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Following a digital Rebrand, Little Black Book Looks Back at a Decade of Exponential Growth and Record Turnover

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  • LBB reports continued growth in business in the UK and an acceleration in growth internationally with increased business in the USA, Canada, Australia, India and Germany.
  • A record turnover for the business of £3.2m in 2022, with a turnover of around £4m forecast in 2023.
  • The world’s leading network agencies, independent agencies, post-production and production companies subscribe to LBB, and more recently LBB signs deals with global brands including Lego, BT/EE, AB InBev and Mars.
  • LBB is the first company to have brand, agency, post-production and production companies all together on a level playing field.

LONDON, Dec. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Thirteen years after founding Little Black Book (LBB) and quietly building a UK-headquartered business with a global footprint and + £3 million turnover, CEO Matt Cooper recently revealed a new digital archive for advertising agencies, production companies and businesses in the creative industries alongside a carefully planned UX redesign of the online platform. Founder and CEO Matt Cooper is a digital pioneer who captured the zeitgeist of the internet and adapted it as a tool for archiving and celebrating creative work globally.

LBB is the first company to have brand, agency, post production and production companies promoting their businesses on a level playing field. The platform offers them guaranteed coverage of their creative work and business news, control of their public profile, the ability to host and expand on their archive in one place, and the chance to enter their best creative into a globally respected awards show (The Immortal Awards). The business is backed by a number of industry heavyweights who act as shareholders including Sir John Hegarty, Steve Parish and Sir William Sargent.

Hegarty and Sargant describe their belief in the LBB business model:

Sir John Hegarty, Co-founder and Creative Director at The Garage Soho & The Business of Creativity: “Like any great idea LBB seized the future. It understood the value a digital first strategy would deliver. Whilst their competitors were struggling to reconcile the past with the future, LBB was already in it. Any great leader must deliver clarity and focus. And do so with energy and enthusiasm. Matt delivers those in spades. Articulating LBB’s opportunities and it’s future course.”

Sir William Sargent, Chairman Framestore: “The business plan made sense – off the back of a track record of supporting the industry with relevant sales related events – and Matt embodied what was on offer and I believed he could deliver. The same qualities continue with Matt, added to by an ability to pivot as the business model needs to reinvent itself. Relevance is at the core of LBB and today’s amazing offering – not just to companies – but now equally importantly to individuals in a fundamentally freelance community – is unique and reaching further by the month.”

In November, following a year of record turnover in 2022 – 2023, LBB re-introduced itself with a major glow-up, offering more time-saving tools, more value and a free-to-view archive.

The new build was driven by customer usage and is forecast to see the business turnover approx £4m in 2023 – 2024. Matt Cooper explains: “Bit by bit, over about 18 months, we connected approx 2.1 million credits which had been submitted to our platform over the course of the last 15 years. Previously these credits were inactive text but post-connection they now link back to the profiles of 300,000+ creative people. Since launch in November this database of individuals is growing by 10,000+ people a week.”

Right now, LBB reports continued growth in business in the UK and an acceleration in growth internationally with increased business in the USA, Canada, Australia, India and Germany.

Reflecting on this growth and why he founded Little Black Book thirteen years ago, Cooper nods to building something to address what was a dramatic shift in the business of advertising. Something he feels has contributed to the platform’s recent success.

Matt Cooper says: “When we launched in 2010, there were over 1,000 publications across adland – all autonomous and local – and to keep up with the business globally you had to be on top of them all. We created this platform with the belief that agencies, post-production and production companies would all change and evolve the way they do business (and that brands would interact with them differently). We saw that they would need one place where they could see what was happening to the industry globally AND locally. They would need a single place where they could tell their story and be found by potential clients. That is something every company is telling me they need right now and is undoubtedly the reason we are continuing to grow so quickly.”

For further information contact Lee Sharrock [email protected]

Contact:
Lee Sharrock
[email protected]
+ 44 (0) 7814 862 834

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/2304603/Matt_Cooper_CEO_LBB_1.jpg

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Validation Cloud Secures $5.8 Million in Inaugural Funding to Propel Web3 Infrastructure

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ZUG, Switzerland, Feb. 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — In a significant stride towards revolutionizing Web3 infrastructure, Validation Cloud has proudly announced the successful closure of its first external investment round, amassing $5.8 million. Spearheaded by San Francisco-based Cadenza Ventures, this funding round exceeded expectations with contributions from an impressive roster of international investors, including Blockchain Founders Fund, Bloccelerate, Blockwall, Side Door Ventures, Metamatic, GS Futures, and AP Capital.

