FundGuard, a cloud-based investment funds operating system powered by AI and designed to revolutionize the investment funds technology space, today announced its launch and $4 million in funding led by venture firms Blumberg Capital and LionBird.
FundGuard will use the capital to accelerate the development of its platform and Contingency NAV product as well as to bring operational efficiencies afforded by AI and cloud technologies to market.
FundGuard helps asset managers, custodian banks and fund administrators manage investments across mutual funds, ETFs, separately managed accounts, pension funds as well as insurance. Using machine learning and AI to identify unstructured financial and operational anomalies or potential fraud, the platform provides real-time support while providing insights and recommendations to its customers.
"With continued pressure on management fees driven by the proliferation of ETFs, robo-advisors, 'zero fee' offerings, and frequently changing regulations, the industry is clearly now in need of an operating system that's highly accurate across all asset classes and efficient to operate," said Lior Yogev, CEO and co-founder of FundGuard. "Our SaaS platform is built to meet the needs of today's investment industry, designed to support sophisticated trading environments and new technologies such as distributed ledgers. Users will find a modern UX, APIs, plus workflow and collaboration tools that will add tremendous value to their companies and keep them ahead of the competition."
Many of today's industry challenges can be traced back to archaic technologies powering the industry. Most of these were built in the 1980's and barely support today's transaction volumes and need for real time positions and valuation information. Additionally, these aging technologies are finding it hard to keep up with rapidly changing regulatory requirements and tax changes.
FundGuard's Contingency and Oversight NAV product provides an unparalleled daily-resetting, fully automated operating system at a secondary independent location to enable asset managers to fulfill their fiduciary responsibility for business continuity and for protecting their funds' proprietary and most critical data and valuation during core systems failures and cyber attacks. This solution is designed to efficiently address the systemic risk of long period outages similar to a week-long incident at a large custodian bank that impacted hundreds of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, damaging their reputations.
"We are excited to join forces with Lior and the FundGuard team as they work to make this huge industry digital from the core," said Yuval Ariav, general partner at LionBird Ventures. "The company's unique product vision, at a time of structural and regulatory pressures facing the industry, will transform it to the benefit of investment managers, banks, fund administrators, and ultimately, retail and institutional investors."
FundGuard was founded by Lior Yogev, Yaniv Zecharya and Uri Katz. The trio met more than 20 years ago as officers in Israel's Defense Forces' Unit 8200, one of the world's most elite intelligence and technology agencies. Yogev, who previously led Multifonds' business in North America, was part of the executive team that sold Multifonds to Temenos for $265 million, and was previously an investment banker at Goldman Sachs. Zecharya, the company's CTO, previously led Salesforce's AI R&D efforts. He joined Salesforce through the acquisition of BlueTail, a machine learning sales insights company he co-founded. Katz, the company's vice president of R&D, has years of financial technology experience that includes building enterprise cloud systems and machine learning.
"When we first met the FundGuard team, we were impressed with their industry expertise and their vision of leveraging AI to bring operating systems for investment funds into the future," said Chris Gottschalk, principal at Blumberg Capital. "FundGuard will change how asset managers, custodian banks and fund administrators get their jobs done by increasing productivity, transparency and access to data."
Contributed | what does this mean?