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Citigroup has become the latest investment bank to invest money into groundbreaking artificial intelligence software for monitoring its staff by leading a fundraising round in Behavox, a three-year-old financial technology company based in London.
The $20m fundraising at Behavox, which values the company at $200m, is the latest sign that providers of artificial intelligence software to monitor the phone calls, emails and electronic chats of bankers are riding a wave of surging growth.
Having initially focused on the compliance applications of the technology to check for any signs of wrongdoing, the companies are now adapting their software to also analyse customer relationships — helping clients to boost sales as well as avoid big fines.
Erkin Adylov, co-founder of Behavox, said Citi planned to use its software to improve its customer relationships. “The way you engage people is directly relevant to your performance,” he said. “We can help firms to work out what drives more revenue.”
Citi declined to comment.
The company’s technology uses natural language processing to convert voice to text and then applies sentiment analysis to spot when questions are being asked, someone is shouting or if there is laughter. It can also summarise what the top 10 subjects are for the markets on each day and indicate whether overall sentiment is bearish or bullish.
By tracking all of this and analysing how it corresponds to orders being generated, the software can help sales and trading staff to get better at their job, said Mr Adylov, a former Goldman Sachs research analyst.
“When you hit the phone you have a higher productivity — you almost never lose on trades — and have a hit rate over 90 per cent. But if not, then it’s…