Alex Nwaka, Co-Founder of Validation Cloud, expressed enthusiasm about the funding, “This investment marks a pivotal moment for Validation Cloud as we aim to address the urgent demand for scalable and compliant Web3 infrastructure. We’re honored to collaborate with our investors who are instrumental in propelling the global adoption of our platform among cutting-edge networks, developers, and asset managers.”

Validation Cloud is at the forefront of Web3 technology, having developed an innovative system architecture that paves the way for significant advancements in the sector. Known as the “Cloudflare of Web3,” the company offers a robust, scalable, and intelligent platform providing Staking, Node API, and Data services, drawing inspiration from Cloudflare’s transformative impact on Web2 infrastructure.

Founded by veterans in the Proof-of-Stake domain, Validation Cloud boasts a team of highly experienced professionals from renowned organizations such as Uber, Workday, Deloitte, Citadel, Morgan Stanley, Binance, Crypto.com, Figure, R3, and more, emphasizing a talent-first approach with a worldwide workforce.

Kumar Dandapani, Managing Partner at Cadenza Ventures, highlighted the strategic vision behind their investment, “At Cadenza, we do not invest in just any company; we invest in the future of transformative technologies. Validation Cloud’s pioneering role in Proof-of-Stake and their relentless pursuit of next-generation Web3 infrastructure have set them apart as leaders in the Web3 space.”

Aly Madhavji, Managing Partner at Blockchain Founders Fund, shared his thoughts on the investment, “We believe in the transformative power of Web3 and its ability to redefine how businesses operate. Investing in Validation Cloud aligns perfectly with our vision of supporting innovative platforms that are ready to lead the next wave of digital transformation.”

Validation Cloud has earned a reputation for its close partnerships with networks from their nascent stages, supporting a wide array of ecosystems from established ones like Chainlink, Hedera, and Stellar to emerging networks such as Aptos, Eigenlayer, and Berachain. Their platform lays the groundwork for the enterprise adoption of networks, positioning Validation Cloud as a key player in the Web3 infrastructure landscape.

For further details on Validation Cloud and its offerings, please visit www.validationcloud.io.

Please contact: Kelly Clark, Director of Communications | [email protected] 

Funding Announcement for Validation Cloud by Alex Nwaka

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/2349304/Validation_Cloud_Validation_Cloud_Secures__5_8_Million_in_Inaugu.jpg

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/2349305/Validation_Cloud_Validation_Cloud_Secures__5_8_Million_in_Inaugu.jpg

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Klarna says its AI assistant does the work of 700 people after it laid off 700 people

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The Swedish fintech, which was criticized for its handling of a dramatic staff reduction in 2022, is touting new efficiencies powered by OpenAI.

Klarna is bullish on bots.

One month after taking its OpenAI-powered virtual assistant global, the Swedish buy-now, pay-later company has released new data touting its ability to handle customer communications, make shoppers happier, and even drive better financial results.

The app-based AI chatbot already handles two-thirds of all customer service chats, the company said Tuesday—some 2.3 million conversations so far—with the virtual assistant earning customer satisfaction ratings at the same level as human agents. Klarna, which is expected to go public this year and will need all the hype it can get at a time when investors have been generally frosty toward IPOs, estimates that the chatbot could help improve its profits by $40 million in 2024.

Announcing a partnership with OpenAI early last year, Klarna said it was one of the first companies to integrate the firm’s groundbreaking ChatGPT technology into a plug-in for shopping. The natural-language interface initially helped customers choose items and make other shopping-related decisions based on personalized queries, a feature Klarna described as “smooth shopping.”

The company has continued to build out its AI offerings since then. Its app-based assistants are now available to customers worldwide and handle a variety of tasks including refunds, cancellations, and even disputes.

Klarna boasted in its announcement on Tuesday that the AI assistant “is doing the equivalent work of 700 full-time agents.”

