Symphony, the chat app aiming to take business away from Wall Street’s ubiquitous Bloomberg terminals, just got a big vote of confidence from Google.
Per the Wall Street Journal (paywall), the tech giant invested an unspecified amount of money in Symphony at a valuation of $650 million. That would be a step down from the $1 billion valuation the Journal said the company was going for back in July (paywall).
Just a year old, the messaging service’s main draw is that it offers the kind of secure chat that bank compliance officers prefer to the likes of Yahoo chat and at a price far cheaper than the thousands of dollars per year it costs for a Bloomberg terminal subscription (though with far fewer financial data capabilities). When it launched last month, the company told Quartz that Symphony is currently free for individuals and businesses with fewer than 50 users. For business and enterprise customers with more than 50 users, the service costs $15 per user, per month.
Financial institutions began reexamining their relationship with Bloomberg after its reporters were caught spying on terminal customers. Soon after, a group led by Goldman Sachs, and including BlackRock, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and others purchased a company called Perzo, which became Symphony. An investment from Google certainly gives it additional credibility.
A Symphony spokesperson declined to comment on the Journal’s report. Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.