NEW YORK, Jan. 22, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kensho, a pioneer in cloud-based intelligent computer systems capable of answering complex financial and market research questions posed in natural language, today announced that it has completed the first phase of development of 'Warren,' the company's groundbreaking virtual market research assistant, and that it has secured $10 million in seed funding from General Catalyst, NEA, Accel Partners, Google Ventures, Devonshire Investors (the private equity arm affiliated with Fidelity Investments), and other VCs.
Kensho designed Warren to shorten traditional investment research cycles from days to minutes. The system was built by several veteran software engineers from Google Inc. and Apple Inc., including one of the original engineers on the first iPhone team. Warren can currently answer a million distinct types of natural language questions about the impact of global events on asset prices, such as, "What happens to the share prices of energy companies when oil trades above $100 a barrel and political unrest has recently occurred in the Middle East?"
Warren is also the first professional-grade financial research and analytics platform built completely on NASDAQ OMX FinQloud, a secure cloud computing platform designed exclusively for the financial services sector.
Daniel Nadler, CEO of Kensho, commented: "If you look at what Apple is doing with 'Siri,' what IBM is doing with 'Watson,' and what Google is doing with 'Now,' it is clear that the most powerful technology companies are investing immense resources to make virtual intelligent assistants ubiquitous before the end of the decade. Until now, we haven't seen systems optimized for finance—one of the largest industries in the world. Kensho is dedicated to the idea that communicating in natural language with intelligent computer systems which serve as virtual personal assistants will form the leading edge of global innovation over the next half-decade, and will transform not just the consumer space, but industries from medicine and finance to energy and defense as well. We are delighted to receive continued support from so many premier venture capital firms and investors, and this funding will significantly expand our capacity to support a growing number of the best and most experienced engineers in the world in their development of Warren."
Nadler added, "We are delighted and to work closely with like-minded firms such as NASDAQ OMX, which has provided critical operational support to our development of Warren."
In honor of the funding announcement, as well as Kensho's deep relationship with NASDAQ OMX FinQloud, Kensho, Inc. will visit the NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square to ring the Closing Bell today.
"Building a virtual market research assistant who you can talk investment ideas over with, and to whom you can express complicated, multi-conditional questions that draw on both structured and unstructured data (from the history of all asset prices to encyclopedias of global events) constitutes one of the most significant engineering challenges in the history of financial technology" Nadler said. "It will require that an intelligent computer system read millions of pages of natural language documents and have total recall of petabytes of financial data, analyzing the cross-implications in a matter of seconds. Computing these massive datasets in near real-time, and performing split-second investment analysis by searching for correlations between unstructured and structured data is extremely computationally intensive, and will require sophisticated distributed computing environments. In overcoming this colossal technical challenge we are pleased to continue our deep relationship with NASDAQ OMX FinQloud, which augments our cloud-computing infrastructure with the additional financial technology necessary to meet the very specific security and regulatory obligations of financial services."
"NASDAQ OMX FinQloud offers a platform for innovation and an ecosystem for financial services community using cloud technology," said Julia Sears, Associate Vice President of FinQloud at NASDAQ OMX. "We are pleased to host Kenshō as our relationship enables FinQloud to serve not only as the financial technology infrastructure but also as a destination where analytics may be provided seamlessly to investors."
Kensho is bringing the intelligent assistant revolution to finance with user-friendly interactive research environments that combine cloud computing with graphical user interfaces and natural language querying capabilities, allowing financial professionals to perform sophisticated empirical analyses in a fraction of the time spent by institutional research teams today, and without writing code. The Kensho team is made up of world-class software engineers who came to Kensho from Google Inc. and Apple Inc. (including one of the original engineers on the first iPhone team), as well as Wall Street veterans, PhD physicists, and economists.
For more information please visit: www.kensho.com.
Kensho Contact: Ian Brady