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Soros, Innovation Endeavors Provide Fresh Funding for AlphaSense

AlphaSense uses AI to help asset managers quickly analyze millions of documents.

AlphaSense has attracted $50 million from investors including Soros Fund Management and Innovation Endeavors, in a fresh round of funding that will help the company expand its artificial-intelligence-powered offering for asset managers.

Innovation Endeavors, the venture capital firm co-founded by former Google chief executive officer Eric Schmidt, led the series B funding, said AlphaSense co-founder and CEO Jack Kokko in a phone interview. He said Soros Fund Management, the family office of George Soros, participated in the deal along with other existing backers.

AlphaSense, which initially targeted hedge funds as clients, now provides offerings for long-only fund managers, investment banks, large companies, and pensions, according to Kokko. The company’s AI-powered search engine provides an information edge by quickly and efficiently scraping data from a mix of sources including public documents, brokerage research, and news publications, he said.

It’s all about “risk mitigation and idea generation,” said Kokko, who co-founded AlphaSense in 2011. He said pension funds are beginning to use the company’s search engine for due diligence on asset managers, while fund managers want data analysis that will inform their investment bets. 

AlphaSense uses AI to analyze billions of data points from more than 100 million documents, including filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and publications that may require a subscription, according to Kokko. The company may recommend content to clients, suggest an investment thesis, or let them know what’s trending in their industry, he said.

Last month, the firm began providing sentiment analysis to alert investors to positive or negative communication from companies, or coverage of them that may suggest good or difficult times ahead for earnings, according to Kokko. As part of that analysis, AlphaSense uses natural language processing technology to interpret speech in earnings call transcripts.

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Soros Fund Management led the series A funding for AlphaSense in 2016, which included capital from Tribeca Venture Partners and Triangle Peak Partners, according to the co-founder. The financing led by Innovation brings the company’s total funding to more than $90 million.

Schmidt co-founded Innovation Endeavors in 2010, according to the venture capital firm’s website. The firm has backed companies such as Uber Technologies and Social Finance, the online lender known as SoFi, the website shows.

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