AlphaSense Raises $50 mln Series B Funding Round Led by Innovation Endeavors

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AI-powered information search provider for corporate and investor clients, AlphaSense, Inc., announced today that it has secured $50 mln in Series B funding led by Innovation Endeavors and Soros Fund Management.

Latest Investment Round

Founded in 2011, AlphaSense provides a sophisticated search engine to over 1,000 clients leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to help investment and corporate professionals find and make use of critical unstructured information.  The firm enables users to search, navigate and analyze key data points, trends and themes across hundreds of thousands of global companies sourced from more than 100 mln documents.

The current investment round totaled $50 mln and was led by Innovation Endeavors and a Soros Fund Management’s private investment vehicle.  AlphaSense has now raised more than $90 mln in four funding rounds.  In March 2016, AlphaSense raised $33 mln in a Venture round, led by Quantum Strategic Partners and Tribecca Venture Partners.

Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, and Founding Partner of Innovation Endeavors explained this latest investment, “Information is the currency of business today, but data is overwhelming and fragmented, making it difficult for business professionals to find the right insights to drive key business decisions.  We were impressed by the way AlphaSense solves this with its AI and search technology, allowing businesses to proceed with the confidence that they have the right information driving their strategy.”

“At AlphaSense, we are committed to providing a transformative solution to a problem that affects all large companies across every industry,” said Jack Kokko, CEO and Co-founder of AlphaSense. “We are excited to have our approach validated by Eric Schmidt and the Innovation Endeavors team, and remain focused on helping knowledge workers worldwide acquire critical business insights and data with great speed and confidence.”

Our Take

The most obvious question about AlphaSense’s latest capital raise is how do they plan to use the new capital?  Company management explained that they intend to continue their aggressive plans to expand their AI capabilities and enhance their product suite with improved sentiment measures and identifying relevant themes for various public and private companies.

According to LinkedIn, over the past two years AlphaSense has grown their staff by 100% from 91 employees in July 2017 to 181 employees currently.  Management explained they plan to continue this employee growth over the coming few years, particularly in software engineering and sales.  In fact, according to LinkedIn, AlphaSense currently has over 62 job openings, including 12 positions in sales and 11 positions in engineering.

Approximately half of AlphaSense’s 1000 enterprise clients are from the financial services market while the other half are from large nonfinancial corporations.  The firm’s management acknowledged that they plan to continue to try to grow their corporate client base.  Fortunately, the firm has not had to change their product offering much to serve this market, though serving specific industry verticals has created more domain expertise regarding appropriate terminology which has benefitted investor clients as well.  AlphaSense intends to continue to expand marketing to corporate enterprises – a move that will require increased sales and marketing talent.

We must tip our hats off to the AlphaSense team to be able to attract a lead investor like Eric Schmidt and Innovation Endeavors for their AI-driven search engine platform.  Clearly, given the amount of capital raised everyone is looking for AlphaSense to grow into a significant enterprise.  The big question is how can AlphaSense best scale its business.  Given the war chest the firm has built, we would not be surprised if it were to look at acquisitions as a way to speed up its growth on top of the various organic initiatives it has in mind.  It certainly will be an interesting story to watch in the coming years.

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Mike Mayhew is one of the leading experts on the investment research industry. In addition to founding Integrity Research, Mike is on the board of directors of Investorside Research Association, the non-profit trade association for the independent research industry, and a frequent speaker on research industry trends and developments. Mike has over thirty years of research industry experience. Email: Michael.Mayhew@integrity-research.com

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