Helios CEO On Alternative Data, Tonal Analytics: 'Adding Value Through Audio Tones'

Helios Life Enterprises, a fintech specializing in alpha generation insights derived from human language and emotion, last month announced a partnership with the live event monitoring and financial search platform Aiera.

In a follow-up conversation, Benzinga chatted with Helios CEO Sean Austin.

About: Founded in 2017, Helios is an audio research analytics platform that unpacks text-based sentiment from earnings calls, among other things, across thousands of equities.

Simply put, Helios uncovers valuable data for trading decisions via tonal analytics.

Core Products: The Mercury and Comprehend Voice Analytics API are the core Helios products. 

Mercury unlocks human voice at scale, allowing end users to analyze audio event calls for tonal sentiment. On the other hand, Comprehend is more holistic, taking in audio from a variety of company events and extracting distinct data for analysis.

“Though we still have Comprehend for quants, Mercury … expands what we do,” Austin said.

With Mercury, “all of the sudden you don’t even need to be a quant to access the power of audio.”

Recent Events: In August, Aiera announced the closure of a strategic round with support from Citigroup Inc C, Franklin Templeton Inc BEN, and Fin Venture Capital.

As part of the development, the fintech — which provides real-time transcription, one-click audio, DVR-style live audio controls, smart document search, dynamic alerts, as well as seamless team collaboration via bookmarks and note-taking — partnered with Helios on providing increased context around voice sounds.

"With Aiera, we will be leveraging tonal sentiment at the sentence level to understand when the voice sounds incongruent with the words. This allows scaled outlier detection in the growing universe of Aiera audio," Austin said in a statement on the development.

Use Cases: In unpacking the value of Helios’ offer and the Aries partnership, Austin pointed to a case study on tonal and textual sentiment in the semiconductor sector.

The case study reveals a deliberate attempt by executives to downplay the significance of supply chain disruptions. Through a combination of Aiera’s text-based sentiment and Helios tonal analysis, the study found “the tone of voice associated with chip shortages by executives in the IT sector exhibited extreme outliers in their tonal sentiment score.”

In other words, the positive language used by executives was inconsistent with their beliefs about the state of their businesses.

Innovation Outlook: Helios is filling a gap, bringing better, more advanced information for end users to trade on. 

Partnerships and platform integrations are a focus for the firm going forward, as well as awareness initiatives that look to further the space.

“In the next 30 days, we’re looking to announce a platform integration, making it easier for people to get access to [Helios] and putting it where they already get their data.”

Also, in addition to participating in a documentary to highlight innovation in the alternative data space, the firm is looking to platforms like Microsoft Corporation’s MSFT Azure and Alphabet Inc’s GOOGL Google Cloud in its initiatives to plug into major API marketplaces and provide more market participants access to the benefits of tonal analytics.

“We want to be distributed in all the simple spots where people access data,” Austin said. “If we can unlock more data, we’re delivering on our promise to add value through audio tones.”

Photo by Laura Balbarde from Pexels.

Posted In: AieraHelios Life EnterprisesSean AustinFintechInterview

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