Friends, family and fools-funded Al platform gets traction

Behind the fintech startup Alpha Visum that has created the first US stock market analysis platform using AI pattern recognition as methodology for the fundamental data analysis stands a money-savvy man, Artis Zablockis, PhD candidate in business management with more than 13 years’ experience in the financial sector. Along with his business partner, Vadims Bogusko, the new-generation businessmen look to double revenue on the Al-employing platform in the New Year and take it further. The Baltic Times Magazine spoke to Mr Zablockis on where Alpha Visum is now and what is coming next.

An international company database describes the activities of Alpha Visum in a language that is too difficult to understand for people not in the IT and AI sector. Alpha Visum is a fully managed service that uses machine learning to index time series to find similarities, recognize patterns and detect anomalies – that is the exact description I came across on the internet.  How would you explain to your grandma what you’re doing?

In simple words we have created an algorithm that can convert time series data of any length into one single index that contains the main behavioral features of the original data.  Indexes than can be used to help easily search, group, filter, find anomalies or forecast time series based on data behavior within large datasets.

What was the very beginning of the start-up? Where did the start capital come from?

Alpha Visum was founded in 2017 by two co-founders. We started to work together in a scientific work group that were analyzing the US stock market and creating stock portfolios that can beat Wall Street. One of our responsibilities in the work group was stock selection based on a company’s financial behavior over its history.  After a while we decided that asset management isn’t the case of the startup and it requires massive funds so we made the decision to step back and do what we know and understand best – analytics. Since the beginning we have used our own and 3F (friends, family and fools) funding. Recently we also have been accepted in the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia incubator that gives us access to additional funding.

As only ca 15 percent of all start-ups usually manage to clinch the first three-year mark, what do you make of the statistics? What makes you believe you will be in the lucky 15 percent?

With 100% accuracy I can say that we will definitely clinch the three-year mark. Our company is growing slowly but steadily by increasing turnover year after year.  Our product recently has transformed to the next level that will help to increase number of customers and the total growth of the company.

What sets Alpha Visum apart from other similar start-ups?

I think one of the factors is that we have managed to avoid investors and ownership giveaway in the first years of company existence. Someone will say that investors help a company grow faster, which can be very important in today’s fast changing World. But in our case, it helped us to make deliberate decisions without running with our heads into the wall. I like saying that you can do it fast or you can do it right – we managed to do it right.

Where do you believe you hold an edge over your closest competitors?

The difference with existing platforms that provide high quality visual data analytics hides in the technology. To avoid competition, we have created a very specific niche solution that helps any data analytic platforms to improve their product range and quality of analytics. Therefore, we have turned all competitors into potential customers that can integrate our solution in their platforms and offer it to their customers.

What is the innovative technology you are proud of?

As our created algorithm is installed in Amazon Web Services it allows to scale services without any limitation of the data or customer configurations. Our algorithm can be easily integrated with existing solutions without affecting core infrastructure and can perform well in scenarios with small and large datasets even in real-time using parallel computing.

How does your previous extensive experience in the Latvian financial market contribute to you being the capable CEO of Alpha Visum and making decisions?

More than 15-year experience in the financial sector helped more precisely understand sector challenges and opportunities and make the right decisions on product development.  It also gave a wide range of experience not only in financial data analytics but also in business management, customer and employee relation creation.

What is the practical applicability of your technologies?

Indexes which are generated using our algorithm can be used as an additional parameter for scoring models in the financial sector allowing to take into account behavioral patterns and trends of client transactions. In IT and IoT sectors it can help to compare signals of different sensors and find hidden correlations between different parameters to get answers to questions like – what can happen next or why is it happening right now?

Can you please speak a little of your clients?

Our technology is a supplement to any analytic system so we targeted worldwide anyone that produces, collects or analyses time series data including data producers – industrial sensor providers, banks and exchanges, mobile data operators, IT software as well as data collectors – statistical platforms, broker platforms, database providers and analytics – auditors, data analysis platforms BI, universities and research centers, IT developers.

Who is on your team that you rely on daily?

We are two co-founders – Artis Zablockis and Vadims Bogusko. While I am responsible for the business management of the company, Vadims is responsible for product quality starting from creating and implementing algorithms and ending with communications and control of the developer’s team that is outside of our country. We completely trust and rely on each other as we both have high experience in what we do.

Can you share your Alpha Visum dreams for 2020?

Ours dream for the next year is to grow on fast speed by doubling revenue which includes acquisition of new customers and, hopefully, will step into the bank sector by attracting some of the big market players not only in the Baltics but also globally.  But the most important thing is that our team is fully capable to make that dream come true.

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