S&P Global leads $50M investment into Harvard-born Kensho


Kensho Technologies Inc., a Cambridge-based machine learning startup, has raised $50 million and signed a deal with S&P Global Inc. for its investment analytics technology.

S&P led the $50 million Series B funding in a deal that valued Kensho at $500 million. Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Citigroup (NYSE: C) and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) also participated in the funding.

The news of the fundraising deal was first reported by Forbes on Tuesday and confirmed by the Business Journal.

Kensho’s chief operating officer Adam Broun said each of those banks is either using Kensho’s software or testing it in a pilot program.

Founded in 2013 by Harvard Ph.D. student Daniel Nadler, Kensho uses machine learning technology to crawl the huge amount of “unstructured data” – mostly written text – that floods the web. Its algorithms help turn all that information into more structured data that makes up the Kensho Global Event Database.

The company then models the relationship between that information and the stock markets in great detail in its Knowledge Graph, allowing investment researchers to more quickly understand how new events might affect the markets.

Under the partnership with S&P Global (NYSE: SPGI), Kensho will get access to S&P’s market data and the two companies will build new products together. S&P will also take a board observer seat at Kensho.

“The relationship with S&P Global is an excellent strategic fit, and it will deliver new innovations and joint developments to the market,” Nadler, who is also the CEO of Kensho, said in a statement. “The coming era will be looked back upon as the ‘AI era,’ when AI became the defining competitive advantage for corporations, government agencies, and investment professionals alike.”

The new investment money will go in part toward buying more data sets to supplement Kensho’s current pool of information, Broun said in a phone interview, and toward bringing Kensho’s technology to other industries. He didn’t share details about what those industries might be.

Read the source article at The Boston Business Journal.