Dublin fintech outfit Aikido Finance raises $1m, launches platform to public

12 Aug 2021

Co-founders Conor Naylor, Dan Roberts, Tom Nolan and Shane Monks O’Byrne. Image: Aikido Finance

The company wants to ‘democratise Wall Street’ by giving quantitative tools to retail investors on its SaaS platform.

Dublin-based fintech start-up Aikido Finance has closed a €900,000 ($1.06m) seed funding round with backing from 14 investors.

US VC firm GoAhead Ventures led the round and was joined by Enterprise Ireland. The Irish Times reports that angel investors Paschal Naylor and Howard Roberts also participated.

The start-up says it’s out to “democratise Wall Street”, operating a SaaS platform that provides retail investors with the quantitative tools needed to invest “based on evidence, not emotion”.

It was founded last year by Shane Monks O’Byrne, Tom Nolan, Conor Naylor and Dan Roberts, all coming from a background in software development. Their platform began a closed beta in November 2020, but has now opened to the public.

“Elite hedge funds like Renaissance have returned over 66pc per year on average. They achieved this through quantitative investing; ie using computers to make investment decisions,” said Monks O’Byrne, who is the company’s CEO.

“Well, we believe that the quantitative approach should be available to everyone, not only those with coding knowledge, finance backgrounds and access to large amounts of capital.”

The company said it’s well-positioned support those looking to “add some structure to their investments”, pointing to the GameStop hedge fund events of early 2021 as evidence of a rise in participation when it comes to retail investment.

Naylor, who serves as the CFO of Aikido, commented on the funding round: “We couldn’t be happier with the group of investors backing us, each of them brings very unique industry experience and will be crucial in helping us achieve our mission of democratising finance.”

Ireland continues to be a hub for fintech activity. Last month, Cork’s Nitrosell was acquired by Volaris Group for an undisclosed sum and Glantus bought US outfit Technology Insight for $9.3m.

Jack Kennedy is a freelance journalist based in Dublin