AI chatbot, Blyng, that helps estate agents handle portal leads wins £500,000 backing

Source: The Negotiator

Investor Life Ventures says the recently-developed service generated 50 transactions and over 700 viewings when trialled by its parent sales and letting agency.

A London estate agent has joined a group of investors putting £500,000 into a company developing an artificial intelligence (AI) based chatbot service exclusively for estate agent and developers designed to help them handle portal leads.

Life Ventures, which is the proptech investment arm of London sales and lettings firm Life Residential, has stumped up the cash after its parent company LiFE has trialled Blyng for 3 months (12 weeks).

Called Blyng, Life Residential claims that the chatbot processed 2,000 leads, ‘spoke’ to 800 users on its website and handled 14,000 questions about properties for sale, to let or under management.

The company also claims that it was directly responsible for generating 720 viewings and 50 sales and letting deals during the trial.

There are several AI-based chatbots in the market but Blyng claims to be the first to be designed specifically for the real estate market and be able to ‘speak property’.

It is available via Facebook Messenger, a smartphone Web app and soon WhatsApp. The estate agent is contacted by a potential lead through the portals and the Blyng virtual assistant then engages and qualifies the lead and simplifies the customer journey.

“Testing and using Blyng is the beginning of the future way of doing business,” says Jonathan Werth, Managing Director of LiFE Residential (left).

Blyng has been developed by entrepreneurs Alex Boulenger and Julien Vidal (pictured above) and has the backing of Pi Labs and Ascension Ventures as well as Life Residential.

“Blyng is the first AI chatbot for property negotiators in the UK and has already been trained with a large amount of data, making Blyng smarter every day,” said Vidal.

Sky Kids takes Night Zookeeper to TV

source: C21Media

Sky Kids in the UK has commissioned an animated series based on an educational website that will be executive produced by the former MD of Nickelodeon UK.

Night Zookeeper will be the first animated children’s show to collaborate with thousands of children on the creation of each episode, according to Sky Kids, which has ordered 10 episodes.

Night Zookeeper, created by UK-based social enterprise company Wonky Star and Joshua Davidson, originated as a primary school teaching resource. It is used by children in thousands of schools internationally to invent magical animals and write stories about them.

The animated series will invite children throughout the UK to participate by creating characters or background designs and suggesting plot points and dialogue for the show. It will be animated by Karrot Animation (Sarah & Duck) in London.

Howard Litton, who left Nickelodeon UK in 2010 to pursue other opportunities in the kids’ business, linked up with Karrot in 2015 to develop shorts based on the brand.

Sky will additionally promote the series through Sky Academy Studios, its learning experience that allows young people to get behind the scenes of TV.

“This is the future of children’s TV, where fan fiction and art frequently inspire episodes of kids’ favourite shows. What better way of getting children writing and drawing?,” said Litton.

Adobe Teams Up With A Million Ads To Launch Dynamic Creative For Audio

Source: Ad Exchanger

Audio ads should be personalized, too.

That’s the thought behind Adobe’s partnership with A Million Ads, which powers dynamic creative optimization in digital and programmatic audio, announced Monday.

Adobe launched programmatic audio capabilities in July 2017, after receiving an uptick in demand from its customer base, said Justin Merickel, VP of media optimizer at Adobe Advertising Cloud. In the past six months that demand has increased significantly, especially among CPGs and retailers.

“As publishers ramp their capabilities and more inventory is opening up, the market is starting to create demand,” he said. “It’s no longer an anomaly to think about audio this way.”

Adobe’s integration with A Million Ads offers an extra layer of personalization for brands as their investments in programmatic audio grow. After Adobe executes the programmatic audio buy, A Million Ads personalizes the creative by tagging different versions of commercial scripts with location, device and other third-party data, like weather, to serve relevant ads to each listener.

For example, an ad served during a rainy evening in New York would sound different than an ad served on a sunny morning in Los Angeles, said Steve Dunlop, founder and CEO of A Million Ads.

“We can discern roughly where you are, what the weather’s like, if you’ve heard the ad before and what device you’re using,” he said. “Using that, we can personalize the ad to make it feel like it’s for each individual.”

So far, five brands buying programmatic audio through Adobe are using the A Million Ads integration, although Adobe declined to name them. CORT Furniture, which recently launched programmatic audio through Adobe on Spotify, is interested in testing dynamic audio creative as it extends its programmatic audio buys to other platforms, like Soundcloud and iHeartRadio, said Jake Taylor, marketing analyst at CORT.

The furniture rental company, which was able to reach a 95% unique audience on Spotify, appeals to college students, military personnel, nurses, athletes or anyone in a temporary living situation.

“We have a lot of different audiences that need different messaging,” he said. “Being able to update that makes sense for us.”

Join the ASCEND SEIS waiting list

* indicates required



Download the ASCEND SEIS Brochure

* indicates required



Request the CENTAUR EIS Brochure

* indicates required



Subscribe to the Ascension Ventures Newsletter

Select your signup communication preferences:


We’ll send you news about our portfolio and the verticals they operate in


We’ll notify you and invite you to our exclusive investment and industry events


Access to proprietary Ascension co-investment opportunities