AI & Finance™ | News for the Week Ending 3/15/24

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Artificial intelligence has the ability to help transform the way people live—financially speaking, it’s already subtly changing the way we earn, spend, save and invest. 

But progress always comes with a dark side, and technological progress usually brings with it cybersecurity concerns—AI is no different. However, unlike many previous iterations of technology change, AI also has the ability to directly challenge our notions of truth, legitimacy, reliability and validity. 

That brings us to the results of a recent political poll of U.S. registered voters, which found similar proportions of Democrats and Republicans—approximately 80% of those surveyed—are concerned about the ability of AI-generated content to impersonate political candidates and leaders, according to a study sponsored by cybersecurity nonprofit Defending Digital Campaigns. 

We’ve already seen this problem manifest itself in the 2024 election cycle. In the New Hampshire primaries earlier this year, an AI-generated impersonation of President Joe Biden’s voice urged Democratic voters not to go to the polls on election day—thousands of fake calls were sent to primary voters. 

Such “deepfakes” are already being used to conduct financial crime on the corporate level. With the relative ease of creating AI-generated audio and video, undoubtedly the technology is already being deployed to disrupt and defraud not just consumers, but practitioners in retail financial services as well. 

A new, AI-infused anti-fraud and cybersecurity arms race is accelerating. How will the financial services industry respond to protect itself and its consumers from the growing threat? 

Now, onto the good news: It was another busy week in financial AI. Let’s get to your headlines! This week we have another 15 newsmakers disrupting fintech with artificial intelligence.

READ ON…..


1. Aria Systems 

Aria Systems announced the launch of Aria Billing Studio, a suite that provides a bridge between Aria Billing Cloud and Salesforce Industry Clouds, including their release of Billing Inquiry Manager. Designed specifically for Salesforce partners and system integrators, Aria Billing Studio enables the accelerated deployment of a holistic Salesforce and Aria solution, with different stakeholders able to manage the entire customer lifetime value and revenue lifecycle – from product catalog management to customer care – within Salesforce. 

The suite drives AI-enhanced productivity and advanced analytics by delivering detailed product, account and billing information to Salesforce Data Cloud and Einstein 1. It adds comprehensive support for Salesforce Billing Inquiry Manager to enable customer service representatives to leverage critical billing data to address billing inquiries and streamline issue resolution. Additionally, it includes critical connectors for product catalog synchronization and order processing to ensure the cohesive flow of product data and to facilitate the initiation of billing for new subscribers and orders in Aria. 

2. BizEquity 

BizEquity, a provider of business valuation and analysis solutions, announced the upcoming release of its latest innovation: the AI-Powered NAICS Search tool known as Industry Finder. 

The Industry Finder addresses a common challenge faced by users of their patented Business Valuation and Client Engagement Platform: the uncertainty of selecting the right NAICS code for a business. Traditionally, in instances where the NAICS code is not already known, determining the appropriate industry code could be a time-consuming and error-prone process, often requiring manual research and interpretation. With the AI-powered Industry Finder however, users can now effortlessly pinpoint the correct NAICS code by simply inputting a text description of their business. 

Powered by advanced artificial intelligence algorithms, the Industry Finder analyzes natural language descriptions of businesses, extracting key attributes and context to accurately identify the appropriate NAICS code. And by leveraging machine learning techniques, the tool continuously learns and improves its accuracy over time, ensuring reliable results with each use. 

3. CLARA Analytics 

CLARA Analytics, a provider of artificial intelligence (AI) technology for insurance claims optimization, announced that they have achieved 100% year-over-year growth in annual recurring revenue (ARR), further solidifying their position as the top innovator in AI claims management technology for workers’ compensation, auto liability, and general liability carriers. 

CLARA’s platform, CLARAty.ai, ingests both structured and unstructured data for each claim, identifies salient features based on AI models built upon historical closed claims, and provides valuable predictive guidance to claims professionals. The platform includes CLARA Triage, CLARA Treatment, CLARA Litigation, CLARA Optics and CLARA MSP Compliance modules, which enable claims professionals to choose specific capabilities to tackle their rising insurance claims challenges. 

