Pencil, a Singapore-based creative AI company, has raised $1.1 million (S$1.5 million) in a seed funding round led by Wavemaker Partners.
The other investors joining the round include SGInnovate and Entrepreneur First. NUS associate professor Min-Yen Kan and members of Xoogler Angels also joined as Pencil’s investor-advisors. Xoogler Angels is an angel network of Google executives in Southeast Asia.
According to a statement, the funds will be used to expand engineering and customer success teams, grow proprietary datasets and extend its patent-pending technology. Pencil also announced the launch of its first enterprise product, a creative platform for advertisers called Studio.
Studio, the company said, will help creative and media teams generate personalised advertising content at speed and scale.
Will Hanschell, co-founder and CEO of Pencil, said: “We believe that AI will be as fundamental to creativity in the future as the pencil was in the past. Our goal is to bring the scale and speed of automation to creativity, without killing it. We’re working towards a world where humans and machines collaborate on ideas of all kinds, together pushing the boundaries of what creativity even means.”
Pencil’s clients include Sephora SEA, POND’S and Mindshare. According to the company, early results indicate a 2x improvement in advertising performance and a 10x reduction in time and cost with its technology.
“The number one pain point of marketing teams is increasing their ROI,” said Paul Santos, Managing Partner of Wavemaker Partners. “Almost every solution in the market proposes doing so through greater targeting or better customer profiling…Pencil takes a new and complementary approach, allowing teams to generate and distribute personalised content at scale using AI.”
Founded in March 2018, Pencil is led by Hanschell and Sumukh Avadhani. Hanschell is a former partner and management consultant at creative agency Iris Worldwide, while Avadhani is a former principal at Google and deep learning and computer vision specialist.