School of Informatics

Alumnus gains £1m investment

Grant Passmore’s company Aesthetic Integration has attracted funding backed by Google's Chief Business Officer.

2011 PhD graduate Grant was a Research Associate in our Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Science, 2011-14, before launching his company.

KRW Schindler is a venture capital firm backed by Google's Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler.

Aesthetic Integration is a financial technology start-up based in London, co-founded with colleague Denis Ignatovich. Their formal verification technology automatically analyses financial algorithms for glitches and unfair behaviour, making them innovators in software safety, trading system design and risk management.

Win, win

The news that Aesthetic Integration had attracted the interest of KRW Schindler came earlier this year, shortly after Grant heard that his company had won the global final of the UBS Future of Finance Challenge.

As Grant told the trading and investment website, Markets Media:

“The UBS win raised our profile and we were contacted by Philipp Schindler’s venture capital firm about a month after we won.”

Extraordinary potential

David Rosskamp, general partner at KRW Schindler, told Markets Media that they make a small number of hand-picked investments in Europe in technologies that are fundamental ie. completely new and that will create long-term breakthroughs in the industries they target.

Speaking in his blog about some of the direct risks for technology in financial markets, David Rosskamp said:

“There is some extraordinary potential for company creation in these fields - entrepreneurs that tackle such risks can create entire markets from scratch. Taking this to heart, we have invested into two companies that address the two central risk pillars: illicit activities (Elliptic) and algorithm functionality (Aesthetic Integration). These are the missing elements for establishing trust, adopting and democratizing distributed ledger technologies in a wider context.”

The investment comes at a great time for Grant and his company. Aesthetic Integration has just launched Imandra Contracts, the world’s first formal verification platform for blockchain smart contracts, at a major international industry event, Ethereum DevCon2, in Shanghai, China.

Aesthetic Integration’s mission is to create groundbreaking tools that analyze algorithms, helping make them more safe, fair, and transparent.

Grant tells us, “These are some exciting days for getting formal verification out into the wild!”

Useful links

Aesthetic Integration

KRW Schindler

Article in Markets Media

David Rosskamp’s blog


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Article in Coindesk

Article in Finextra

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