In January 2021, Simon Vanooteghem joined Yields.io to contribute to its growth journey and spearhead the Sales and Marketing Team. As the company had started welcoming a growing number of clients, it was the perfect time to accelerate its international expansion efforts. How has the company transformed over the past three years, and what’s next at Yields.io?
Before joining Yields.io
Prior to joining Yields.io, Simon had the opportunity to accumulate international experience in both startup and multinational environments. After graduating from the Catholic University of Leuven, he embarked on his career at a tech startup in Chandigarh, known as ‘the city beautiful’, in India, where he oversaw all marketing and sales operations. Following a temporary research assignment in Mexico City with a focus on information technology, Simon further developed his skills at Materialise, a Nasdaq-listed 3D printing company. In this role, he took charge of business development for the company’s medical software division in the EMEA region.
Simon was drawn to the vision of Yields.io, and the prominent client portfolio that was built up during the first years of the company’s existence. He explains: “The ability to sell and successfully deploy its technology at complex global financial institutions after only 3 years serves as a testament to the value the technology solution offers. It was one of the reasons why I was convinced to join Yields.io. At the same time, the potential to offer our solution to other industries beyond the financial sector, where high-risk artificial intelligence is employed, was also intriguing.”
In early 2021, the team comprised around 20 people, mainly working in product development and engineering. As we continued to test and establish our product market fit, the challenge was to build our sales and marketing activities from the ground up. Since 2021 we have more than doubled the size of the company, and have invested heavily in the expansion of the Sales and Marketing Team to contribute to our international growth. The commitment and dedication of this team has already translated into success, as we have been able to expand our client base not only in Europe but also in the United States. To further accelerate the adoption of our technology, we have also forged partnerships with global firms like KPMG and Delta Capita.
Model Risk Management, which includes AI risk management, remains a fairly new domain, despite having been regulated in the financial industry for over a decade now. With the rapid growth of AI capabilities, and the increasing reliance on complex models, we are uniquely positioned to support firms with technology to manage their exposure to model risk in an effective and efficient way. As our technology has been validated by tier 1 financial organizations, and has produced considerable efficiency gains for our clients, we are ready to accelerate our geographical expansion. Our main focus is on the U.S., known for having some of the world’s most stringent model risk management standards. However, given the emerging regulations, like the European Union’s AI Act, we are also exploring opportunities for expansion into non-financial sectors where AI algorithms are being deployed in high-risk contexts, such as healthcare, manufacturing, and human resources.
To realize our growth objectives we are in the process of expanding our team in Belgium and hiring our first team members in the United States.