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Four AI Start-Ups To Watch Out For in Finance July 04, 2017

In light of our recent conference where we discussed - How Machine Learning is shaking up finance we thought we’d look into four of the biggest AI start-up acquisitions of the last five years.

These are some of the most interesting financially central startups working in the area of artificial intelligence in the UK today, from machilearning, deep learning, neural nets or computer vision. 


Established security startup from Cambridge, Darktrace, uses machine learning algorithms to spot patterns and catch cyber criminals before they can hit. Cyber threats are created at a rate too fast for security companies to keep up to date, so smart use of machine learning allows Darktrace to, in theory, stay ahead of criminals.

  • Uses AI techniques to learn what is normal within a company's network so that it can quickly identify anomalies.
  • This allows it to detect cyber attacks of a nature that may not have been observed before, the unknown unknowns.
  • Darktrace raised £51 million investment round led by investment firm KKR in July.   

“People are finally accepting that compromises are happening, regardless of how much perimeter security and malware detection software they’ve put in." Darktrace CEO Nicole Eagan told Techworld


London startup Onfido is doing similar work to Darktrace but with identity and background checks.

  • Founded by a trio of Oxford graduates, the platform plugs into various publicly available databases to give employers quick identity verification and background checks for things like driving and criminal records.
  • In their own words, Onfido's "intelligent software revolutionises the archaic background checking industry through automated data aggregation and verification".
  • The company is hiring machine learning and computer vision engineers to build on the smart platform.
  • Onfido raised a strong Series B funding round of £19 million in April, led by Idinvest Partners.

Goldman Sachs CEO, AI and Robo are Changing Banking & Finance Profoundly

Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs is talking about future banking and how Artificial Intelligence (AI) and algorithm-driven Robo-Advisor are automating consumer lending and investing practices right now. He mentioned a lot of financial advisors and bank employees will lose jobs and it is happening right now in Goldman Sachs.


Seldon is an AI startup focusing on bringing machine learning capabilities into the enterprise.

  • They create tools that help data scientists derive value from big data within an organisation quicker, namely processing data  and creating algorithms and models.
  • The platform has two main functions - Recommendations and predictions.
  • Recommendations - The open source platform captures and logs user actions via an API delivers recommendations based on your models.
  • Predictions - Seldon claims it can predict what products a customer is likely to buy so that sales teams can build supervised, learning-based predictive models and pipelines.


The intelligent assistant Cleo's main function is to help you be smarter with your money. It has been developed by computer science graduates Barney Hussey-Yeo and Aleksandra Wozniak, who met as members of Entrepreneur First's fifth cohort.

  • Cleo was born in early 2016 at Entrepreneur First, Europe's leading accelerator for technical talent.
  • They now help our users manage over £120M and are joined by investors who share their vision to build the world's financial assistant.
  • In 2017 they plan to grow their user base, both in the UK and abroad. Cleo works via a messaging platform. Once you give it permission to your account information, it can answer questions about your finances.
  • Using deep learning techniques allows Cleo to learn and adapt to your habits and preferences.

This article was brought to you by Bells Hughes from the Digital Leadership Forum.

We hope this gave you some insight and continued curiosity for our future sessions which include AI and Digital Marketing. We welcome leading tech startups.

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