AI-Powered Financial Research Assistant Brightwave Celebrates $6M Seed Round

Brightwave, an AI-powered financial research assistant, this week announced $6 million in seed funding. The round was led by Decibel Partners, with backing from Point72 Ventures, Moonfire Ventures, and angel investors from OpenAI, Databricks, Uber, and LinkedIn. Founded by engineers with deep knowledge in AI and finance infrastructure, co-founders Mike Conover and Brandon Kotara have more than 20 years of combined experience building AI and machine learning products.

The company builds and trains proprietary AI systems that synthesize analysis from hundreds of millions of documents, including breaking news, SEC filings, earnings call transcripts, sell-side research, market data, enterprise knowledge base content, and high-signal, long-tail material from the public internet. In four months, Brightwave’s customer base has grown to include funds, firms and strategies with assets under management totalling more than $120 billion, ranging from owner-operated RIA’s to $20B crossover hedge funds whose trades move global markets.

“With Brightwave, we are creating a system that can reason over bodies of information that exceed the limits of human cognition.” said CEO Conover. “Artificial intelligence is a force multiplier for financial professionals, and Brightwave is explicitly designed to act as a partner in thought. In addition to fundamental technical advances, we’ve taken a unique approach to product that enables Brightwave users to interactively direct the attention of an AI assistant, allowing them to blend domain expertise with the capabilities of a system that can process information hundreds of times faster and more comprehensively than any person.”

Brightwave said its solution accelerates core information processing workflows and increases the quality and depth of thought financial professionals can bring to bear on any subject. Investment research teams at some of the world’s largest asset managers are using Brightwave to understand new sectors, go deep on specific equities, discover and diligence opportunities in private markets, and develop investment theses based on fact patterns synthesized across huge bodies of content. Similarly, wealth management customers use it to grow assets under management and provide improved client experiences.

“We believe that Brightwave’s approach could represent a significant leap forward for financial research.” said Sugam Sarin, partner at Point72 Ventures. The team has continuously impressed us with their deep domain expertise and ability to execute on complex AI systems. New applications for Brightwave across the financial services industry keep emerging, a testament to the platform’s versatility and timeliness of the product.”

“Most firms in this market don’t have the capacity to have large in-house research teams, and often struggle to keep up with everything happening in the markets in a thoughtful way. Traditional software hasn’t filled this gap, as it lacks the flexibility to serve the diverse range of industry players effectively,” said Alessio Fanelli, partner at Decibel. “Brightwave has brought together top AI talent to build one of the best products I’ve used in my career. The ability to have an on-demand expert who can help me think through different markets at different levels of granularity is something that wouldn’t have been possible before. These capabilities are a testament to the uniqueness of Brightwave’s approach, far surpassing other AI solutions we’ve seen promoted in the market.”

Prior to co-founding Brightwave, Conover established and led open-source language model engineering efforts at Databricks where he was the co-creator of Databricks Dolly. Kotara is the former CTO of LedgerX, a federally regulated derivatives exchange and clearinghouse that matches and clears trades for some of the largest institutional asset managers in the world.

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