BCCJ Fintech Member Wins Award

Aug. 2, 2017

In June, Equity X, an entrepreneur member of the BCCJ, won the award 'Startup of the Year 2017' at Startup Grind Europe. Hosted by Startup Grind, a Silicon Valley-based start-up community designed to educate, inspire and connect entrepreneurs, the event was held in London, and drew technology leaders such as Google, as well as start-ups.

Akio Kurata, founder and CEO of Equity X, says that his motivation for entering the competition was to gain market recognition in the UK. After establishing Equity X Inc. in Japan on 1st April 2015, he set up Equity X Ltd. in the UK on 20th October 2016. Since January 2017, he has based himself in London to accelerate product and business development. Now, that move has paid off.

'I learned about the event and thought that we should apply,' explains Mr Kurata.

Thousands of start-ups across Europe submitted applications. Startup Grind then chose Equity X as one of the top 20 start-ups, each of which gave a presentation to judges one day before the event. Next, Equity X was among the top three selected from those 20 start-ups and, at the event, competed against the two other companies to be chosen as the winner.

'The judges’ feedback was that our technology is disruptive; it has great potential to transform the existing financial advisory services. Although people often think that artificial intelligence (AI) can replace simple tasks, our AI functionalities can replace well-paid workers doing numerical tasks, which surprised the judges,' explained Mr Kurata.

Equity X provides an AI-driven equity valuation tool which normalises past financials and generates future cash flows, enterprise values, and equity values of private companies in the telecommunication, media and technology sectors in the UK as well as those in major sectors in Japan.

'Since AI does the work of junior bankers, financial institutions would be able to hire fewer bankers, which could lower information leakage risks as well as insider trading risks. The potential to replace well-paid jobs with AI gives financial institutions incentives to accelerate innovation.' he added.

Equity X has exerted traction. The company was invited to a private event to pitch to top executives of one of the largest financial institutions in the United States. A patent has been granted. With a strategic partner and a database, Equity X is likely to be able to accelerate its process to innovate financial advisory services in the UK, US and Japan.

Produced by Sterling Content for the BCCJ