Sunday, June 24

S&P Global buys AI analytics startup Kensho for $550mn

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S&P Global is buying Kensho Technologies for some $550 million for a mix of cash and stock. The deal is expected to close in late Q1 or early Q2.

The AI startup provides advanced analytics to Wall Street and national intelligence services. It will continue to operate independently in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and S&P Global reported that Kensho CEO Daniel Nadler will now report to S&P Global CFO Ewout Steenbergen.

“The additional resources of S&P Global, one of the world’s cornerstone data companies, will accelerate Kensho’s research and development of advanced artificial intelligence technologies for both Wall Street and the national security mission,” Nadler said in a statement.

Kensho’s machine learning systems crawl vast amounts of data that move markets to analyze correlations between world events and their impact on financial assets. It also develops analytics platforms and tools, next-generation data visualization environments, and big data-based leading indicators of macroeconomic trends.

And its “Global Event Database & Knowledge Graph” constructs a comprehensive, living graph model of world events.

The deal values Kensho at a premium to a $50 million funding round last year, in which S&P Global was a lead investor joined by Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, BAML, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Wells Fargo, according to media reports.

In January, State Street launched three ETFs based on Kensho’s technology, which tracks “smart”: infrastructures such as power and water grids; mobility like autonomous vehicles and drones; and military applications such as robotics and space technology.

S&P Global sells ratings, benchmarks, analytics and data to global capital and commodity markets. In 2017, it launched a fintech fund that invested in London-based fixed income data provider Algomi and alternative data technology company Ursa Space Systems.

And last month, the ratings agency announced its intention to acquire Panjiva, a fintech that provides analysis from a large, unstructured dataset covering the global supply chain.

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