Symphony, a safe messaging app that counts 15 of the world’s largest banks amongst its traders and 200,000 paying prospects, has raised a brand new tranche of funding to gasoline its enlargement into new markets. Symphony has closed in on $63 million; and in keeping with sources near the corporate, the startup is now valued at over $1 billion — confirming our reporting from December.
This new spherical provides one other strategic investor, the French financial institution BNP Paribas, which led the spherical and is taking a seat on Symphony’s board. A majority of Symphony’s present shareholders additionally participated within the spherical, the corporate mentioned. That group includes Google, Lakestar, Natixis, Societe Generale, UBS, and Merus Capital, and a consortium of 14 of the world’s largest funding banks and cash managers, together with Financial institution of America, BlackRock, Citibank, Deutsche Financial institution, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, and JP Morgan. The corporate has now raised $229 million.
Whereas the valuation confirms the determine we published in December final yr in an article concerning the firm’s newest fundraising efforts, that story additionally famous that Symphony had been seeking to increase as much as $200 million, and that the spherical was more likely to embrace traders out of Asia, particularly Singapore.
As we speak, a spokesperson declined to touch upon that report. She additionally declined to say whether or not this can be a new Collection of funding, or whether or not Symphony is extending a earlier spherical.
“We get a number of curiosity and conversations are at all times ongoing,” she mentioned. “At this level we really feel like we’re nicely funded.” She described BNP Paribas as a “strategic investor — one purpose why we wished them.”
“Digital transformation is central to BNP Paribas World Markets’ technique, and collaboration with fintech [companies] is a vital a part of that course of. Forming agile partnerships with thrilling and progressive firms like Symphony helps us ship an distinctive service to purchasers, and stay their accomplice of alternative in a altering world,” mentioned Olivier Osty, Government Head of World Markets, BNP Paribas, in a press release.
Up to now, Symphony has constructed its enterprise primarily focusing on the monetary providers sector with a messaging service that not solely lets these inside an organization talk with one another, but additionally lets them communicate with contacts exterior their organizations utilizing the identical safe framework. You may consider Symphony as considerably like Slack and different messaging providers besides that, in collaboration with its strategic traders, it has constructed a platform that meets their specific necessities in the case of encryption and reporting necessities.
Symphony competes not solely towards different messaging apps additionally focusing on enterprise customers, but additionally different providers that bankers have used to speak to one another. Considered one of these historically has been Bloomberg terminals, which may value considerably extra (estimated at $25,000 per terminal yearly) than the beginning price of $15/person/month pricing that Symphony charges for its paid tiers. (It’s recognized by some because the “Bloomberg killer.”)
The corporate doesn’t disclose what number of free customers it has in its freemium mannequin, noting the determine is simply within the “1000’s.”
Like different messaging apps, Symphony has supplemented its primary messaging performance with a variety of different features. They embrace voice and video chat; and a marketplace of different providers for sourcing knowledge like Dow Jones and Selerity for surfacing content material related to discussions, Chart IQ, S&P market intelligence, and Fintech Studios.
The components has labored to date: the corporate now has 160 monetary providers firms amongst its prospects, and now it plans to make use of the funding to choose up extra in different verticals. Areas that it has been eyeing up are adjoining markets like authorized and accounting that additionally fall underneath strict reporting and knowledge retention requirements. But in addition others just like the healthcare business whose organizations and firms additionally observe sturdy privateness guidelines.
“We’re thrilled to have the help of our new and present traders as we speed up international platform adoption,” mentioned David Gurlé, founder and CEO of Symphony, in a press release. “This financing is a recognition of the worth our prospects have skilled because the Symphony group has grown. Our prospects’ need to make Symphony their central platform and substitute legacy instruments is an endorsement of the efficiencies introduced by an built-in collaboration platform and streamlined workflow.”
Featured Picture: olli0815/iStock/Getty Pictures