A veteran of the retail trading industry has launched his own artificial intelligence start-up. Tal Zohar told Finance Magnates on Monday that he has left his role as Head of Elite Connect at the London Stock Exchange (LSE) to work full-time as CEO of Artudata.
Co-founded by Zohar in mid-2017, Artudata uses AI to find high-value leads for firms and convert them into money-generating clients. For now, the start-up will focus its efforts on companies offering loans, investments, trading, insurance and luxury products.
Given his experience in the financial sector, which includes stints as FXCM Israel’s CEO and Global Business Development Officer with IG Group, Zohar should be well placed to know the problems that firms face and what solutions he needs to offer them.
On Monday, Finance Magnates had a lightning-fast interview with Zohar. In our short discussion, Zohar highlighted why he left the LSE and what he plans to do now he’s at the helm of Artudata.
Good morning Tal, moving from the LSE to an AI startup is quite a move, what made you do it?
Over the last 12 years I have been developing tools and technologies to improve customer acquisition online, from mid-size companies like AvaTrade and FXCM to giants like IG group and Saxo. It was never easy but we always got the job done through constant exploration and innovation, in a journey from spreadsheets and APIs, to building Business-Intelligence tools and today with Artificial Intelligence which provides amazing new solutions for old painful problems of online businesses in a way we just couldn’t do before.
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But it was only when I moved to lead Digital-Transformation at the London Stock Exchange and got exposed to hundreds of businesses, that I realised that regardless of the industry or location, businesses are all struggling with growth that requires smart acquisition of new customers, and that what me and my friends know can help so many other people to make their business dreams come true.
I see, helping companies grow is nice but what have you done so far to make it a reality?
We established ArtuData – an AI for customer acquisition tech company. Initially i was just an investor and adviser, and I’m proud to say that within 8 months we have improved the acquisition of two consumer loan brokers, a few eCommerce retailers and online Market-places, an insurance company and obviously several CFD brokers – helping them achieve fast growth. We also got accepted to the European Commission acceleration program and elected to top 10 AI for marketing startups by Publicis, one of the largest media agencies in the world.
Why do you think so many people are talking about AI?
Talking to executives every day about AI, it seems that everyone is looking at the tremendous success of Amazon, AirBnb and Uber who have all invested heavily in AI. Closer to home we all saw Plus500, who were probably the first to use AI in the CFD industry, and their growth after using the technology.
So most leaders are looking for ways to include AI in their strategy in other to stay competitive. However, according to Gartner Research, while 46 percent of CTOs and CEOs wish to implement Artificial Intelligence, only three percent have done so, and because there are so many use cases (over 100 tools for online marketing and sales) most people just aren’t sure where to start. We listen to our clients first, than come back with one or two tools to start with, which are expected to bring them the highest value in the near future.
Finally, how do you feel about the move?
As the company grew we felt it’s time for me to dedicate more time to support and fast growth of ArtuData. I’m excited about this new challenge which has been my passion for years, and keen to help as many companies to become even greater.