Ascent Technologies, a leading regulatory technology (regtech) company, announced the successful completion of their Series A funding round.
Ascent raised $6 million in this oversubscribed round, which was led by Alsop Louie Partners and joined by Randall Kroszner, member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from 2006 to 2009.
“This funding round and the quality of its investors is a testament to the cutting-edge, one-of-a-kind compliance solution Ascent offers,” said CEO and co-founder Brian Clark. “This investment, coming just after the successful completion of an international pilot that demonstrated the accuracy of our processes and technology, speaks to our ability to revolutionize how financial firms manage compliance.”
Ascent will be using this funding to continue enhancing their automation engines increasing the number of regulatory channels available to customers. Ascent has also announced plans to expand their footprint in Chicago and increase their workforce, hiring a significant number of technology and sales staff.
Ascent uses artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) to transform raw regulatory data into discrete actions for compliance departments. Ascent analyzes millions of data points from rules and documentation from a regulator, creating a constantly-updated regulatory channel. Ascent distributes this intelligence via regulatory channels, including the CFTC, CME, CBOE, ESMA, FINRA, ICE, and SEC.
“What sets Ascent apart is our technological capacity to quickly analyze regulatory text, as well as the customization provided for each customer,” Clark explained. “Ascent uses machine learning to help automate channel building, allowing the company to continuously increase the information available to customers.” Ascent’s Navigator platform then allows users to create comprehensive and accurate compliance systems that are precisely tailored to each firm’s unique regulatory requirements. “The regtech space generally aggregates data but requires users to build regulatory compliance programs manually. Ascent intelligently curates the information required for your firm, and updates it automatically, creating an elegant, simple, and comprehensive compliance process.”
In addition to Alsop Louie Partners and Krozner, other new investors include Temerity Capital Partners; Steve Kaplan of the University of Chicago, the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation; and Doug Monieson, chairman emeritus of Hyde Park Angels.
“We are very excited about the commercial prospects for the cutting-edge technology Ascent is deploying to assist companies in automating the compliance process in financial services,” said Andrew Sandler, CEO of Temerity Capital Partners and Asurity Technologies and a thought leader on regtech investing and consulting.
Ascent also announced that Series A investor Mark Fields, former CEO of Wickr and founder of CME Ventures, is joining the company’s Board of Directors. Mark will serve alongside Board Members and existing investors Paul Wood (co-founder and former Managing Director of Madison Dearborn Partners), Jim Gray (current CEO of proprietary trading company G-Bar LP and founder/former CEO of OptionsXpress), Ascent CEO Brian Clark, and Ascent COO Aaron Droba.
“We’re excited to welcome Mark Fields to our Board of Directors, and extremely happy to have a high-quality firm like Alsop Louie Partners join the Ascent team,” Wood said. “Ascent is growing rapidly and we’re enthusiastic about the future prospects of the business as we continue to innovate and modernize regulatory compliance.”
“Ascent has distinguished itself in the space by developing an accurate and comprehensive regtech solution that is extensible across many industry verticals,” Fields said. “Ascent’s products will help regulated businesses transition their compliance practices from an era dominated by the use of analog tools and methods, to the emerging age of digital, AI-enhanced solutions. There is tremendous potential for future growth. I’m looking forward to working with this top-notch team.”