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    Softbank invests in artificial intelligence startup Qraft technology

    Softbank Group Ltd

    9984 2.18%

    To access Money Manager’s artificial intelligence tools and drive startup growth, Qraft Technologies Inc. Has invested $ 146 million in.

    Qraft has managed $ 1.7 billion for Asian banks and insurance companies and has built a software platform to mine promising equity market data through its US exchange-traded fund lineup.

    Robert Nestor, U.S. CEO of Qraft, founded in 2016 by CEO Marcus Hyung-Sik Kim, a Seoul-based company that will use this investment to expand into the U.S. and other major markets. Will be promoted.

    Both companies refused to disclose Qraft’s assessment.

    SoftBank in Tokyo is one of the world’s largest investors in technology companies, with the Vision Fund and a successor to manage a portfolio of over $ 100 billion.

    Asset managers are once skeptical of the value of AI, noting staff concerns that the program will replace human stock and bond pickers, fighting chronic slumps and justifying fees. I’m trying to add a data analysis tool to help with. They charge investors.

    The awakening of the industry has sparked an arms race to develop these tools and hire programmers who can find market signals hidden in the data. These signals can be momentary, giving the firm a good return for just a few months before other investors find the same trend. And the cost of hiring a team of technicians can be exorbitant, depending on the demands of every industry, from manufacturing to finance.

    “Asset management is probably the slowest adoption of AI outside of trading,” Nester said. “Many companies are currently in the process of saying,’We need to think about it.’ Most small businesses have no functionality. It’s an opportunity for us. “

    Qraft has hired a former executive, Nestor.

    Black lock Ltd

    The Vanguard Group plans to market its AI investment engine to other asset management companies at the end of last year. Nester said the company plans to build sales teams in key markets such as the United States and China.

    Qraft has 50 employees, most of whom work on the company’s core AI software. According to Nester, these employees own about one-third of the company and the rest are owned by outside investors. “Softbank [now] It makes up the majority of that, “he said, but some small venture capital firms and institutions are also investors. He refused to name them.

    Startups have been on SoftBank’s radar for several years, and in early 2020 the Vision Fund considered investing in Qraft before it finally passed. Softbank revisited the idea a year later, but this time as an investment by the company itself, said Kentaro Matsui, managing partner of SB Investment Advisors.

    “I wanted to test how AI could be used, and I thought Qraft was the best way to do that,” Matsui said.

    Write in Justin Baer at

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    Softbank invests in artificial intelligence startup Qraft technology

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    The post Softbank invests in artificial intelligence startup Qraft technology appeared first on Eminetra.

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