AlphaSense Merges with Sentieo

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Last week, AlphaSense, a New York-based specialized search engine targeted to corporate customers, announced that it has completed the acquisition of San Francisco-based Sentieo, the financial intelligence platform designed to meet the research needs of investors.  Details of the deal were not disclosed.

Background on the Merger

Last week, New York-based search engine AlphaSense, announced that it has completed the acquisition of Sentieo, the AI-based financial intelligence platform specifically designed for the research needs of investors.  Sentieo will operate under its current management as a wholly owned subsidiary of AlphaSense.

Founded in 2011, AlphaSense has been providing search and market intelligence to a rapidly expanding customer base of 1800+ enterprise customers, including the majority of S&P 500 companies, and leading companies across wide-ranging industries such as pharmaceuticals, energy, industrials, consumer goods, and technology.  In October 2021, AlphaSense raised $180 mln led by Viking Global Investors and Goldman Sachs Asset Management.  Later that month, AlphaSense acquired Stream, a library of interview transcripts with industry experts.

Founded by former hedge fund analyst Alep Shah and his brother Naman in late 2011, Sentieo is a financial research engine designed for investors.  Sentieo is currently used by over 1,000 customers, including 800 institutional investment firms.  Leveraging machine learning and natural language processing capabilities, Sentieo’s platform and workflow capabilities enable fund managers to more easily locate key information, share findings, collaborate, and streamline investment research workflows.  In May 2021, the firm raised a $20 mln Series B funding round led by fintech private equity firm Ten Coves Capital, with participation from existing investors Centana Growth Partners and Studio Management. 

Jack Kokko, co-founder and CEO of AlphaSense explained the merger, saying “With our acquisition of Sentieo, we are excited to accelerate our shared mission to deliver market-leading technology and insights that enable knowledge professionals to make critical decisions with confidence and speed.  We have been impressed by what the Sentieo team has built and their strong technical capability, innovation, and customer focus. We are excited to join forces, and I am confident that this partnership will help us both significantly improve the value we provide to our customers and the innovation we deliver to the whole industry.”

The two companies will operate independently under current management and will continue to deliver the same products and services to their customers. Over time, the two companies’ products will be enhanced with additional functionality and content based on the companies’ collective capabilities. The acquisition allows AlphaSense to further accelerate its product development based on the combined strengths of the two firms’ development teams.

Our Take

AlphaSense’s $180 mln capital raise closed in late 2021 has enabled the firm to recently expand its content, technology and product development expertise, as well as its customer base through a series of acquisitions – first of Stream and now of Sentieo.

Writing about the acquisition, AlphaSense CEO Jack Kokko explained about the strategic rationale for the acquisition, saying “Both Sentieo and AlphaSense not only share a closely-aligned mission, but also a strong product-led mindset, a drive for rapid innovation, and a customer-obsessed mentality. While Sentieo will operate independently, the partnership allows us to further accelerate the growth of both companies. Sentieo’s technologies, product, and team are among the best we’ve seen, and I am confident that this collaboration will enable us to create even more value for our users.”

Following its 2021 capital raise CEO Jack Kokko said AlphaSense was on a path to an IPO.  At the time, Kokko said the company was planning to invest the proceeds from the latest raise into product development by doubling the workforce in its product development operations.  In addition, AlphaSense outlined two strategic priorities: increasing content and enhancing its intelligent search features. The firm is seeking to diversify its content in terms of geography and language, and offer more industry-specific content through distribution deals and acquisitions.

Given these plans, and the firm’s ready capital, we would not be surprised to see AlphaSense acquire other companies in the coming few years that can provide access to unique content, technology expertise, or a unique geographical footprint.

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About Author

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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