Waiting For: AI & DS in Capital Markets

Research and Info in preparation for AI & Data Science event (London, March 2017)

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  • Leigh Drogen (Estimize): the idea on which Estimize is based is extremely fascinating. We have several examples that crowdsourced estimates and swarm intelligence have great potential (see Almanis, Ace Consensus, Premise, etc.), so really keen to understand how human collective intelligence merges with an artificial one;
  • Richard Craib (Numerai): Numerai is actually another crowdsourcing example where ‘tournaments’ are created, and the data scientist who implements the best AI models and reach the best prediction win a sum of money from the company. They recently raised $6M in a Series A round;
  • Thomas Wiecki (Quantopian): similar concept behind Numerai, with the difference though that it is requested to submit the complete algorithm and the scientist who wrote it can even decide to license it and get paid on a performance basis;
  • Wes McKinney (Two Sigma): this fund has been set as a data-driven fund since the beginning, and it is doing machine learning since 15 years now. They are internal promoting the use of AI and DS with internal (‘Two Sigma Cup’) or external (Kaggle) competitions. Interestingly enough, as I recently wrote, the also have a venture arm called Two Sigma Ventures. TSV got done important deals especially in the robotics space (e.g., Jibo, Rethink Robotics, 3Drobotics), but also Kasisto, Anki, and Ufora;
  • Nathan Benaich (Playfair Capital): to my knowledge, Playfair Capital was not a proper AI-oriented VC fund until Nathan Benaich came in (subscribe to his newsletter, is really well-written and informative). Great investors, they rapidly became a cornerstone of AI London ecosystem (and they also organize an annual AI Summit and a meetup). It is not by chance that they invested in Numerai (see above), DueDil, Mapillary, Ravelin, Seldon, and others;
  • Raj Neervannan (AlphaSense): never used it before, but their search engine for financial markets looks super useful.

Written by

Research Lead @Balderton. Formerly @Anthemis @UCLA. All opinions are my own.

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