Forefront Communications

Integrity Research Associates: AI Provider Causality Link Raises $5 Million

Forefront Communications

Forefront Communications

Causality Link, which positions itself as an AI-powered research assistant, completed a Series A round of $5 million as it targets asset managers.   The firm is part of a growing number of fintech companies seeking to use artificial intelligence to dis-intermediate external research.

The financing was led by HORIZON s.a., a French family office headed by Jean-Baptiste Duzan, a former Renault-Nissan executive.  Proceeds will be used to further expand the data sources used by the firm’s models and to hire salespeople and data scientists.

In contrast to black-box AI systems, Causality Links is predicated on combining expert knowledge of causation – not simply correlation – with machine learning and natural language processing.  It is positioned as a productivity tool which scans news sources and other content for relevant information.  The firm’s ‘Research Assistant’ is designed to extract KPI metrics and other key data from news media, trade magazines, financial research, earnings releases, transcripts and proprietary content. The platform can parse sources in 18 languages.

The causal link data is delivered both as a web-based research platform providing access to meta-data and content sources or as a daily feed of extracted meta-data covering indicators, trends, events, and causal links.  For clients with limited internal resources, the company will set up customized interactive dashboards.

Causality Link is primarily targeting asset managers, with fees that vary with the size of the firm as measured by assets under management as well as the level of service required.  The firm also has interest from investor relations areas of publicly traded companies.

Like many others, the company has set up a COVID-19 dashboard to showcase its capabilities.

When we profiled the company in June 2018, Causality Link was targeting independent research firms as an initial vertical for its platform.  The firm had completed a seed round in 2017 and was in a market validation stage before the next round of funding which was completed this month.  The firm partnered with France’s Toulouse School of Economics for access to the institution’s library of content to build the firm’s proprietary knowledge graph.

The firm was co-founded in 2016 by Pierre Haren, Ph.D., an expert systems pioneer who has been working in the AI space since 1983. He co-founded expert systems firm ILOG which was acquired by IBM for $340 million in 2008.  He continued working with IBM for seven years, heading its advanced analytics unit within its professional services business which includes management and strategy consulting.

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