AlphaSense, AI Search Engine for Business, Raises $ 180 Million in Series C Cycle Led by Goldman Sachs and Viking Global

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When AlphaSense CEO Jack Kokko worked as an analyst at Morgan Stanley

MRS
, he found that uncovering key data and trends was extremely time consuming, as much of it had to be done manually, sometimes making the process unreliable. These obstacles became the seeds of what would later become AlphaSense, the startup that Kokko co-founded with CTO Raj Neervannan.

“At the time, we were already benefiting from mainstream search engines like Google

GOOG
, but no one had built a search engine for business or finance, and that seemed like a huge gap, ”he says.

AlphaSense is a market intelligence search engine that uses specially designed AI to understand and sort business information, delivering curated public and private content to its nearly 2,000 business customers in a way that speeds up market research. and investment. The platform allows clients to access Wall Street stock research, trade journals, analyst research, conference call transcripts and company documents, among other content.

“We strongly believe in the power of machine learning and natural language processing,” says Kokko. “You are building this intelligent machine that thinks like a human analyst. It was the original vision: to reproduce the thought process of an analyst that I have always experienced myself.

New York-based AlphaSense Raised $ 180 Million in Goldman-Led Series C Funding

SG
Sachs and Viking Global, the $ 25 billion hedge fund run by billionaire Andreas Halvorsen. Other investors include Citi, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America

BAC
and Wells Fargo

WFC
. This round’s capital injection brings the startup’s total funding to $ 263 million since its Series A in 2016.

Many of its investors, including Goldman and Morgan Stanley, are also clients of AlphaSense. Citi is a client but also provides unique content to the platform for AlphaSense corporate clients through an exclusive partnership. Market intelligence companies aren’t particularly innovative, but partnerships that deliver unique data are what help AlphaSense stand out from the competition, customers say.

“They have done a very good job over the past few years in increasing their market share in this space,” said Gavin Skinner, global COO for research at Citi. “It’s a pretty straightforward decision, they have more market share with the corporate market than any other supplier.”

After the funding cycle exceeded company expectations, Kokko says AlphaSense now has an oversupply of capital. The CEO says this will allow the startup to take strategic action in two key areas: content availability and smart search functionality. The startup is looking to diversify its content in terms of geography and language, as well as offer more industry-specific content through distribution agreements and business acquisitions. The funding will also be used to refine search features such as ‘trending topics’ and recommendations, the AI ​​that compiles trending topics specific to customer interests and recommends additional reading tailored to them.

“Jack has the ambition to push the product much further than what you see today, and this plan is part of what got us to bet on him and the AlphaSense team,” says Holger Staude, Director General Manager of the Growth Equity business of Goldman Sachs. “We think AlphaSense has built a strong position in technology and content partnerships that would be difficult to replicate,” he says.

Derrick Steiner, director of value consulting at software giant, SAP

SAP
, says AlphaSense has given its team unique insights into the interests and attitudes of customers that have inspired changes in its company’s product development, and has provided quantitative evidence that has validated the growth strategies that SAP leaders were planning to continue.

“What the AlphaSense platform offers is the ability to gain insight into strategy and things that are much more distant and forward-looking than just numbers,” says Steiner. “If we know that sustainability will be a priority for a company in five years, that gives us a lot of information so that we can better serve them. This qualitative information really complements the quantitative analysis that we traditionally do.

“Having this analytical information about things like feelings and the things we talk about at your fingertips is really a game-changer,” Steiner adds.


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