Meet Vise AI, the startup reimagining portfolio management

The founders of Vise AI met when they were 13, a couple of teenagers more interested in applied artificial intelligence than English class. Fast-forward several years and the pair has relocated from the Midwest to San Francisco to raise money for a financial technology business theyve been self-funding since 2016.
As teenagers with an inordinate amount of AI knowledge, Samir Vasavada and Runik Mehrotra proved to be quite useful to large businesses, investment bankers and other financiers. Leveraging their AI know-how, they were paid $700 per hour by a consulting firm to teach financial experts about AI. Mehrotra, according to Vasavada, is a mathematical prodigy: And that translates extremely well to AI, right, because what underlies AI is math, Vasavada, co-founder and chief executive officer of Vise AI, tells TechCrunch. We had the ability of articulating what AI is to investment bankers in a way that they would understand. Whereas most expert explanations would be really complex and very technical.
Meanwhile, school was on autopilot. I was taking phone calls in English class, Vasavada said. It wasnt very good but we were making a lot of money. Ultimately, that money funneled into the early makings of a real business, Vise AI, which automates portfolio management using AI and machine learning. Launching onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco today, the SEC-registered investment advisor will begin customer on-boarding next week. In short, the platform analyzes clients investment needs and builds them a personalized portfolio of stocks, bonds and other assets, then provides investment manager tools to automate management.
Its an unsexy industry that makes all of the money in finance, said Mehrotra, co-founder and chief technology officer of Vise AI.
For now, the team is going after independent advisory shops, those without a flock of analysts available at their beck and call and who need outsourced investment management. Ultimately, they plan to pursue the big wealth managers. The business has also been approved as a subadvisor by TD Ameritrade Institutional, which has thousands of independent RIAs on its platform.
The icing on the cake is what we refer to as portfolio intelligence, Vasavada explains. We can provide unique insights, justifications and logic as to why specific investment decisions were made talking points to make the advisor look smarter with the clients because its a relationship game with these advisors, so tools that will help build their relationships and help empower their relationships, while still delivering a better portfolio to the client is the type of solution that really needs to be built in this space.
We are literally giving them bite-sized portfolio intelligence, adds Mehrotra. Because most of them arent really doing the investment management themselves, right? So theyre either using some ETF allocation tool, like Betterment for Advisors, or something like that, where its just a standard set of ETFs and there really isnt any personalization.

We felt like we were turning away tons of money. Vise AI co-founder Samir Vasavada
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