🔀 Issue #71: An Unconventional Path
Two Claremont alumni and fellow co-founders share the founding story of their new hedge fund — Tauroi Technologies
💬 Welcome to issue #71 of Between the Lines
Good morning & happy Thursday. It’s hard to believe, but somehow, next Thursday is Thanksgiving. We’ll be taking next Thursday off from BTL, and we hope that you have a fantastic holiday weekend! 🦃
But before the Turkey trot, this week, Claremont alumni and fellow co-founders Avi Thaker and Daniel Sonner share the founding story of their new quantitative hedge fund — Tauroi Technologies. It’s a Claremont world out there. 👇
~ Josh & Miles
📢 👥 Community Voices: An Unconventional Path
Authors: Avi Thaker and Daniel Sonner
Avi Thaker and Daniel Sonner are Claremont graduates and the co-founders of Tauroi Technologies, a hedge fund dedicated to finding uncorrelated returns using alternative data. Before founding Tauroi, Avi and Daniel spent time in various software engineering and data science roles at Microsoft, Pure Storage, Zume, and GSK. Fun fact: Daniel is an accomplished bridge player who became a life master at age 22 and won the World Bridge Junior World Championship in 2019, and Avi currently holds five patents related to image search and has published two academic papers.
The two of us first met eight years ago during undergrad at the Mudd Investment fund and quickly bonded over a shared vision — the financial markets and algorithmic trading. We started trying out ideas to apply algorithms to the markets and even entered various competitions (Avi may or may not have done it to impress a girl at the time).
Then, a few years later, in the midst of an internship with Goldman, Avi was offered some precious advice from a manager that he and I took to heart: “If you want to do really well in finance, understand how technology works, especially machine learning.” Heeding this advice, we then went our separate ways, each heading into tech. Daniel to software engineering at Pure Storage and Avi to research at Microsoft.
Avi worked as a data scientist at Microsoft, helping build Microsoft’s cognitive services. He also built knowledge graphs for ads, increasing ad relevance and revenue while reducing the number of ads shown. Meanwhile, while at Pure Storage, Daniel wrote software that was robust against unexpected failure conditions and ran in a highly concurrent and performance-sensitive environment.
Split but not lost, we kept in touch, trading algorithms over the years and building out a track record. Our entrepreneurial spirit eventually won out, and we quit our Bay Area jobs to build something of ourselves. We wanted access to uncorrelated returns but could not find the right route, so we launched our own fund. Our fund was to be built like a software product, hands-free of humans, and achieve the returns that we could not get elsewhere.
We are combining cutting-edge technology and market experience to bring to you the next big thing in quantitative trading funds. If you’d like to talk with us about our company, we would love to connect! 👇
🚨Claremonster Call-Out: Jacques Nadeau
Jacques Nadeau is a Claremont alumnus and industry veteran with more than 15 years of big data and analytics experience. After Claremont, he assumed different engineering leadership roles for Quigo, Offermatica, and aQuantive before starting his search engine startup YapMap. Jacques also led MapR’s distributed systems team and co-created The Apache Software Foundation before joining Dremio as co-founder and CTO in 2015. Dremio is the original creator of Apache Arrow and is a high-performance SQL (data) lakehouse that helps to accelerate BI and Analytics directly on cloud data lake storage.
After leading and overseeing Dremio’s entire information technology department as CTO for six years, Jacques decided to step down to start his new company, Sundeck. Jacques and his team at Sundeck have been building a new product to enhance users’ experiences with Snowflake and create a better way to work with existing cloud data warehouses. He shares more about what they’re working on and how they overcame their limitations in creating a source connector framework for Snowflake in this article:
While working on this, one of the things that we found we needed was to expose operational data within Snowflake to our users where that data is primarily housed outside of Snowflake. Obviously, Snowflake does this extensively internally for metadata systems using FoundationDB but unfortunately, it isn’t generally available to us. Long story short, we went through all the steps and were able to make this work.
💼 Who’s Hiring?:
Backdrop Labs is a remote-first startup building at the edge of web3 and community. Founded by Claremont alumnus Joseph Debruin, Backdrop is on a mission to increase the GDP of tokenized communities. Their vision is that strong communities will play a significant role in growing and sustaining businesses in the modern world. Backdrop is well funded by some of the leading investors in crypto (El Cap, Seed Club Ventures, Coinbase), and they’re looking for a Frontend Engineer who will lead their development and grow into a CTO:
Founded by Claremont graduate Adam Altman, Redocly is a SaaS company that helps businesses quickly build their API documentation into comprehensive, interactive documents. Their vision is to create solutions for API developer portals that are both developer-friendly and fully customizable. Today, Redocly's full product is used daily by over 10,000 corporate customers worldwide. They're looking to hire their first Sales Engineer to work closely with their account executives and prospects:
Check out the other ~5,000 open jobs at 400+ Claremont-affiliated companies here on our Storyboard. Plus, create a profile and enter your preferences to get alerted to new job postings relevant to you, be they the 1,000+ remote jobs, 100+ internships, or 40+ part-time positions available. We’ve published research that shows that Claremont-founded companies that disproportionately hire Claremont talent outperform — so pay attention, Claremonsters!
If any of these roles catch your eye 👀 , apply and mention Between the Lines. Or, if you are an employer looking to hire tip-top Claremont talent, fill out this form to have your jobs featured.
🗣️ Conversations on the Interwebz:
This week’s top read 🔥
Claremont alumnus Henry Albrecht, founder and CEO of Limeade, shares his insights on the revolution of well-being at work and how creating a culture that cares for employees is also good for business. Limeade is an HR software company that provides a platform focused on employee engagement.
This week’s top watch 📺
Victor Penev, Claremont alumnus and founder of Edamam, sat down with The Spoon and talked about how they built and analyzed the largest nutrition database in the world with over 5M recipes on their platform and what’s next for the company. Edamam provides nutrition solutions to food, health, and wellness businesses.
This week’s Claremont exits and acquisitions 💸
Global financial and legal intelligence data provider, Reorg, announced its acquisition of FinDox to improve solutions for the credit markets. Claremont graduate Brian Bentow is the CTO of FinDox – a leading document, compliance, and data management provider. Before that, Brian also helped found the healthcare payments platform Instamed with fellow Claremont alumnus Chris Seib.
Congratulations to RetailNext on their recent acquisition of UK-based people-counting and footfall solutions specialist Ipsos Retail Performance. RetailNext, co-founded by Claremont graduate and CEO Alexei Agratchev, is the leading analytics solution for brick-and-mortar retailers.
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🍽️ BTL Snacks:
👴🏻 A Worry-Free Retirement Plan….. Many people approaching retirement age (or newly retired) may not have what they need or need more financial advice on managing what they have for retirement. Retirable, a fintech startup co-founded by Claremont graduate Brian Ramirez, targets pre-retirees and retirees to make financial management more accessible. The Retirable platform provides digital tools and individualized consultation at reduced costs. Forbes shares the company’s origin, investment philosophy for clients, and future plans.
🧬 Understanding Biology In The Early Years Of AI….. Claremont alumnus Daniel Goodwin shares his thoughts on significant developments in AI and Biology that are converging. Given all the recent activity in this field, he talks about his excitement in seeing how AI can help us navigate scientific knowledge to propose and execute experiments that expand the frontiers of planetary-scale biotechnology. Daniel previously co-founded and is the former CTO of Mobile Data Labs (acquired by Microsoft) and is currently the Founding Co-Director of climate biotech organization Homeworld Collective.
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