Wall Street gets its very own unicorn in banker chat service Symphony
Symphony, a workplace chat program for Wall Street traders, is setting its sights beyond Manhattan’s stock exchanges.
The company announced a $63-million funding round on Tuesday that will help fuel its expansion into new markets outside of the financial services industry.
The cash infusion, led by French banking group BNP Paribas, brings Symphony’s total worth to more than $1 billion, a source close to the company confirmed. A spokesperson declined to comment on the valuation.
All told, the company has now raised $233 million to date.
Symphony was formed in 2014 through a consortium of 15 financial institutions aimed at creating a standardized industry-wide means of communication. Its secure encryption and regulatory compliance make it well-suited to bankers’ needs.
The company has been described as a “Bloomberg killer” for its potential to replace the ubiquitous information terminals that traders have long used to monitor news and communicate.
Some traders dislike the clunky terminals for their cumbersome interfaces and steep price tags. Symphony offers a streamlined alternative that allows for both in-house and inter-firm chat.
But Bloomberg isn’t Symphony’s only competitor. It’s also up against general-market enterprise chatrooms like Slack and Skype for Business. To keep pace, it’s also added features like voice calls and video conferencing.
Symphony says the new funding will help it beef up its existing software and push into unspecified new markets that might have similar security and regulatory needs.
“This financing is a recognition of the value our customers have experienced as the Symphony community has grown,” Symphony CEO and founder David Gurlé said in a statement.