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RegGenome’s $6m seed funding to standardise global regulatory information flows





Regulatory Genome Development Ltd (RegGenome), a unique new model for collaboration between the business sector and the University of Cambridge, has emerged from stealth with $6m in seed funding from Evolution Equity Partners, Cambridge Enterprise, AlbionVC and Mastercard.

Cyber security concept with lock. (30258010)
Cyber security concept with lock. (30258010)

RegGenome’s vision is to transform the way the world consumes regulatory information.

The company provides structured machine-readable regulatory content that is dynamic, granular, and interoperable, all powered by AI-based textual information extraction techniques.

RegGenome’s service enables regulatory authorities to increase accessibility and dissemination of regulatory information and empowers organisations to deepen their regulatory intelligence and digitise their compliance and risk management processes.

“Talk to any regulated firm and they’ll tell you they’re drowning in regulations,” said Prof Robert Wardrop, RegGenome’s founder and executive chairman. “If you want to solve the problem you really need to do it at scale, with big stakeholders, to create a structure for machine-readable regulatory content.

“The university can’t do that on its own.”

Prof Wardrop is an economic sociologist based in the finance group at Cambridge Judge Business School and co-founded the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance in 2015, where he is director.

During the course of his work, he identified a problem in porting regulatory content into digital formats that are globally interoperable.

“The problem is more and more reading needs to be done by machine – to ingest the content,” he explains.

Prof Robert Wardrop, RegGenome’s founder and executive chairman
Prof Robert Wardrop, RegGenome’s founder and executive chairman

“So you’re processing words, but a software application can’t process words like the human brain, so if you want applications to provide insight into decisions about regulatory requirements, those applications need to read a machine-readable version.

“So it’s a translation challenge – how to translate human-readable regulatory content into a machine-readable form that can read human information.”

Research activity into the issue started in 2018, Prof Wardrop says.

“In 2020 we realised that to really do this, to have real impact at scale, to engage both businesses and regulatory authorities, you had to create a business to deal with it.”

The results have already been spectacular, and RegGenome employs 30 people “and we’ll hire another 20 this year”. Prof Wardrop is preparing to go on secondment from the university to become CEO.

“The university has agreed to put me on secondment into the start-up so CEO from June 1,” he explains. “It’s quite significant to get a secondment, as it illustrates the continuing relationship between university and the start-up.”

With the seed funding onboarded, RegGenome’s biggest problem is finding more people to join the team, currently based at WeWork but due to move to a new Station Road location next month.

WeWork on Station Road is RegGenomes’ current base
WeWork on Station Road is RegGenomes’ current base

“We’re very committed to having a core team in Cambridge,” says Prof Wardrop. “That is very important when you think about structure post-Covid – where are you on the spectrum of being virtual and being co-located? How much of what is going on in Cambridge is really going on in Cambridge?

“We made an explicit strategic decision to anchor ourselves physically in Cambridge, that’s relevant as we need to recruit talent that is Cambridge-based as much as possible and that’s really hard to do in current environment because good tech talent is in unprecedented demand all over world, and that’s acute in Cambridge. So in terms of impact, people care about what they're doing and want more than stock options.”

RegGenome is going to expand fast from here on in.

“We would be currently translating content for around 500 regulatory authorities around the world in roughly 150 countries,” explains Prof Wardrop. “Who uses it? Providers of compliance and regulatory content applications that want to use a third party.

GDPR compliance is just one of many regulatory hurdles businesses face today
GDPR compliance is just one of many regulatory hurdles businesses face today

“We don’t sell to end users we sell to providers of applications who use the content.”

Dr Marcio Siqueira, head of physical sciences at Cambridge Enterprise, said: “RegGenome is a superb example of how the university’s transformational intellectual property can be applied for global impact.

“The company is primed to deliver a quantum leap in the way regulatory content is shared and harnessed.

“Cambridge Enterprise has been an integral part of RegGenome from the outset, from enabling access to the required technology to investing in its funding.

“We are looking forward to seeing RegGenome’s vision come to life.”

Richard Seewald, managing partner of Evolution Equity Partners, will join RegGenome’s board of directors.



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