KPMG Hub for Entrepreneurship (or "Khube") is a
department set up solely to seek out and support start-up
companies, primarily FinTechs. I had a chance to sit down with one
of the chosen start-ups, a Metz-based company called SESAMm which is
working on the marriage of big data and stock tips. Co-founder and
president Sylvain Forté spoke to me about his company and
his experience in Luxembourg.
First, though, I asked him for a description of his
company in 140 characters:
SESAMm is an innovative FinTech startup which develops stock
market forecasting algorithms based on social media big data
Can you describe the context into which SESAMm
There are two big elements in trading: fundamental analysis,
which is to say the analysis of the companies themselves, how
they're priced, their balance sheets, etc., and technical
analysis, which is all about statistics: using historical prices to
decide what the future is going to hold for a particular
These practices have existed for twenty years at
least—they're old but they work well. Yet we're now
seeing that the more new technology hits the scene (like
high-frequency trading a few years ago), the less these analytical
models are working. The missing piece is a reliable analysis of big
data, which is where we come in.
So what does SESAMm do?
SESAMm specialises in blending machine learning and big data,
and turning the result into a tool that produces high quality stock
indicators. We do this by natural language processing (NLP), which
means we're looking at the language used on social media
platforms to gauge what's happening among the population and
the financial experts.
This requires us to use the best technologies from both a
quantitative analysis side and a pure IT side. Using NLP to
identify major sentiment trends that move the stock market, we
created behavioural finance models based on behaviour and
sentiment. Our trading indicators are ready-to-use, relevant, and
high-performing—we believe this technology is the future of
stock market analysis. In the marketplace we're finding that
there is really an urgent need for new trading technologies based
on big data, and that's what we're providing.
And you've had success?
We've been pleased with the efficiency of the product and
with our simulated results. We've been testing since January
2015 and can say that our strategy provided a simulated cumulative
return of around 40% in 2015.
What's next for the product?
Our main focus now is to diversify the strategy—we want to
build new indicators to be able to have a real portfolio based on a
number of tools. We're developing hourly indicators, weekly
indicators, indicators of American stocks, and of Chinese indices,
which we want to be integrated directly into the tool and updated
How has the Khube been of help?
We're currently at the stage where the Khube is helping us
to develop our commercial network—thanks to this we already
have quite a strong network in Luxembourg. We ended up getting an
investor off the ITC Spring and KPMG has lined up a slew of events
for us, so it's really taken our networking to another level.
We will continue working together.
You'll be speaking about social trading at the
next Digital Fund event—what are your main talking points
going to be?
We see social trading as both a way to make better decisions
based on numerous opinions and as a great way of distributing
products. I'll really focus on the first aspect during this
conference. There is wisdom to gather from the crowd and a need to
make sense of this massive and noisy data.
And finally...what were the last
three apps you downloaded?
I just changed my phone, so... might be Dropbox, Azendoo, and
CME [Chicago Mercantile Exchange].
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