Clientele includes many of the industry’s leading insurance carriers, including American Equity Underwriters, Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies, Foresight Insurance, and Amerisure. CLARA’s recent partnership with Nationwide underscores the company’s leadership position in AI-powered claims management. CLARA’s remarkable growth in ARR is accompanied by an impressive high net dollar retention rate. 

4. Content Catalyst 

Content Catalyst has unveiled MyCatalyst, an AI-powered discovery tool which is poised to transform the way businesspeople use analyst insights and data. 

MyCatalyst, which leverages GPT, the OpenAI Large Language Model (LLM), is the latest addition to Content Catalyst’s suite of advanced content and subscriber management features and represents a significant leap forward by offering an intuitive and efficient method for subscribers to access and synthesise critical business insights. 

At its core MyCatalyst is a trusted AI-driven semantic search giving accurate and verifiable answer. Users of MyCatalyst will be able to ask their questions directly to an “AI analyst” that can search across content, summarise and provide source referencing down to paragraph level. 

5. CQG 

CQG, a provider of high-performance technology solutions for market makers, traders, brokers, commercial hedgers and exchanges, announced completion of internal testing and proof-of-concept using live data on what the firm believes to be a first-of-its kind artificial intelligence (AI) predictive model for traders. Following extensive machine learning (ML) training in a back-testing environment, the firm just started applying the technology to live data, with an extremely high level of predictive success in anticipating futures market moves. CQG made the announcement on the first full day of FIA Boca, the International Futures Industry Conference. 

Based on the firm’s deep experience in analytics, mathematics and market intelligence, the new ML initiative aims to offer retail traders and buy-side firms, including proprietary trading firms and hedge funds, unprecedented tools for identifying new trading and analytics opportunities, guiding trading strategies, and managing their positions. CQG has been exploring the field of AI for the past year in the context of solving for its clients’ challenges, testing the technology in a state-of-the-art multi-platform lab. Last week, for the first time, the company tested its next-generation machine learning toolkit in a live trading environment and achieved 80% predictive accuracy – matching the results attained in the back-testing environment.  

6. EndoTech 

EndoTech announced the launch of its multivector AI platform to help institutions improve their quant investing. The availability of the platform for other money managers marks a significant milestone in Dr. Becker’s mission to make AI-based market predictions a fundamental component in money management. 

Having managed hundreds of millions of dollars of AI investments, the general availability of Dr. Becker’s multivector AI prediction platform signifies an important milestone for AI investments. Whereas before, money managers would create a single vector hypothesis and run money on it, now, large investment houses can leverage best-in-class technology to maximize in-house talents to customize their own algorithms and have them run automatically. 

This launch culminates nearly a decade of dedicated research from more than 40 quant developers and is now being made available to select institutional investors looking to bring proven AI capabilities to their investment teams. 

7. Grupago 

Grupago, a fintech startup pioneering digital microcredit for small businesses (SMBs) in Latin America, announced that it has secured $4.3 million in seed financing. The investment is led by Deciens Capital and joined by Precursor Ventures, Clocktower Ventures and Twine Ventures, among other venture funds. They were also joined by a number of super-angels across the United States and Mexico, including Zac Bookman (CEO, OpenGov), Oso Trava (Cracks Fund), Pepe Shabot (CEO, ION Mexico) and Paul Sawaya (co-founder, Human Interest). 

Grupago launched its micro-credit business in October 2023 with the goal of filling a crucial gap in Latin America’s small business market: providing credit to millions of small business owners across Latin America. The LatAm SMB market is massive – with SMBs accounting for 90% of businesses and generating nearly a third of GDP – but experts estimate up to 87% of their credit needs are unmet. 

