Boosted.ai raises $35M Series B for its machine learning platform for investment managers, led by Spark Capital and Ten Coves Capital
Investment managers, particularly those running active, fundamental strategies, have been in a state of upheaval for years as a result of broader industry forces. In that timeframe, nice-to-have advanced portfolio management techniques, like big data ingestion, have become mission-critical to success.
Enter Boosted.ai, a machine learning platform that enables portfolio managers and their teams to easily harness the power of machine learning to augment their existing investment processes, source new ideas, and manage risks. We covered Boosted.Ai about two years ago when the Toronto, Canada-based tech startup raised $8 million in Series A funding for its first-to-market AI platform for investment professionals.
Today, Boosted.ai announced it has closed $35 million in a Series B financing round led by Ten Coves Capital and Spark Capital. Other investors including Portage Ventures, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), and HarbourVest Partners also participated in the round. To date, Boosted.ai has raised a total of $46 million in funding.
The startup will use the latest capital infusion to scale its Boosted Insights, the company’s web-based platform that brings explainable machine learning tools to investment managers. By using Boosted Insights, portfolio management teams can augment their existing investment processes, source new ideas, and manage risks through AI without any prior coding knowledge.
Co-founded in 2017 by Joshua Pantony, Jon Dorando, and Nicholas Abe, Boosted.ai currently has more than 40 active clients across a full spectrum of global asset managers, including hedge funds and ETF providers. RBC, an investor in the round, is a current client of Boosted.ai. In terms of size, Boosted.ai clients range from family offices with roughly $10 million USD in assets under management (AUM) to asset managers with over $1 trillion USD in AUM. In 2021, Boosted.ai more than doubled the number of firms using its platform and increased revenue by 250%, and the company plans to double its current employee count.
In a statement, Joshua Pantony, CEO of Boosted.ai, said: “The world’s asset managers have never been as focused as they are today on bringing AI to their investment processes, but the number of firms who have successfully developed such capabilities in-house remains remarkably low. For virtually all other managers, a lack of time, money and talent will prevent machine learning from becoming a core competency or true differentiator. We have spent the past five years building Boosted Insights to solve for that gap in a way that is understandable and explainable to all styles of portfolio managers and allocators.”
As asset managers increasingly look to combine human and artificial intelligence (“quantamental” investing), Boosted.ai allows portfolio management teams to instantly take advantage of explainable, finance-specific algorithms that can improve returns and manage risks. The managers themselves do not have to know how to code, as the Boosted.ai platform is web-based and point-and-click.
Boosted Insights is a first-to-market AI platform for investment professionals, supporting idea generation, portfolio construction, and portfolio monitoring without requiring users to be coders, software engineers or data scientists. The platform also allows investment professionals to find value in alternative datasets that otherwise require extensive quantitative experience to unlock.
“According to the CFA Institute, there are five main hurdles to using artificial intelligence within investment management: cost, talent, technology, vision, and time. Boosted Insights solves all five hurdles for managers,” said Joshua Pantony, CEO of Boosted.ai. “Our mission is to bring elements of quantitative management to the finance industry at large as data becomes the difference between winning and losing for investors globally.”
Dan Kittredge, Managing Partner at Ten Coves Capital, said: “The investment management industry is almost unanimously expecting technology, data and digital capabilities to become core differentiators over the next five years. Boosted.ai is perfectly positioned to scale its platform and bring explainable machine learning to an even wider variety of asset managers, regardless of their location, investment style or size.”
Santo Politi, General Partner at Spark Capital, said: “It is inherently difficult for financial firms to build a central repository of machine learning knowledge, which is one of the main reasons why only a handful of managers can claim to power their investment processes through AI. Boosted.ai is becoming a necessary nucleus for machine learning expertise within asset management.”