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Wall Street-focused AI startup acquired for $550 million

Illustration: Caresse Haaser, Rebecca Zisser / Axios

S&P Global has agreed to acquire Kensho, a Cambridge, Mass.-based provider of AI-powered analytics for traders, for around $550 million in cash and stock.

Why it matters: This appears to be the largest-ever purchase of an AI startup, topping Google's 2014 deal for DeepMind.

Caveat: It's effectively a flat price from where Kensho raised its last round of funding one year ago (a round that S&P Global led).

  • Per an S&P spokesman: "On a fully diluted basis, including the cash acquired, it was a modest premium to the last round of funding."
  • Earlier backers included Breyer Capital, Xfund, General Catalyst and Goldman Sachs.

Bottom line, per Forbes: Kensho's goal is to "use machine learning to make complex financial analysis as easy as a search on Google."

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