This gap is even more pronounced for the informal micro-businesses Grupago targets. Fintechs have been unable to overcome the challenges of reaching, underwriting and collections for this segment, while traditional lenders rely on expensive brick-and-mortar infrastructure, driving up loan costs and limiting reach. Grupago has been able to overcome these obstacles and effectively serve micro-SMBs by bringing together three key innovations – AI-driven underwriting, group collateral and community distribution – into a unique, fully digitalized offering. 

8. HighRadius 

HighRadius announced the launch of Accounts Payable Automation, the industry’s first GenAI native solution, to automate the entire payer-supplier payment process. 

AP teams have been working with traditional, one-way applications intended to reduce manual processes and save costs. However, these haven’t helped suppliers, who get limited payment visibility and must log in to multiple supplier portals. Supplier relationships have deteriorated, especially when AP processes have moved offshore. 

With HighRadius’ GenAI-powered Accounts Payable Automation’s Supplier Connect product, suppliers will get immediate responses to their queries, including clear details on the status of their payments and guidelines for any actions required. The product will transform AP teams with improved supplier retention and reduce costs by eliminating manual, repetitive tasks. 

9. Intention.ly 

Intention.ly, the growth engine design consultancy firm transforming the way finserv and fintech companies approach sales and marketing, announced that it has teamed up with Nitrogen, the industry’s leading provider of integrated risk tolerance, proposal generation and portfolio analytics software for wealth management firms. This marks Nitrogen’s selection of Intention.ly as an official marketing partner, affording joint customers exclusive pricing on Intention.ly’s marketing services and empowering Nitrogen’s financial professionals to reach a broader audience. 

Nitrogen’s customers will also have the ability to utilize Intention.ly’s Advisor Brand Builder, offering high-impact options for both visual and written elements of a firm’s brand. The cutting-edge technology serves breakaway advisors, established advisory firms and enterprise firms recruiting advisors to create a comprehensive brand from inception to applied brand assets in under 48 hours. 

10. M-Files 

M-Files announced that the company grew its annual recurring revenue (ARR) in 2023 by more than 20 percent, driven by a 64 percent increase in new customer acquisitions via direct sales, a 41 percent jump in existing customer expansions, and rising interest in the M-Files Hubshare collaboration solution. M-Files’ strong results in 2023 also reflect a boost in sales in North America by 29 percent, showing the company’s continued growth in the market. The company’s exemplary year-end results closed out a milestone year as M-Files reached the distinguished Centaur status with over $100M in annual recurring revenue (ARR) in May. 

Valeo Financial Advisors, an independent financial advisory firm, uses M-Files to manage their client documents, ensuring easy collaboration and version control across all content. An advisor typically saves around 90 minutes a week because of M-Files’ sophisticated metadata search capability. “The electronic access that we have to documents now allows us to be much more efficient with our clients and the time that we spend with them. The amount of time that we have to spend manually profiling documents or searching for them online has dramatically been reduced,” said John Trott, founder, Valeo Financial Advisors. 

With its commitment to leveraging automation and AI and staying one step ahead of the latest technology trends, M-Files continues to enable knowledge workers to work smarter. In 2023 among the first in our market, M-Files enhanced its knowledge work automation platform with generative AI capabilities to revolutionize the way knowledge workers automate their processes – from document creation and management to workflow automation, external collaboration, enterprise search, security, compliance, and audit trails. 

11. Ontra 

Ontra announced the appointment of Leslie Olsen as Chief Marketing Officer. Leslie brings over 20 years of experience as a deeply customer-centric marketing leader focused on delivering profitable growth. Leslie will oversee strategic marketing for Ontra’s Legal Operating System, which leverages artificial intelligence to automate critical legal workflows across fundraising, portfolio investment, and fund operations. Ontra’s solutions are used by over 700 private capital investment firms and advisors worldwide, including industry leaders such as Blackstone, KKR, Apollo, and Carlyle. 

