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Symphony Raises $100 Million From New Investors Including -- Yes -- Google

The secure messaging service aimed at investment bankers has raised $165 million so far.

Via Symphony

Messaging startup Symphony has raised more than $100 million in a new round of funding from investors including Internet giant Google, the company will announce on Monday.

Other participants include Switzerland-based bank UBS, Lakestar, the European VC firm and two French investment banks, including Société Générale and Natixis. Prior investors such as Merus Capital also participated.

The funding pushes Symphony’s total capital raised to north of $165 million and elevates its valuation to a reported $650 million. The company’s earlier investors are a consortium of 15 financial companies including Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan and Citi.

Symphony has built a cloud-based messaging service that uses advanced encryption technology to secure communications. It is aimed primarily at financial companies, which are required by law to keep copies of their messages for several years in case regulators or law enforcement ever need them for an investigation. It launched its first product on September 15.

CEO David Gurlé told Re/code that Symphony had originally sought to raise only $50 million, but demand from investors was high enough that the company opted to double the size of the round. Gurlé said the money will fund an expansion in hiring and a reach into global markets. It will also give Symphony the capital to consider acquisitions, he said.

Google was first reported to be in talks to participate in the funding round last week.

“Google’s participation will help us evolve the company beyond the financial services realm,” Gurlé said.

Google is also Symphony’s first strategic investor from outside the financial industry. The deal follows Google’s hiring last March of Ruth Porat, a Morgan Stanley veteran, as its CFO. Since then Google has signaled a new interest in financial products, including a payments service within its Gmail email service and a mortgage comparison offering within search results.

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