Tom Van Horn, a former executive with Broadridge Financial, has joined Magnifi, a startup that has built a natural-language-powered investment marketplace. He will serve as the company's first chief product officer.
“I was blown away by Magnifi, the more I learned about it,” said Van Horn. “It uses AI, which combines machine learning and text mining with natural language processing and generates results that are searchable with natural language."
Magnifi is, in a nutshell, a semantic search engine specific to financial products, which can help not only financial advisors and portfolio managers, but also everyday investors searching for investments or wishing to compare them.
The startup’s mission is to make Magnifi the financial industry’s favorite search engine and disrupt the sales and distribution of financial products. Magnifi was co-founded in 2018 by venture capitalist and investor Isabelle Freidheim and serial entrepreneur Vinay Nair. Magnifi is one of several holdings within The TIFIN Group, of which Nair is chairman and founder.
TIFIN is an early-stage startup incubator and “studio” that includes 55ip, MIO, Arbor, Positivly and Farther in its portfolio of companies. It focuses on startups in the investment management, investment advisory and personal finance areas.
Magnifi runs on a cloud native environment on Amazon Web Services and is in high-growth mode when it comes to data. There is a core 25-person development team working on the engine and its algorithms. And Van Horn said that the search engine already has 400 advisory firms signed up and using the engine and its capabilities.
“When it comes to the search capabilities there is not a direct competitor out there, though there are folks that could get into this game,” said Van Horn. He said he and the developers and data scientists at Magnifi aim to be far enough ahead that most firms will prefer to partner with them rather than reinvent the wheel for themselves.