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TD Bank buys Toronto AI outfit Layer 6

Toronto-Dominion Bank has acquired Canadian Artificial Intelligence startup Layer 6 in a deal reportedly worth more than US$100 million.

Little more than a year old and with fewer than 20 employees, Toronto-based Layer 6 has built up a reputation in the fast-growing AI world, working with firms in the financial services, ecommerce and media sectors.

It will now work exclusively with new owner TD, the Canadian banking giant which has been busily looking to increase its AI capabilities in an effort to gain better customer insights and deliver more personalised services.

Terms of the acquisition have not been revealed but according to the Globe and Mail TD is paying more than US$100 million.

Michael Rhodes, group head, innovation, technology and shared services, TD Bank Group, says: “Artificial Intelligence has the potential to power a new generation of data-driven applications from personalised and real-time advice to predictive analytics that will shape the future of banking for millions of individuals.”

The bank is already working with the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence, which was co-founded by Layer 6 founders Tomi Poutanen and Jordan Jacobs and has secured $230 million for its AI research and education efforts.

TD also recently teamed up with Kasito to integrate that AI specialist’s KAI Banking platform into its mobile app, enabling customers to use an interactive chat interface to check account information, review transaction histories and monitor spending levels.

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