Google preparing to invest in Symphony messaging service

Google is set to provide financial backing to messaging startup Symphony Communication Services, as fundraising talks continue.

Symphony is primarily aimed at users working in the financial services industries and could provide serious competition to the likes of Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters. The messaging app enables users to access all of their digital communications via one central platform.

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According to the company website, the team behind Symphony describes its vision as delivering “the next wave in organisational productivity where markets and individuals come together to create vibrant communities in which to share content, insights and opinions without compromising on organisational compliance.”

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google’s undisclosed investment in Symphony values the company at approximately $650 million. A group of 14 banks led by Goldman Sachs and including JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America also made a $66 million investment in the service last October.

Bankers, investors and other individuals in the finance industry have traditionally used terminals provided by either Bloomberg or Thomson Reuters to view real-time financial market data, but the cost of these can prove prohibitive, particularly for smaller businesses. While these terminals are valued at thousands of dollars a year per customer, Symphony is available for just $15 per user per month for businesses with more than 50 users, and is free for smaller firms.

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As well as enabling employees to view news stories and data relevant to the finance industry, Symphony’s messaging platform allows members of staff to communicate and collaborate more effectively.