Portrait Analytics Raises $7 Million in Funding to Transform Investment Research

Hedge fund veteran from Baupost and AI leaders from Amazon, Bloomberg and Twitter bet on Portrait’s AI platform to change the way analysts research markets and companies

Boston, Massachusetts, UNITED STATES

BOSTON, July 20, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Portrait Analytics, developer of a generative AI platform for investment research and thesis creation, has added $7 million in new funding. The financing was led by Unusual Ventures, with participation from existing investor .406 Ventures and select hedge fund professionals. The investment brings Portrait's total capital raised to $10 million.

Before the advent of the internet, a major challenge investment analysts faced was the limited availability of data. That has changed in recent years, with access becoming much easier. Now, the core constraint on productivity is analysts’ fixed mental bandwidth to process this enormous corpus to extract key learnings and insights to build an investment thesis. Consequently, analysts face the trade-off of either spending an inordinate amount of time focused on a tiny fraction of the investable universe to deeply understand a few companies, or taking costly short-cuts in their research to cover a broader range of businesses.

Portrait resolves this fundamental tension through augmenting every analysts’ research bandwidth by an order of magnitude. Portrait’s idea generation tool helps analysts sift through thousands of companies to find the most potent ideas for their investment style. Once a company of interest is identified, analysts go from beginner to ‘sector specialist’ in record time by reading Portrait’s ever-green, comprehensive research, and asking Portrait’s generative AI platform to answer challenging research questions.

“The job of an analyst is to discover and build conviction in investment ideas,” said David Plon, CEO at Portrait Analytics. “The rate at which analysts can generate high-conviction investment theses is driven by their speed of learning. The problem which all analysts face today is that the research process designed to generate these learnings is largely manual and full of friction. AI has the potential to act as a bandwidth multiplier but that won’t be achieved by simply bolting ChatGPT onto existing products and data flows. The AI-powered application that will make this future a reality will need to have deep expertise on how to think like a well-trained analyst, be delivered in a UX that fits neatly into the analyst workflow, and above all else, be factual and trustworthy. This is precisely what we’re building at Portrait.”

“Modern large language models have powerful reasoning capabilities and the potential to transform research-driven workflows,” said Lars Albright, General Partner at Unusual Ventures. “But off-the-shelf implementations of these models, such as ChatGPT, lack the domain-specific expertise, data and user-interface to meet the full set of needs of professionals in the investment research field. Portrait is purpose-built to unleash the power of AI for analysts and investors. Its orchestration of models produces powerful, trustworthy output across all stages of the research process.”

“As soon as we met with Lars and the team at Unusual Ventures, it became clear that there was a tight alignment in our visions for the product and company we're working to build,” said Plon. “We couldn't be more excited to be partnering with Unusual Ventures to accelerate our development of the platform.”

Portrait was co-founded in 2022 by Plon, a former principal on the public markets team at Baupost, and Connell Gough, a full stack developer with extensive search experience who also leads Portrait’s engineering team. Portrait’s founding engineering team includes AI leaders from Amazon, Bloomberg and Twitter.

Portrait’s platform is in private beta with leading asset managers, with plans to release access to analysts on its waiting list in the coming months. To learn more about Portrait and join the waitlist, visit portrait-analytics.com.

About Unusual Ventures

Unusual Ventures is a seed-stage venture capital firm designed from the ground up to give a distinct advantage to founders building infrastructure software and application-level companies. Unusual was founded in 2018 with the mission to reinvent the venture capital engagement model by serving entrepreneurs with an unprecedented level of hands-on services. Described as a partner versus a top-down stakeholder by its portfolio companies, Unusual is laser-focused on serving exceptional founders and teams building innovative products. With offices in Menlo Park, San Francisco, and Boston, Unusual has invested in category-defining companies like Arctic Wolf Networks, Carta, Robinhood, Harness, and Vivun. For more information, visit www.unusual.vc.

About Portrait Analytics

Portrait Analytics’ mission is to accelerate and deepen powerful investment research through building a generative AI research assistant for every investor. The company was co-founded by a chronically time-strapped buy-side investor at The Baupost Group who sought a better way to efficiently consume data from filings, transcripts, and research. With this goal in mind, Portrait leverages state-of-the-art machine learning applications to accelerate and deepen powerful investment research. Portrait Analytics is backed by Unusual Ventures, .406 Ventures, and partners at leading global hedge funds. To learn more, please visit www.portrait-analytics.com.

Kevin Wolf