Interview with Peter Bartoš, business manager from the start-up Decissio, which creates artificial intelligence algorithms for investors to assist with investment decisions

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Decissio, a start-up housed in Node5 in Prague 5, is not a purely Czech start-up. Its founder and director is Dite Gash, whose team is composed of international teams of players from Kosovo, Albania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and the United States. They have gained experience not only at the StartupYard accelerator, but also currently at the Node 5 co-working centre in Prague.

Imagine a situation in which you are an investor and you must very carefully decide which start-up companies are high-quality, have a good rating and a potentially greater chance of success, in which case you would want to invest in them. But how can you find all of that out? Decissio can help you right now. Using artificial intelligence and blockchain technology, it compares successful firms with unsuccessful firm and finds out the source of their success. Then the investor only has to evaluate the team and whether the firm can achieve results over the long term.

We spoke with Decissio’s business manager, Peter Bartoš, not only about difficulties that the company has encountered, but also about its future plans.

 

Q1: Peter, please briefly tell us exactly what you do at Decissio.

We help investors make better investment decisions.

There is an ever increasing number of companies seeking funding in Central Europe. Investors are constantly always chasing after busy founders, asking for reports so they can see how the company is doing and formulate a comprehensive assessment of their portfolios. Furthermore, 90% of the companies that gain an investment eventually fail.

Decissio is resolving all of these problem issues by providing an effective way to receive requests for investment from companies. We review the data that the investor receives using the latest artificial intelligence algorithms and we log all of the data in blockchain solutions.

Using this method, investors save time for analysing cases that require more complex evaluation instead of repeatedly analysing data that doesn’t interest them.

Venture capital investors and accelerators today are facing an influx of applications for funding. In the region of Central Europe, the number of early-stage companies that need funding is ever increasing. Investors are under constant pressure to make investment decisions based on incomplete data and partial insights. After investing in a particular company, they have to constantly chase busy company founders for performance data to see how their companies are performing in order to get an aggregate value of their portfolio. On top of that, the failure rate among companies that receive funding is still as high as 90%.

Decissio mitigates and expedites all these sticking points by providing a lean way to receive funding requests from companies. We pre-screen the data that the investor gets using the latest artificial intelligence algorithms, while logging everything in a blockchain solution in the background.

This way, investors save time for analysing cases that deserve higher human diligence instead of iterating data they are not interested in.

Q 2: I understand data hunt is the key. But will it replace investors’ intuition?

We do not aim to replace investors’ intuition, as that is highly crucial for making the right decisions. Our goal is to augment that natural intelligence and then let investors compare AI predictions to their gut feelings. We do not strive to replace human decision-making completely, we just want to improve the quality of results. If you are familiar with the Iron Man movie, think of Decissio as Jarvis for your investment decisions. The investor is Tony Stark and it is he who is in charge.

Q 3: Is it possible to use your algorithm for other problems as well?

Our technology has a large set of potential uses. The more we are building it, the more we see different avenues of application. However, the current focus is on investors since their decisions matter significantly and the financial sector is where data has shown tremendous value.

As we are validating this niche market, we have in our vision using this technology for other use cases where one needs to go through a large pile of data to rank and derive insights.  Think universities assessing their students, recruiters applicants, government institutions sales leads, etc. It is the same technology applied to different problems.

Q 4: Artificial intelligence is currently very popular,  but there is speculation in the media as to whether it is our future or our “doom”. What is your view on that?

Artificial intelligence is a tool and like all other tools, it can be used in different ways. We currently have AI that is sorting data, driving cars and coding, and we are at the beginning of an AI revolution. The direction we plan to take this tool is entirely up to us as people since technology is agnostic and has no ideology on its own. Just like with everything else we have developed, there will be rules and regulations put in place to ensure that AI works for us and not the other way around. Therefore, I think the benefits do outweigh the dangers of AI but we should proceed with caution.

Q 5: Can you imagine that you would use artificial intelligence and algorithms to resolve other issues in a company? I’m thinking about matters connected with the human psyche, emotions.

AI definitely has the power to quantify everything out there, and yes, emotions and feelings can be broken down into quantifiable measures. The question, however, is how well AI can do this versus humans. And the answer is that humans are way better at it because we possess things like empathy. That’s why we have focused on solid, traceable, clearly interpreted data. Investors are keen to asses their team’s social and emotional intelligence too; however, that’s something where humans have the advantage over machines.  At the moment, a simple gut feeling might be the most solid tool for looking into people.

Q 6: You have an international team and I would venture to say that is a major advantage for you. Are you also doing business abroad or only in the Czech Republic for the time being and is it a coincidence that your colleagues are mostly from abroad?

The CEO and founder of Decissio, Dite Gashi, was educated in the US, but is originally from Kosovo. Most of our investors and clients are from the Czech Republic. We believe in globalisation as a driving force for innovation and it’s amazing when you place several people with mixed mindsets and skills together to solve important problems. Our team is made up of people from Kosovo, Slovakia, Albania, Czech Republic and the United States.

We have ten test users currently and three of them are outside of the Czech Republic, namely in Poland and Kosovo.

Q 7: What are your plans for the immediate future?

Our first mini version is about to be released and we have the first the testers that we want to make 100% happy with us. Once they approve what we do, we will go after more clients with a proven concept. Our plan is to process most early investment decisions worldwide and establish ourselves as a necessity in the field. With that much data for our algorithms to learn from, we can become the number one early-stage company evaluator pre-investment and post-investment. We are driven by a strong desire to see better capital allocation in the world and we are working on making all of our stakeholders happy with our product. In addition to that, we are building the product, raising money, doing data science and generally pushing the project forward.

Thank you very much and we wish you many successes.

For more information, visit Decissio’s official website at https://decissio.com/ .