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Kensho Is Building A Siri For The Financial Industry

701 words - 3 pages

Former quantitative analyst and Harvard University Ph.D. candidate Daniel Nadler is not your typical startup guy.

“I’m risk-averse,” said Mr. Nadler, who added he’s “not the type to throw on jeans and a T-shirt and launch a startup.”

But, after feeling frustrated with tools available for “quants”–quantitative analysts studying financial markets–and seeing no sign that better technology was forthcoming, he teamed with Google Inc. engineer and friend Pete Kruskall to fill the void.

The pair co-founded Kensho Technologies Inc. last spring to create a Siri-style intelligent assistant for the financial industry and have raised $10 million from Google Ventures, Accel ...view middle of the document...

It convinced Mr. Nadler that Warren was needed.

“Everyone on the street was trying to put their heads together to try and figure out what it meant,” said Mr. Nadler who was working as a visiting scholar at the time for the U.S. Federal Reserve. “You’ve got a financial, a political and a cyclical event. To answer any one of those requires a highly specialized quant to spend hours scrubbing data and coding.”

The team is also in the process of building a massive unstructured geopolitical and natural world event database – an undertaking that has information about hurricanes for example, but not yet about earthquakes.

Mr. Nadler said although the software is still “brittle”–he likened it to Google search in its early days–it has still attracted a diverse and organic following among his target audience.

“We have people with email addresses from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Bank of America, JP Morgan… literally every major bulge bracket...

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