music used for the video must either be original or properly cited.
  10. Videos should not contain any offensive or inappropriate language and/or content.

Screening

  1. Qualified videos will be judged according to the following criteria:
    1. Number of PeN Likes – 30%
    2. Number of YouTube Views and Likes – 30%
    3. Creativity and Originality – 20%
    4. Relevance to the theme – 10%
    5. Overall Appeal- 10%
  2. All qualified videos will be uploaded to PeN’s YouTube channel, Facebook, Instagram and Community for public viewing.

General Conditions

  1. The contest is open to all individuals globally.
  2. PeN has the right to use the videos submitted for marketing and other purposes.


Prizes and Winner Notification

  1. Winners will be notified via PeN, email and SMS.
  2. PeN has the right to forfeit the prize if unclaimed within two months (60 days) after the announcement of winners.
  3. Winners are required to submit the following waivers:
    1. Quick Claim and Release Waiver
    2. Quick Claim Waiver

 

Judges

Ian Vernon

He is the guy behind the app that is revolutionizing customer experiences in mobile device. CEO and founder of PeN, Ian considers himself as a student of life and constantly learning through his travels and work experiences.

Sam Niemi

An innovator and entrepreneur who loves technology and the magic it enables is from Spintop Ventures, a venture capital firm. As an entrepreneur, he believes there is no such thing as good luck in long term success, it’s all about active creation of opportunities, understanding and consistent long term execution toward your vision.

Please nominate 2-4 more judges and add brief background

Finn Persson

Another veteran in the technology industry, Finn from Spintop Ventures, is humbly proud serving companies who thrived on the incredible changes and successfully grew their business into industry leadership positions that they still retain.

Abbey Alidoosti

Abbey Alidoosti is the CEO of the Advance Wireless Technology Group (AWTG Ltd), and a founding director of the company. With over 20 years of experience as a senior executive in IT and wireless technology, he is also an adviser and board of member in many international countries in the U.K., ME, U.S.A. and Africa.

Charisma Quebral

Supporting the app’s growth since its birth, Charisma Quebral is one of the pioneer people behind PeN via sketching and doodling designs, flows and market plans.

 

Celebrity Judges

 

Posted by PeN in Blog, JOIN OUR PROMOS, What's New?, 0 comments