Google’s Launchpad Studio introduces class of financial AI startups

On Wednesday, Google announced a new cohort of financial AI startups selected to join its Developer Launchpad Studio, a four-month, product-focused startup accelerator held at the Google Developers Launchpad Space in San Francisco.

Participating companies come from four continents, so the majority of startups selected to participate — eight of the 10 — are from outside the United States.

Launchpad companies are given the opportunity to work with heavyweights at the company, like director of research and AI pioneer Peter Norvig, as well as research and development teams within the company.

The new class will include:

  • Alchemy (USA), bridging blockchain and the real world

  • Axinan (Singapore), providing smart insurance for the digital economy

  • Aye Finance (India), transforming financing in India

  • Celo (USA), increasing financial inclusion through a mobile-first cryptocurrency

  • Frontier Car Group (Germany), investing in the transformation of used-car marketplaces

  • Go-Jek (Indonesia), improving the welfare and livelihoods of informal sectors

  • GuiaBolso (Brazil), improving the financial lives of Brazilians

  • Inclusive (Ghana), verifying identities across Africa

  • m.Paani (India), (em)powering local retailers and the next billion users in India

  • Starling Bank (UK), improving financial health with a 100% mobile-only bank

The Launchpad program started in 2015, but a machine learning-focused track was introduced last year. The inaugural ML class focused on health care.

Each class of startups is geared toward a particular area of emphasis. The latest cohort will focus on the financial industry, which is seeing major disruption from AI.

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