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Cytora, a three-year-old, London-based AI startup, has just raised £2.4 million in Series A funding led by Parkwalk with participation from Cambridge Enterprise, iLexIR and a high-profile group of angels, including Alan Morgan, Paul Forster and Matthew Grant, a former executive at RMS.
The business, which spun out of the University of Cambridge, is focused on capturing hidden economic insights that exist in online data, giving clients a comprehensive overview of what is changing in the world and an unparalleled ability to unearth leading indicators and opportunities.
Alan Morgan, chairman of MMC Ventures said, “Cytora is meeting a real need in a rapidly changing world; it delivers data and analytics to enable real insights and inform decisions, especially around the pricing of risk”.
With a background in geopolitical and supply chain risk, the 20-person company now works with major global names in finance and insurance and has deep relationships in asset management. Asked how Cytora’s fresh capital will be used, CEO and co-founder Richard Hartley said the company plans to commercialise heavily in one of these areas over the next six months.
“We help businesses gain a comprehensive understanding of risk, particularly in new and emerging markets, by leveraging the observation power of the internet”, says Hartley. “In the right hands, our data provides an information advantage which can drastically impact underwriting and trading decisions.”
Using machine learning, Cytora connects billions of data points together, automatically assembling vast datasets that humans are unable to generate because of the huge volume and velocity of data on the web. Insurers use this data, for example, to quantify the number of losses across insurance lines such as Cyber and Product Recall to optimise their underwriting strategy and risk pricing.
Parkwalk Investor Director Martin Glenn said, “We are delighted to back Cytora and its founders through the Parkwalk Opportunities Fund and UCEF IV. This is Parkwalk’s first investment from the Judge Business School’s incubator and, alongside our investment partner Cambridge Enterprise, we are excited about the future prospects for Cytora and their leading event detection technology. We believe the talented management team has the potential to drive the business to commercial success.”
The company has also added a new non-executive chairman to the team; Richard Gibson, formerly executive chairman of Swiftkey, which was recently acquired by Microsoft.