Fintech startup QARAsoft CEOs Luke Chang-hwan Byun and Katie Bo-mi Son announced on January 29th completed its application to be part of the Financial Services Commission’s (FSC) regulatory sandbox meant for innovative financial services in South Korea.
Founded in 2014 with a mission to democratize financial services, QARA specializes in AI deep learning technology to provide customized investment analysis to asset management firms and give weekly market forecasts to regular consumers. QARA’s core AI engine, called the “Market Dreamer” (BM patent technology) analyzes the past 30 years of market history and utilizes nearly 400 million data to provide future financial performances. Market Dreamer has been used by big-time firms such as KB Asset Management and Hanwha Asset Management. On May 29th of last year, QARA released a mobile application called KOSHO as a beta service. KOSHO is a financial forecasting and analytics application that provides weekly market forecasts as well as general financial information to individual investors in an easily digestible format. Since its launch, KOSHO has been released to eight different countries.
Through the sandbox initiative, QARA can provide investment services through its BM patent technology and allow consumers to actively engage in cost-effective and diversified investing practices. To help pass the application, the company applied a more advanced and complex algorithm to its core AI engine, using funds from QARA’s subsidiary firm in Singapore, to reduce more risk and maximize investors’ financial returns. QARA is currently working to receive the Registered Fund Management Corporation (RFMC) license by MAS to become an asset management company. The license will be distributed in May of this year.
QARA’s existing service includes providing investment data and predictive analysis of the global markets to investors using AI deep learning technology. This, in turn, will help investors make better financial decisions. However, with the help of the sandbox program, QARA can actually include services that have trading functions. And that’s QARA’s ultimate goal for the future.
“Our business had hit a wall because of the strict regulations in South Korea,” said Luke and Katie. “Just last year, we abandoned our new project called ‘Follow Mr. Son Masayoshi Fund’ after one month of its launch because we couldn’t get passed the regulations.” The concept of this project was to invest in companies, especially early-stage startups, the way Mr. Son Masayoshi of Softbank did in his earlier days before those companies became public.
The sandbox initiative is scheduled to release on April 1st, 2019. As times are rapidly changing and new technologies/services are being created each day, this regulatory sandbox will play a critical role in advancing South Korea’s fintech industry.