7 questions to a start-up: BOND.AI

by Octree

Fusion – the Swiss FinTech business accelerator – exists to shape innovation in financial services by combining up-and-coming tech talent with Swiss state-of-the-art financial know-how. As a Fusion member, Notz Stucki is actively involved in the process.

 Follow our series “7 questions to a start-up” to get a feeling of who are the participants of the accelerator Season 4!


7 questions to BOND.AI

1/ Who are you? 

Jared Landrum, VP – Business Development at BOND.AI

2/ What does your company do?

BOND.AI is a human-centered AI platform for banks, powered by the proprietary Empathy Engine™. This helps banks intimately understand user behavior and nudge them towards improving financial health. BOND.AI significantly increases user engagement, lifetime customer value, and (most importantly) helps monetize data for financial institutions. We do this through hyper-personalized conversational banking (voice/text), marketing, and more!

3/ What’s the founding story behind BOND.AI?

We really are using a human-centered design approach. A few years ago, there was a person who had a great income, but couldn’t manage his finances. He had bought a house he couldn’t afford, had let his credit go down the drain, and was living paycheck to paycheck. He was literally using 18 different apps to try to help him manage his money, but nothing was working. He even went to his bank for help. They offered loans and credit cards, but that’s not what he needed. He realized that he was receiving blanket solutions to his unique personal problems. That person was Uday Akkaraju, CEO of BOND.AI. He realized that personalization is what was missing from all of these solutions, so he decided to create his own solution. And guess what, 18 months down the road he had turned things around. He was out of the hole he had dug himself into and even saved enough money to invest in what is now BOND.AI.

4/ What was your proudest moment in your company’s history so far?

Winning Finovate ‘Best of Show’ and ‘Best Banking/Financial Experience’ at VOICE Summit are definitely very close, but our proudest moment would have to be signing our first client!

5/ What’s the vision behind BOND.AI?

Our vision is truly to help people’s financial lives. With 81% of Americans are struggling financially and 78% of workers are living paycheck to paycheck, something has to be done. Traditional PFM and financial literacy aren’t working. Everyone believes that they know their finances and don’t need help, but they do. Our Empathy Engine is designed to work with you, in your personal style, but to bring information to you that you might be unaware of. By hyper-personalizing conversations and marketing, customers will get offers tailored and relevant to their financial situations.

6/ What’s your biggest challenge right now?

Our biggest challenge right now is the bank leadership mind-set, as they’re in a place where things are still working. They are surviving, not thriving. Large tech companies nowadays represent a serious threat by focusing on the end-user and building an incredible user experience. User experience is king and the banks need to change what they’re doing. Personalizing their messaging to individual users would help them tackle that threat.

7/ Is there any inspirational saying or words of encouragement you want to share with other creative/disruptive professionals?

“Charles Darwin said it’s the survival of the fittest, but for future generations it’s the survival of the empathetic.” – Uday Akkaraju, CEO BOND.AI.

Uday Akkaraju, CEO of BOND.AI

To pass this to other creative/disruptive professionals, this means to work for the end user. Keep in mind their wants and needs, not just revenue.

Photos & Text: Jared Landrum

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