BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AI Exchange™ has announced today that it raised approximately $1.5 million in venture funding, led by General Catalyst and CommonAngels and including Founder Collective and LaunchCapital. The company, through its two subsidiaries, AI Advisors and AI Exchange Technologies, has developed a web-based technology and investment advisory platform to bridge the alternative investment and Investment Advisor markets.
“AI Exchange was established to reinvent how investment advisors and their clients access alternative investments,” said AI Exchange Chief Executive Officer Marco Bitran. “We are satisfying a significant market need, enabling investment advisors to offer quality long / short strategies to their clients in a liquid and transparent format. We are excited to announce the closing of the recent financing, which will allow us to accelerate our technology and platform development. We are thrilled to be moving forward with such a high caliber group of financial partners,” continued Marco Bitran.
“Quality alternative strategies are a highly valuable diversifier in any client portfolio, however, structural issues of traditional alternative investment products have limited the availability of these strategies,” said AI Advisors Chief Investment Officer, Rohit Vohra. “Our goal is to improve the structural aspects of how these strategies are offered, and to make them available to clients through accounts held at a variety of separately-managed account and unified-managed account custodians.”
AI Exchange’s investment advisory subsidiary, AI Advisors, is scheduled to launch its advisory platform in October, based on the infrastructure platform developed by AI Exchange’s technology subsidiary, AI Exchange Technologies. AI Advisors initially will launch with five alternative strategies, and aims to offer over ten alternatives strategies by the end of 2011. Further, in the coming weeks the company plans to announce its new Head of Marketing. To be considered for the AI Advisors platform, managers must meet certain criteria and must be suitable for growth across a diverse client base.
“The platform initially will focus on long / short equity, event-driven and market neutral strategies,” said AI Advisors Chief Operating Officer Charlie Hipwood. “The platform will provide alternative managers the opportunity to drive high-margin revenue by raising assets from a channel they usually cannot access.”
New Board Member Preston Ford
“We are honored to announce the addition of our new board member, Preston Ford,” said Marco Bitran. Preston was founder and CEO of The LongView Group, Inc. from 1982 to 2001. Longview, eventually to become the second largest player in buy-side trade-order management systems, was sold to Barclays Global Investors in 1998. In 2005 Preston co-founded BlockCross Holdings, which develops execution management systems for large trading desks. Preston holds a BS from MIT and an MBA from Harvard University.
Harvard Business School Venture Contest
Earlier this year AI Exchange won the New England Regional Round of Harvard Business School’s Second Annual Alumni Venture Contest. “More than anything, winning the New England regional contest helps to validate our business model and underscores the need for this type of solution,” said Marco Bitran. A video interview can be found at http://bit.ly/qtN3B9.
Marco Bitran, Chief Executive Officer of AI Exchange, built and implemented the AI Exchange technology while at his prior investment management firm. Marco is a former global industry analyst at Wellington Management Company, LLP, and a graduate of the Harvard Business School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Rohit Vohra, CIO of AI Advisors, is the former Director of Research at Mount Yale Capital Group, where he was responsible for managing fund of hedge fund portfolios. Rohit expects to earn his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 2012, and earned his MS in Finance from the University of Denver Daniels College of Business.
Charles Hipwood, COO of AI Advisors, is a former Director at STAG Capital Partners, a public REIT, and CFO at Market Shield Capital. Prior to launching STAG, Charlie was a Finance Director at Level 3 Communications and an Associate at JP Morgan. Charlie earned his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and his BA in Economics from Boston College.
About AI Exchange
AI Exchange, through its subsidiaries, AI Advisors and AI Exchange Technologies, has developed a web-based technology and investment advisory platform to bridge the alternative investment and Investment Advisor markets. AI Advisors utilizes the AI Exchange Technologies platform to provide investment advisors and their clients with access to quality long / short alternative investment strategies, in liquid and transparent formats and with reasonable investment minimums. Further, clients of AI Advisors maintain custody of their investment assets. For more information pease visit: http://www.aiexchange.com.
About General Catalyst Partners
General Catalyst Partners is a venture capital firm that invests in exceptional entrepreneurs who are building the technology-based companies that will lead innovation and transform industries. Founded in 2000, General Catalyst Partners leverages its principals' extensive operational, business development and technological expertise to provide portfolio companies with a catalyst for success through business-building and partnership development assistance. For more information, please visit: http://www.generalcatalyst.com.
CommonAngels is Boston’s largest and most active seed stage investment group. Through its angel network and investment funds, CommonAngels works with outstanding entrepreneurs in building innovative information technology companies. A trusted partner to entrepreneurs, the group works closely with founding teams in the early stages of company building. For more information, please visit: http://www.commonangels.com.
About Founder Collective
Founder Collective is a seed-stage venture capital fund built by a collection of successful entrepreneurs. Headquartered in New York City and Cambridge, Mass., they believe the East Coast is poised for a technology revival and make industry-agnostic investments around the world. Unlike large venture capital firms, they expect to generate returns almost exclusively from seed-stage investing. Their portfolio includes Skillshare, Boundless Learning, GroupMe, Uber, Milo, Makerbot and SeatGeek. For more information, please visit: http://www.foundercollective.com.
LaunchCapital Ventures provides seed funding for businesses that have exponential growth expectations with a national or international reach. The partners are LaunchCapital are investors, partners and mentors. The firm enables great people to accomplish great things. LaunchCapital is industry agnostic, syndicates over 90% of its deals with local angel investors and venture capitalists. and is willing to take on an active role with its portfolio companies depending on the needs and nature of the business. For more information, please visit: http://www.launch-capital.com.