Myriada – all eyes on the £uture

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“As soon as we get a reliable and forward-looking sentiment stream, we have major partners lined up to help productise and sell on the data.”

For Arjun Hassard, three life experiences converged to push him, just 16 months ago, to co-found Myriada alongside Product Manager Faisal Chaudry. Today the company is a core team of three, and an army of interns based at their Canary Wharf HQ.

Arjun’s first life experience, an internship at Deustche Bank, highlighted the potential – currently under-tapped – in fintech.

Second came an internship at Facebook, when he realised that entire world, though hooked on creating content, didn’t really talk work on their wall. In the finance realm, professionals are primarily using web and mobile apps to consume info – but they weren’t creating it. Arjun saw an opportunity to convert latent views into something useful.

The third experience was a brush with big data at Japan’s Kyoto University, where Arjun sought to predict future government policy by sifting and compiling current Twitter trends.

The result soon came: Myriada, fintech that aggregates the real-time view of City specialists as they forecast markets’ futures. It’s called Collective Forecasting, and it’s a unique compilation of the learned crowd’s financial predictions that’s weighted and scored using the best in data science.

“A trader will gather a lot of information on their Bloomberg terminal or other sources,” says Arjun. “But during the day they’re not imparting information they could be – so that was the starting point: what can we draw out of traders, investors, strategists, researchers and analysts that can be processed to produce an output that’s useful?”

“And that’s where we got to collect intelligence, crowd wisdom and collective forecasting – it’s a way to extract views out of the professionals sitting in the banks and turn it into something that’s valuable to them and others.”

In its early throws the company had 75 hedge fund managers and senior traders using the system and, remarkably, The Financial Times splashed an early Myriada breakthrough on its front page.

A few months on, Myriada is still largely in test mode to prove their kit beyond all doubt. But in the that testing, an inadvertent new string was tightly fastened to the Myriada bow.

An R&D link up with Imperial College London had finance students testing their predictive prowess on the Myriada platform. Suddenly, students who excelled on the system started noting their scores on the CV to gain a real world advantage.

“When students applied to Goldman Sachs, they’d say: ‘I was the number one student in predicting the oil price out of my entire international finance class’” says Arjun.

“We thought, OK there’s an opportunity there. So we’re now aiming to make financial talent – which is a very intangible quality – into something that’s more tangible, measurable and discoverable.”

“We’re now building out new system options that recreate a trading floor or a corporate finance department as much as possible – so users can immerse themselves on our site for six months before they apply for jobs.”

The product is called Financial Market Rank, and Arjun likens it to the HackerRank model which does similar in the programming space.

Not only is there a short-term payoff in monetising what’s essentially a by-product of Myriada, but more student input means more data – and more data means more clout to test a system that financial powerhouses have already expressed interest in.

“Collective forecasting is a niche within the niche of crowd wisdom; and crowd wisdom is a niche within crowd sourcing,” says Arjun, “– Estimize is the standout company in this area … but our approach is different for technical reasons and also in the subject matter.”

“Sure, every start-up says this, but what we’re doing is unique.”

There’s two lucrative data streams primed to unlock lucrative revenue streams, short and long term, so the forecasters might tell you: Myriada has good days ahead.