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David Jones’ Brandtech Group soars in value with AI tool Pencil

Stock markets are currently riding high on AI, boosting the valuation of companies deemed to be in the lead, notably now Micro0soft, currently the world’s most valuable.

David jones’ Brandtech Group is also benefiting, being valued at $4bn after a funding round raised $115m. Investors included French comkpany fimalac, already a shareholder after Brandtech bought Jellyfish.

Brandtech’s AI contender is Pencil, a generative AI platform that predicts performance and generates marketing assets including videos and images. Pencil’s ads are ten times faster and 30-50 per cent cheaper, the company claims.

Brandtech has also hired former Lazard International exec Matthieu Bucaille as its new CFO, replacing Jean-Marc Antoni, who was a founding partner. He will stay on as an advisor.

Founder and CEO Jones (above) says: “When OpenAI founder Sam Altman provocatively said, ‘AI Will Handle 95% of marketing work Done by agencies and creatives,’ the traditional legacy industry was up in arms. We, on the other hand, said: That’s exactly why we built the Brandtech Group.

“The mobile phone made everyone a creator – Gen AI makes everyone an ad agency – that may not be very good news for traditional legacy agencies with 100,000 employees, but it’s going to be great for the world of marketing in general. Gen AI is going to profoundly change, not just every aspect of marketing, but the whole of business.”

Jones, a former global CEO of Havas, has been around long enough to know that such valuations can come and go and, to some extent, AI may be another dotcom boom. At the moment, though, Brandtech is looking like a pleasingly robust structure. Keeping the company private looks like a good move too even though, in its early days, it had to play second fiddle to Sir Martin Sorrell’s more high profile quoted S4 Capital. That is now valued at £220m.

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