Series A announcement published on Forbes.com May 28, 2020, written by Senior Contributor Igor Bosilkovski.
When Kumesh Aroomoogan was working in the public finance department at Citigroup, he spent hours looking at financial statements, copying and pasting from one document to the next, arranging and rearranging his Excel sheet, and performing a lot of repeated manual tasks.
“They were scaling on labor versus technology,” Aroomoogan says. “I thought there has to be a better way to automate this entire process.”
So in 2014, Aroomoogan, who had an idea for a product, teamed up with Anshul Vikram Pandey, a data visualization PhD student at NYU at the time, and the two started working in Aroomoogan’s basement in Queens, NY.
What came out of the effort of the two entrepreneurs is Accern, an enterprise whose AI Platform contains ready-made solutions for the financial service industry.
Today, the six-year old startup announced that it has closed a $13 million Series A funding round led by Fusion Fund. Mighty Capital, Allianz Life Ventures, Vectr Fintech Partners and Viaduct Ventures also participated, along with two angel investors from a previous round.
According to Aroomoogan, who serves as the company’s CEO, Accern will use the funds to further develop their code-free AI platform, and democratize the ability for AI within organizations so that employees who aren’t experts in data can use it too.
“What we’re able to do now is bring these easy to use, no-code platforms that even business analysts can actually use to build AI solutions as quickly as data scientists,” Aroomoogan, says.
The data-driven platform utilizes AI-powered natural language processing and predictive analytics, and creates a workflow automation and risk management solutions for investment research, credit lending, and financial crimes.
An example of Accern’s use is its ability to monitor over a billion indexed public news and websites which they can track in real time and quantify. A hedge fund could use the service to monitor all the news that comes out regarding companies they have invested in.
“The platform can relate these news back to the companies and let them know that ‘hey, this news is actually very negative towards your company’, or ‘hey, your supplier got hit with a major natural disaster event and you might want to be aware of that,’” Aroomoogan says.
The way Accern makes money is based on a number of pages that a company processes from their software. It offers three plans: for processing up to 100,000 pages per month, another one up to 500,000 pages, and a third one, for over half a million pages monthly.
Currently, Accern has over 50 enterprise clients, including Allianz, Jefferies, and IBM and Google’s financial services teams.
The New York-based company employs 30 people, of which the vast majority are data scientists and engineers, and a quarter have PhDs, mostly in data sciences.
Both Aroomoogan and his cofounder Vikram Pandey, who serves as Accern’s CTO, made the 30 Under 30 Enterprise Technology list two years ago.
Lu Zhang, the founder and managing partner of Fusion Fund (which led the Accern Series A round), is another 30 Under 30 honoree, from the 2017 Venture Capital list.
Accern had previously raised $1.5 million in angel and seed rounds, and with the $13.3 million Series A, the total equity financing has amounted to nearly $15 million.