Wall Street made an ambitious, $300 million bet to build a challenger to Bloomberg — here's how it's getting on

SymphonySymphony CEO David Gurle.


Wall Street’s $US300 million bet on a new messaging platform to displace Bloomberg has gained hundreds of thousands of users but is still struggling to get people to make deals on the platform.

That’s one of the findings from BI’s in-depth investigation into Symphony, the four-year-old startup backed by top-tier banks such as Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan.

Touted as a “Bloomberg killer” in the press when it launched, Symphony is headed by a long-time communication industry veteran and has raised almost $US300 million from a host of bluechip backers. The company has offices around the world and over 300,000 users today.

But questions remain about who is using and for what. One of the main reasons banks wanted the project to succeed was to cut down on their expensive $US24,000-a-year Bloomberg habit. But analysts and traders told Business Insider that traders are reluctant to give up their terminals. Back office staff are adopting Symphony but they didn’t have Bloomberg terminals in the first place. As a result, some of the savings hoped for aren’t materialising.

Symphony hopes “bots” on its platform and continued support from the banks who have invested can help it overcome this hurdle. But in the meantime, it is looking to other markets to help support its reported $US1 billion valuation.

The company has held high-level talks with the EU about becoming the secure messaging platform for the eurozone’s government and also hopes to break into industries such as law and medicine.

These insights and more are included in BI’s full Symphony investigation, available exclusively to BI Prime members. The story is based on 3-months of investigation and conversations with over 35 sources.

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