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Symphony Raises $100 Million as Google Joins Backers

  • List of backers expands to 21 financial and venture firms
  • Funding may set valuation at $650 million, according to report

Google Inc. participated in an investment of more than $100 million in Symphony Communication Services LLC in a fundraising round that saw backers of the messaging startup expand to include three more investment banks and venture capital firm Lakestar LP.

UBS Group AG, Natixis SA and Societe Generale SA also joined the list of Symphony investors, which now comprises 21 financial and venture capital firms, including original backers Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., according to a statement Monday from the company. It didn’t specify a valuation. The Wall Street Journal reported Oct. 5 that Google’s investment would value the firm at about $650 million.

Symphony’s Wall Street backers are seeking to challenge communications and data firms including Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP and Thomson Reuters Corp. At the same time, Google has been reorganizing its business to pursue new endeavors. Its chief financial officer, Ruth Porat, previously was CFO at Morgan Stanley, one of Symphony’s original backers.

“This financing is a vote of confidence in Symphony’s value proposition and benefits to business users,” David Gurle, Symphony’s founder and chief executive officer, said in the statement.

Symphony raised $66 million in an earlier fundraising, and a group of existing investors including Merus Capital participated in the latest round as well, according to the statement.

(Corrects to remove reference to Google leading fundraising round in first paragraph.)

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