IT in Banking

SA’s FinChatBot selected for New York accelerator

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Antoine Paillusseau, CEO and co-founder of FinChatBot.
Antoine Paillusseau, CEO and co-founder of FinChatBot.

Local fintech start-up FinChatBot is one of seven start-ups selected to participate in the eighth edition of New York-based accelerator programme, INV Fintech.

The INV Fintech initiative is a virtual accelerator that hosts financial services companies from across the globe, providing them with custom-designed mentorship and business support.

The accelerator’s ecosystem includes dozens of mentors, technology partners and venture capital firms.

Launched in 2016 by co-founders Antoine Paillusseau and Romain Diaz, FinChatBot develops chatbots that help financial service providers to acquire and retain customers through artificial intelligence (AI)-powered conversations.

The seven start-ups were selected after a review process by INV Fintech with feedback from its partners, which include Fiserv, TIAA, BB&T, BMO Harris, City National Bank, Associated Bank, Lincoln Savings Bank, and others.

Each participating company will be mentored by INV Fintech experts and its partners, for a five-month period.

“This cohort solidifies the accelerator’s pivot to greater bank enablement,” says Rodrigo Suarez, principal of INV Fintech.

“INV Fintech sees significant potential in these start-ups, with multiple opportunities for mutually beneficial collaborations with established financial institutions.”

Last year, FinChatBot secured funding of $500 000 (R7 million) from local venture capital firm Kalon Venture Partners and Mauritius-based Compass.

The company says it is now planning to expand beyond the financial services sector and tap into the telco space.

It is working on a chatbot that will allow consumers to do their Financial Intelligence Centre Act and RICA processes from the comfort of their homes.

The other start-ups selected for the INV Fintech accelerator programme are:

  • Alkymi (US): Uses machine learning to extract business data from e-mail and documents to automate and accelerate business processes.
  • Boss Insights (Canada): A tech platform that allows traditional lenders to have a telescope to companies' current and future financial performance.
  • Digs (US): Allows mortgage lenders to engage with their customers before and after the loan takes place, by providing consumers with a helpful financial tool.
  • Relativity6 (US): A machine learning/AI platform that enables financial institutions to accurately predict when customers are most likely to churn.
  • Sedicii (Ireland): Has developed technology that eliminates the storage and exposure of private user data during authentication or during the identity verification process.
  • Tuuk (US): Enables financial services providers to distribute high-value servicing tasks to the right customer at the right time, through a customer navigation tool.
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