Last week this space saw much of the largest fintech funding rounds taking place outside the U.S. That trend continues this week, with some San Francisco-grown AI thrown into the mix.
This week we witnessed a major push forward in the process of collaboration between financial institutions (FIs) and startups. This week’s top fundraising company was part of a startup accelerator based in Hong Kong. We also found a company creating artificial intelligence capable of accurately and reliably predicting stock market trends. Do a Google search on stock market and Darren Aronofsky (you won’t regret it). The final three represent other major trends in fintech evolution as of late: customer service enhancement, meta-bot service-automation, and bitcoin conversion.
1. Wecash is a Beijing-based big data credit assessment platform that provides solutions for technology companies. Although its last round of funding reached $20 million in a series B round over a year ago, the startup is actually one of the lucky eight to have recently completed the Hong Kong fintech accelerator program, SuperCharger, which is sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank. Wecash has already reached 35 million users, picking up 5 million users over the course of the 12-week program.
2. If AI is the object of fintech curiosity, Numerai (pronounced “noo-mer-aye”) is the object of fintech fascination. Having raised $1.5 million in its first and only round last week, this company offers a platform for firms and programmers to collaborate (and compete) to see whose artificial intelligence maps the stock market better. Ever seen the film Pi? Imagine if that man’s brain were a fintech startup, and hit replay. Numerai helps users build models on homomorphically encrypted data, and then connect their AI back to API which commands hedge fund capital. That’s Latin and Greek for data secured by single-form programming models. Programmers download Numerai’s free data, build a model, and upload your predictions, transforming the stock market into a veritable machine learning problem. After virtual performance analyses, the exceptional AIs are assigned fund profits.
3. Third is Wiraya, the Stockholm-based cloud platform for tailored, real time customer dialogue. With unicorns like Klarna integrating its customer services for the U.S. market, it is clear other European companies need to do likewise.
4. Skylar Labs is fourth, but that doesn’t stop it from raising eyebrows, as its undisclosed amount from unknown rounds is being used to develop a metabot to consolidate all actionable task automation functions for businesses into a single seamless experience, sans the need to install a new bot for every automation one requires, a la Slack (which this office just converted to.)
5. Bitwala is a bit of a junior entry because of its sub-prime equity, however at about $912 thousand from its first round, there’s no doubt the firm is off to a solid start. In brief, the company helps consumers worldwide transfer their bitcoin into European banks by way of SEPA payments. While the scope of SEPA payments are limited, many customers worldwide are using the company to send money to Europe for quotidian payments like rent or credit card bills, or miscellaneous exchanges and transfers with others via email.Like This Post