Meet Taktile, a new startup working on a machine learning platform for financial services companies. It’s not the first company to want to leverage machine learning for financial products. But Taktile wants to differentiate itself from competitors by making it easier to get started and switch to AI-powered models.
A few years ago, when you could read “machine learning” and “artificial intelligence” in every presentation, some startups chose to focus on the financial sector in particular. This makes sense because banks and insurance companies collect a ton of data and know a lot of information about their customers. They could use this data to train new models and deploy machine learning applications.
Fintech start-ups have built their own in-house data science team and started working on machine learning for their own products. Companies like Younited Credit and October are using predictive risk tools to make better lending decisions. They have developed their own models and they can see that their models perform well when they run them on past data.
But what about historical players in the financial sector? A few startups have been working on products that can be integrated into existing banking infrastructure. You can use artificial intelligence to identify fraudulent transactions, predict creditworthiness, detect fraud in insurance claims, and more.
Some of them have flourished, like Shift Technology with a particular focus on insurance. But a lot of startups build proof of concepts and stop there. There is no meaningful long-term commercial contract down the road.
Taktile wants to overcome this obstacle by creating an easy-to-adopt machine learning product. It raised a $4.7 million seed round led by Index Ventures with Y Combinator, firstminute Capital, Plug and Play Ventures and several business angels also participating.
The product works with both off-the-shelf and customer-made models. Customers can customize these templates according to their needs. Templates are deployed and maintained by the Taktile engine. It can run in a customer’s cloud environment or as a SaaS application.
After that, you can leverage information from Taktile using API calls. It works pretty much like integrating any third-party service into your product. The company has tried to provide as much transparency as possible with explanations for every automated decision and detailed logs. When it comes to data sources, Taktile supports data warehouses and data lakes as well as ERP and CRM systems.
The startup is still in its infancy, and it will be interesting to see if Taktile’s vision materializes. But the company has already managed to convince a few experienced backers. So let’s keep an eye on them.