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Between social media narratives and online content updating in real-time all over the world, data has never travelled faster than it does now. Yet despite this wide availability of information, most audiences rely on outdated technologies and manual curation to access it. In the world of finance, data is money. This is why CityFALCON is on a mission to transform unstructured financial content and bring users the news they need in an all encompassing and fully personalised feed.
We sat down with founder Ruzbeh Bacha to discuss the company and its vision within the content space.
What is CityFALCON’s vision and why are you personally passionate about it?
We aspire to redefine the consumption of financial news, much in the same way that Netflix and Spotify did for video and music respectively. CityFALCON is transforming the experience, technology and affordability of the content space, so users have access to crucial financial data.
I built the first version of CityFALCON to solve problems I had been facing during my time trading and investing in global stock markets. Due to legacy technologies within the fintech space, it was increasingly difficult and time-consuming to source the news, information and research I needed to stay current. Our vision at CityFALCON is to rectify this disconnect, by leveraging AI, push notifications and voice technologies to bring users real-time and comprehensive financial news feeds, perfectly tailored to their personal requirements.
What differentiates CityFALCON from competitors in the space?
In regard to the financial content space, these are very much the early days. This means there are plenty of opportunities (including undiscovered ones) for emerging fintech companies to define their respective niche areas of expertise.
While most companies are focusing on hedge funds, algo trading and low-latency opportunities we’re honing in on the less crowded wealth management and “prosumers” (professionals and consumers) space. Many of the companies, particularly the bigger banks and content providers, are lagging behind in their technology and will have to think about whether to build, buy or partner as part of their operational strategy in the future. Instead of thinking of these companies as competition, I believe it better to think of them as potential partners or acquirers.
What are some of the tools and technologies that CityFALCON currently leverages, and hopes to leverage in the future?
We currently leverage some of the latest technologies including natural language processing and machine learning. We’ve built scalable technologies that process millions of stories in real-time for different asset classes and topics. Users can access our products on the web, through Android and iOS apps. We’re also one of the few financial services companies capable of offering quality solutions on devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home. By 2019, we will have launched our premium Spotify-like subscription for prosumers in 2019 which will provide both non-public and paywalled content for a fixed monthly fee.
However, given the increasingly globalized space in which we operate, we will need to look very soon and very seriously at the use of other tools to help us cover content in every major language in the world.
What are a few examples of the major challenges and successes CityFALCON has seen so far?
In today’s low interest rate environment, inflation is running high, and so is the demand for tech talent. This has made it challenging to hire and retain qualified professionals. Our team spends a lot of time together and we consider ourselves family. It’s much easier to attain success as a startup when your colleagues are also your best friends but this also means it’s of utmost importance to find, and keep, the best possible people as our team grows.
One of our most notable successes has been consistently ranking first and second for our enterprise keywords, from all over the world. We are ranked first or second on Google for our business-to-business keywords ‘financial news API’ and are listed on the first Google page for ‘business news API’ keyword searches. This continues to bring us a lot of inbound leads from both large institutions and startups, allowing us to continue expanding our business.
What’s your biggest personal goal?
To take the business to be cash flow positive and self-sustainable so that we don’t have to rely on external capital.
What’s the most valuable life hack you’ve learned so far?
When you are running a startup, your productivity is very important, especially when you find yourself continuously faced with decisions that could make or break your company. Waking up at 3.30am in the morning to clear my inbox and then work with the team when they are in the office has worked really well for me.
Who has been your greatest mentor in life and/or work?
I’m a big fan of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. Apart from being hugely successful entrepreneurs, I love that they’re a bit crazy, and bypass all the implicit societal guidelines and standards so they can do their own thing – and do it well.
To find out more, visit CityFALCON’s campaign here.