FinTech Grad Bond.ai Moving to Little Rock


FinTech Grad Bond.ai Moving to Little Rock
Bond.ai CEO Uday Akkaraju (Venture Center)

The Venture Center of Little Rock announced Friday that Bond.ai, a graduate of the center's 2017 VC FinTech Accelerator, will relocate its headquarters to Little Rock from New York City.

Bond.ai, a conversational artificial intelligence platform that understands financial goals and enables users to meet those goals in the shortest possible time, was one of 10 chosen from 295 applicants for the second year of the 12-week program.

CEO Uday Akkaraju and his wife, Madhavi Kulkarni, who is Bond.ai's chief product officer, will move to Little Rock.

"Capital, talent and a cost-effective environment. A young company needs all these three things to grow rapidly," Akkaraju said in a news release. "You either get one or two of those things in cities like San Francisco and New York. I believe Little Rock is the only city in the U.S. that provides all three in perfect proportions. It truly is an unexplored goldmine for startups."

The relocation brings the total number of companies that have moved their headquarters to Arkansas after completing the accelerator to four.

Bond.ai is currently discussing proposals with 10 banks nationally, according to the release, and plans to expand its platform to more than 200 banks globally within the next few years. The company is also hiring to fill a few key staff positions.

The most recent accelerator ended with a demo day in July, and applications for the summer 2018 program will open on Sept. 20. The program is being funded through 2018 by FIS of Jacksonville, Florida, and Arkansas discretionary funds.