Transactions

June 2021
Palo Alto, CA
Has acquired
a porfolio company of
New York, NY


Background

Symphony Communications Services (“Symphony”), the financial markets infrastructure and technology provider backed by more than a dozen global financial firms including Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Barclays and Wells Fargo that has raised $510mm to date, provides a fully integrated platform designed to standardize, automate and innovate financial services workflows. By connecting a community of over a half million financial professionals from 500+ market participants – Symphony’s network powers connectivity & efficiency globally. 

Having advised on a number of transactions within the B2B capital markets technology – as well as a number of engagements with large strategic market participants – Marlin & Associates (“M&A”) was well positioned to advise Symphony as it looked for opportunities to bring more functionality onto their platform.

 



M&A organized a dedicated team to work closely with Symphony management to identify, evaluate and form an opinion on strategic fit of several potential target firms including valuation and appropriate transaction structuring. 

With M&A’s guidance, Symphony carefully vetted Cloud9 from a strategic fit, growth and financial performance perspective to assure the acquisition of Cloud9 remained accretive and on-strategy. 

Amongst others we looked at, Cloud9 Technologies (“Cloud9”) provides a cloud-based voice communications and analytics platform designed for the unique needs of the financial markets. Cloud9 developed a solution that harnesses the voice communications talk path for the trading floor of the future – offering more functionality and analytic insight than legacy hardware at an overall lower total cost of ownership. 

With agreement, Symphony acquired Cloud9 to extend existing front-office communications capabilities into the trader voice space while also combining Cloud9 functionality with natural language processing (NLP) and automation to accelerate trade flows, improve transactional accuracy and extend back-office and remote worker use-cases.

M&A acted as the exclusive strategic and financial advisor to Symphony on it’s acquisition of Cloud9. M&A leveraged its deep domain expertise to conduct a rigorous review of Cloud9 materials to evaluate strategic fit, valuation and appropriate valuation structuring. 

Given the amount of intuitional investors involved in the transaction – structuring was complex and M&A lead the financial and scenario  analyses between a number of alternative structuring options as well.

Symphony to lead financial market communications with the acquisition of Cloud9 Technologies

June 24, 2021

New York and London, 24 June 2021 – Symphony – the leading financial markets’ infrastructure and technology platform – has acquired the trader voice and electronic communication company Cloud9 Technologies (Cloud9). With this acquisition, Symphony will take the lead in front office communications with new services and solutions combining trader voice with natural language processing (NLP) and automation. The combined offering will accelerate trade flows, improve transactional accuracy, and extend back office and remote worker use-cases.

“Symphony is building on our solid technology foundation and global network as we seek to tackle true pain points in markets’ workflows. With this acquisition, Symphony takes the lead in the nascent market communications space and brings mission-critical trader voice capabilities to the Symphony platform, by adding C9’s features to our secure and compliant communication stack, with chat, voice and video meetings, file and screen sharing.  Our combined capabilities will allow for more integrated and immediate conversational workflows, and front office users will be better served,” said Symphony’s chief executive officer, Brad Levy.

In the last year, Symphony solidified its position in financial services as critical markets’ infrastructure, while Cloud9 established itself as a leading cloud voice platform for financial markets. The combined capabilities of the two companies will reshape how market participants interact as well as unlock meaningful and innovative workflow and data analytics solutions. Symphony’s full front-office communication solutions will enable connectivity to both remote and in-office financial services professionals while offering a high-quality trader voice communications experience to its global user community.

“Six years ago, Cloud9 set out to change how trader voice services were delivered to the modern trading desk. As messaging had already impacted the trading communications workflow, we felt the value of voice communications in fast and complex trading scenarios would be renewed by leveraging cloud delivery to create a community of users and provide them with the tools to communicate verbally. The Cloud9 team is excited to join forces with Symphony. It is clear to us that the collective capabilities of our organizations will further drive value to the financial services community, enhancing and accelerating the delivery of secure cloud-based multi-modal communications. We are excited about the future together for our company and the industry”, said Gerald Starr, CEO of Cloud9 Technologies.

The acquisition of Cloud9 Technologies is expected to be the first of several acquisitions for Symphony. Levy has previously shared that Symphony would buy, partner with, or acquire strategic assets for the company and the industry, as reported by InsiderFinancial News and Asian Private Banker. Symphony is now positioned to deliver the next wave of markets’ communication solutions.

Marlin & Associates and Goodwin were financial and legal advisers, respectively, to Symphony, while Broadhaven and Wilmer Hale were financial and legal advisers, respectively, to Cloud9 in this transaction. Financial details of this transaction have not been disclosed.


About Symphony 

Symphony is the most secure and compliant markets’ infrastructure and technology platform, where solutions are built or integrated to standardize, automate and innovate financial services workflows. The Symphony platform is a vibrant community of over half a million financial professionals from 500+ market participants with a trusted directory. It is powering over 2,000 community built applications and bots. The company was founded in 2014 and has raised $510 million from institutional investors. For more information, visit www.symphony.com.

About Cloud9 Technologies

Cloud9 Technologies is the leading voice communication and analytics platform designed for the unique needs of the financial markets. Cloud9 developed a solution that harnesses the voice communication talk path for the trading floor of the future – offering more functionality and analytic insight than legacy hardware at a fraction of the cost. Cloud9 connects counterparties across all asset classes via a cloud-based communication platform that eliminates the infrastructure and expense associated with legacy hardware and telecommunication-based solutions, with front-office focused data and transcription, purpose-built for the financial markets. For more information, visit www.c9tec.com.

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