Top 4 Fintech Raises: Treasure Data, Quantopian, Freespee, Active.ai

Quite a few fintech ventures received funding this week; though perhaps surprisingly blockchain is not an area featured on this list—perhaps with all of the recent blockchain proof-of-concepts that are running, investors and angels thought it was time to take a stronger look at artificial intelligence, big data, and other emergent areas.

This brings us to our top four fintech funding rounds of the week:

Treasure Data

Cloud-based big data analytics company Treasure Data just had a very good week, closing a Series C funding round with a total of seven investors at the brow-lifting price of $25 million. This brings the California-based company’s total funding amount to just over $60 million, at $60.05 million. Founded in 2011, the company’s goal is to simplify the process of managing big data—which, as we are all very much aware, is quite the process. Currently the company’s client list includes companies like Warner Bros and smartwatch company Pebble.

Quantopian

This online platform ties with Treasure Data, as this week it also raised a Series C funding round of $25 million, led by Andreessen Horowitz. The platform’s goal, to directly quote the company’s homepage, is “leveling Wall Street’s playing field” by allowing individuals to write their own investment algorithms. Certain users of the platform can then license their algorithms to Quantopian, which will then pay the “authors” based on the algorithm’s performance. Investors certainly seem to think its an intriguing approach to investing—VentureBeat referred to it as a “crowdsourced investment firm,” as what the company is really doing is picking the best algorithms out of thousands of other submissions based on performance.

Freespee

This London-based e-commerce company just closed a Series B of $10.28 million in a round with five investors, with the lead on the round being Ventech. The platform is described as a “conversation cloud” for e-commerce marketers, and works by putting communication—phone or text—into “its digital context.” Currently the company has offices across Europe, and works with brands and companies such as Marriott Hotels. The potential for application in ecommerce and fintech is interesting to think about, especially as some of the biggest problems in finance stem from miscommunication or poor communication systems—after all, fixing that issue is one of the biggest draws of blockchain. This latest funding round brings its total equity up to $17.25 million.

Active.ai

Fintech service Active.ai just closed its venture round of $3 million today; to fund its goal of helping banks and other financial services to provide chatbots for customer relations. This includes putting banking chatbots on Messenger, the current reigning platform for them: at the moment Messenger hosts about 34,000 bots. Active.ai seeks to provide chatbot technology to banks and other fintechs with the goal of better customer service in mind; definitely a worthy goal. Right now chatbots seem to be one of the most direct ways a company can use artificial intelligence in direct relation to the customer, a capability sure to expand as AI technology continues to progress.

Big data and AI technologies seem like the order of the week, as does cloud computing. One thing is for sure; if you’re a fintech investor, you’re certainly never going to be bored for long.

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