That statement may raise eyebrows for anyone who remembers the middle of 2022, when the company laid off roughly the same number of employees, then about 10% of its staff. At the time, CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski cited economic uncertainty, inflation, and the likelihood of a recession as reasons for the cuts. He was criticized for his handling of the staff reduction after he shared a public spreadsheet on LinkedIn that contained the names of many of the laid-off workers.

Fast Company asked Klarna how the company arrived at its calculation for its AI assistant’s human-equivalent productivity. The company said the number of equivalent jobs the AI could perform wasn’t related to the layoffs. In a statement, a spokesperson said the company’s customer service is supported by four to five large third-parties that collectively have over 650,000 employees, and that it offers customers the option to speak with human agents if that’s what they prefer.

“This is in no way connected to the workforce reductions in May 2022, and making that conclusion would be incorrect,” the statement read. “We chose to share the figure of 700 to indicate the more long-term consequences of AI technology, where we believe it is important to be transparent in order to create an understanding in society. We think [it’s] important to proactively address these issues and encourage a thoughtful discussion around how society can meet and navigate this transformation.”

Companies have used chatbots for years to handle low-level customer queries and other interactions, although these tools are expected to become more versatile in the wake of advancements in artificial intellegence.

Source: Fast Company

The post Klarna says its AI assistant does the work of 700 people after it laid off 700 people appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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KAPSARC Launches Saudi Arabia’s First School of Public Policy

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  • Inspired by His Royal Highness, the Minister of Energy, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud’s passion for education, human capital development and innovation, the KAPSARC School of Public Policy (KSPP) was founded as the first institution in Saudi Arabia dedicated to graduate studies and executive education in public policy.
  • Through its academic offerings, KSPP empowers individuals to tackle pressing public policy challenges and embrace the promising opportunities shaping the future.
  • KSPP’s facilities will run on 100% renewable energy, setting a precedent as one of the first net-zero facilities in the Saudi educational sector.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Feb. 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) has been granted an establishment license for its School of Public Policy (KSPP) after the recent approval by the Council of Ministers, and which was announced during the Human Capability Initiative (HCI) on February 28, 2024, conducted under the patronage of Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Prime Minister, and the Chairman of the Human Capability Development Program Committee, one of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 Realization Programs.

Aiming to set new standards in policy studies, the school offers a two-year master’s degree and executive education programs designed to enable and empower future policy leaders and professionals within Saudi Arabia and globally to address the most pressing domestic and international public policy challenges in the public, non-profit and private sectors.

This significant achievement was announced by His Royal Highness, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, the Minister of Energy, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of KAPSARC: “The vision for KAPSARC School of Public Policy is to develop the knowledge and skills that the new generation needs to shape public policy both locally and globally. Our mission is to empower and equip future policy leaders and professionals within Saudi Arabia and internationally to make informed socio-economic decisions.”

In a statement on the sidelines of the school’s launch, Fahad Alajlan, President of KAPSARC, stressed the Center’s mission to impact public policy on national, regional, and global levels. “Our new School of Public Policy will equip future leaders with the right skills to create data-driven and evidence-based public policy in line with Vision 2030 goals.”

Dr. Ghadah Alarifi, Founding Dean of KSPP, stated that, “Public policy serves as the foundation of societal progress. At KSPP, we aim to be a catalyst for collaboration, building a robust ecosystem that bridges academia, industry, and government in the public policy arena.”

By leveraging KAPSARC’s network, KSPP provides a platform for global engagement and career growth opportunities, offering practical application and flexible courses tailored to empower policymakers in different tracks including energy policy.

The school is committed to achieving high sustainability standards in the Saudi educational sector, including the goal of running on 100% renewable energy. This dedication ensures that KSPP meets its annual energy needs through on-site renewable resources, eliminating the use of fossil fuels.

For more information about KSPP, visit https://www.kapsarc.org/about-the-school/.

Follow KSPP on social media:

  • X: @KAPSARC_SPP
  • LinkedIn: @ KAPSARC School of Public Policy

About KAPSARC:

KAPSARC is a leading think tank dedicated to advancing knowledge on energy, environment, and regional economic issues. Accredited observer of UNFCCC, KAPSARC actively contributes to global climate action. The mission of KAPSARC is to advance Saudi Arabia’s energy sector and inform global policies through evidence-based advice and applied research. For more information about the center please visit: https://www.kapsarc.org/

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/2350458/KAPSARC_School_of_Public_Policy.jpg

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