Canada’s largest bank by assets, Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD Bank) is acquiring artificial intelligence (AI) startup Layer 6 AI for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition will help bolster the Canadian bank’s artificial intelligence expertise amid a broader push by financial services firms in adopting the technology. Michael Rhodes, TD Bank’s group head of innovation, technology and shared services, said the bank has been looking to build up its capabilities in AI for some time. Layer 6 has emerged as a global thought-leader and pioneer in the delivery of responsive, personalized and insight-driven experiences for the financial services industry. Layer 6 founders Tomi Poutanen and Jordan Jacobs are also co-founders of the Vector Institute, a world leader in AI research and education that TD also supports.
In a press release, Bharat Masrani, Group President and CEO, TD Bank Group said: “Anticipating and meeting customer needs are at the heart of our promise, and we are excited to further accelerate our innovation agenda to deliver well into the future. As we deploy new solutions, we will extend our deep relationship with customers across all of our platforms and offer personalized, connected and legendary experiences for our customers in the digital age.” “Layer 6 adds new capabilities to TD’s growing base of innovation talent and know-how.
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to power a new generation of data-driven applications from personalized and real-time advice to predictive analytics that will shape the future of banking for millions of individuals,” Michael Rhodes, Group Head, Innovation, Technology and Shared Services, TD Bank Group said. Jordan Jacobs, Co-CEO & Co-Founder, Layer 6 said: “TD is committed to leading the market with new innovation and superior customer experiences. Layer 6 was founded to help organizations harness the power of artificial intelligence, and we are excited to join TD and help them build for the future.”
Layer 6 will retain its brand name and separate office in Toronto, but TD will become its sole client and customer, said Rhodes. TD’s acquisition comes after it announced in October 2017 an agreement with U.S.-based Kasisto to integrate its KAI Banking chatbot platform into the bank’s mobile app.
Layer 6 enables a financial institution to deploy the most advanced Machine Learning solutions through a world leading Artificial Intelligence prediction engine for enterprise data. The platform helps anticipate how to provide each customer with a better, more personalized experience in real-time. Layer 6 was founded by Jordan Jacobs, Tomi Poutanen and Maks Volkovs in Toronto, and launched publicly in late 2016. The company has been recognized for its leading accuracy in real-time personalization and prediction through engagements with global companies and as winner of the 2017 RecSys Challenge by a wide margin over top international AI labs.