12. RapidCanvas 

RapidCanvas, an AI platform built for business, announced it has launched with $7.5 million in seed funding led by Accel with participation from Valley Capital Partners. RapidCanvas emerges from stealth mode with early adopter business leaders having already validated the platform by driving real business outcomes. These leaders were able to accelerate their AI transformation by prototyping AI solutions in days and deploying the solutions in production environments within a month, all without writing a single line of code. 

Traditional AI platforms have long operated on the belief that only highly trained data scientists and engineers are capable of driving AI strategy and implementation. Even low-code and “no-code” solutions require at least some custom software development and expert knowledge of data science modeling techniques. Until now, business leaders and domain experts, who hold deep operational knowledge in leveraging data to tackle business challenges, have been held back from creating their own AI solutions. 

RapidCanvas is the first end-to-end platform to automate and guide business leaders and domain experts to create an AI solution quickly with a conversational interface, eliminating the need for support from data engineering teams and developers. 

13. SymphonyAI 

SymphonyAI announced a strategic partner agreement with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), to expand and accelerate markets across business verticals worldwide. Initially focused on financial crime detection, the strategic agreement will bring the benefits of focused predictive and generative AI to organizations across industries. 

Criminals annually launder as much as 5 percent of global GDP, or US $2 trillion, according to the “Global FinCrime Landscape: A Comprehensive Analysis” (2023) by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). SymphonyAI and TCS are arming financial institutions with responsible AI technologies that enable early detection of financial crime risks and patterns and enabling companies to effectively shut down emerging threats and prevent the crimes from occurring. SymphonyAI’s financial crime prevention offerings, including the SymphonyAI Sensa Copilot and the Sensa Investigation Hub, combine predictive and generative AI for industry-leading end-to-end financial crime investigation and risk management technology. 

The alliance combines SymphonyAI’s technology with TCS’ services and expands the availability of predictive and generative AI capabilities for financial services organizations globally. These include consulting, analytics, transformation and technology solutions, platform solutions, and change management services. TCS continuously invests in financial crime and compliance-focused research to combat financial crime, enhance associated market compliance, and minimize financial and reputational risks. 

14. WealthFeed 

WealthFeed announced the successful closure of a $2 million funding round. Strategic investors include Thicket Ventures and executives from the Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), Investment Banking and Private Equity sectors. Concurrent with the investment, Justin Wisz and Joe Jolson will join WealthFeed’s Board of Directors. The round reflects the confidence that industry leaders have placed in WealthFeed’s distinctive value proposition, and is poised to drive the platform’s growth initiatives, further enhancing its use of predictive analytics and artificial intelligence to assist Financial Advisors in expanding their market footprint. 

WealthFeed, the financial services spin-off of Catalyze AI which has served over 1,700 real estate and financial services customers, provides an AI-powered Money-in-Motion platform empowering Financial Advisors to grow their book of business, increase client retention and grow wallet-share with current clients. The platform boasts a dynamic money-in-motion prospect database, offering Advisors extensive filtering capabilities to identify high-converting prospect opportunities, in real time. Additionally, the WealthFeed platform enables Advisors to enrich their current client/prospect database with financial data, contact information, and other impactful insights, allowing them to prioritize and convert prospects at a higher rate. Lastly, the AI-powered platform provides Advisors with real-time alerts of money-in-motion taking place within their current client base, enhancing client retention and asset aggregation opportunities. 

15. WorthAI 

Worth AI, a fintech SaaS startup, officially launched and announced its artificial intelligence-powered risk management and underwriting technology. The first-of-its-kind, patent-pending platform, fundamentally changes how enterprises underwrite the financial credit worth of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), expanding access to more customers, decreasing risk, increasing data transparency, and fueling economic growth. Worth AI enables banks, credit unions, fintechs, and financial service providers to rapidly accelerate approvals for business loans, financial services, and lines of credit with a single business credit score.   

The Worth AI, data-driven platform predicts business financial futures, reduces risks, and eliminates biases with real-time data. Leveraging AI, the platform processes thousands of traditional and non-traditional data sources to swiftly generate a unified ‘WorthScore™️,’ while building comprehensive business profiles in minutes.