Posted In:

Synthetic Data, Data

Garbage In, Garbage Out


Feb 08, 2020


Posted In:

Synthetic Data, Data


Feb 08, 2020



Synthetic data has the potential to decrease bias from AI decisioning, increase privacy, and speed up deep learning of neural networks.

The synthetic data is created by funneling raw data through a noise-adding algorithm to construct a new data set, one that is artificially generated. The resulting data set captures the statistical features of the original information without being able to identify individual data points.

Detecting fraud can be challenging because regulations restrict how information can be shared, even within banks. Synthetic data can help to unveil useful patterns while masking individual incidents. Uber Labs AI has been using synthetic data sets to speed up its deep learning neural networks by up to 9 times.

AI systems are only as good as the data in, putting the old adage of “garbage in garbage out” to the test.

Portfolio News

Antler raises $75m in funding from Schroders and FinTech Collective to expand globally - FinTech Collective welcomes global company builder and emerging asset manager to the portfolio. The company raised $75m in funding from a broad set of global investors including Schroders, Ferd, and FinTech Collective. Read more

Axoni executes world-first blockchain equity swap with Citi and Goldman Sachs - More than $3 trillion swaps and forwards are executed globally, and financial giants employ small armies to check every step of the process. Portfolio Company Axoni's platform assures that every counterparty in every swap is seeing, and using, the same data. Read more

Garbage In, Garbage Out

The promise of synthetic data - Artificial intelligence that is trained on real-life information flaunts a baked-in bias: algorithmic decision-making in fields such as criminal justice and credit scoring shows evidence of racial discrimination. Read more

Uber's synthetic training data speeds up deep learning - Uber AI Labs has developed an algorithm that produces synthetic training data for neural networks which allows the networks to be trained faster than when using real data. Uber has been able to speed up its deep-learning optimization process by 9x. Read more

Finding the cracks in public data: keeping our AI safe from tampering – Synthetic data can protect AI systems from adversarial attacks, especially when applied to public infrastructure and systems. Read more

Industry News

Worldline acquires POS terminal provider Ingenico for $8.6b in cash and stock - This is the latest in a wave of payments industry consolidation, particularly among legacy players that feel threatened by a digital-first challenger. Examples from last year include FIS buying Worldpay for $35 billion and Fiserv paying $22 billion for First Data. Read more

Visa is planning to increase rates for e-commerce sites and lower them for real estate transactions - Retailers have long complained about the more than $100b they spend each year to accept electronic payments, a figure that’s grown in recent years as fees increase and consumers flock to premium cards, which carry higher interchange rates. Read more

New York bans broker fees, handing a big win to apartment renters - Effective immediately, the state of New York has banned brokers fees for renters - shifting the burden to landlords, some of whom will still want to leverage brokers to show apartments and find a tenant. The new legislation could hamper brokerages focused on rentals, and some landlords are indicating this could lead to higher rents. Read more

Square partners with UPS, to compete with Amazon and Shopify - Square has partnered with UPS to make it easier for Square merchants to access UPS's shipping services for order fulfillment. The move comes as Square positions it's e-commerce platform to better compete with Amazon and Shopify for market share. Read more

Goldman Sachs wants to lend to small businesses on Amazon - The bank has been working on software that would allow it to plug into Amazon’s existing loan platform. Small and medium businesses account for more than half of everything sold in Amazon's stores. Read more

Having a dog may actually lower your home insurance bill - Lemonade is getting into pet insurance with coverage for cats and dogs. Dog ownership is one of many signals used by Lemonade to determine homeowner and renter insurance quotes, as dogs can sometimes play a factor in the risk assessment of a home, such as deterring burglary. Read more

Inside the Vision Fund’s civil war: deal conflicts, leak suspicions. - Soft bank's Masayoshi Son blew through the money with a rapid-fire series of high-priced investments amid bitter feuds between his investment teams. Some of the biggest bets, like WeWork and Oyo, have turned sour. Read more

Goldman bolsters Marcus staff as Britain spearheads consumer bank push - Goldman Sachs plans to expand its retail brand Marcus in Britain this year with more than 65 new staff to a total of the headcount of 300. Read more

American Revolut-ion: European banking apps face crowded U.S. market. - European challenger banks have crossed the pond to the U.S. The banking apps have tailored their products and offering and face regulatory hurdles. Read more

Select Financings

Boost Insurance - New York based insurance-as-as-service platform raised a $14m Series A round led by Coatue and Greycroft. Read more

Clear - Singapore based high-volume payments blockchain startup raised a $13m Series A investment led by Eight Roads. Read more

Dot - India based fintech platform for physical retailers raised an $8m Seed round led by PayU. Read more

Finix - San Francisco based payments-as-a-service startup has raised a $35m Series B led by Sequoia. Read more

Homie - Salt Lake City based real estate startup for first-time homebuyers raised a $23m Series B round from undisclosed backers. Read more

HouseCanary - San Francisco based home valuation company raised a $65m Series C round co-led by Morpheus Ventures, Alpha Edison, and PSP Growth. Read more

Houwzer - Philadelphia based tech-enabled real estate brokerage and home services company raised $9.5m in Series A round led by Edison Partners.  Read more

Kasisto - New York based conversational AI startup for financial services raised a $7m Series B extension from Napier Park Financial Partners. Read more

Landing - San Francisco based flexible leasing startup raised a $20m Series A round led by Greycroft. Read more

Paystand - California based B2B payments platform on the blockchain raised a $20m Series B led by DNX Ventures. Read more

Stori - Mexico City based consumer digital bank raised a $10m Series A extension co-led by Bertelsmann Investments and Source Code Capital. Read more

The Zebra - Austin based insurance marketplace startup raised a $38.5m Series C round led by Accel. Read more


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