Japan’s MUFG arm backs $165m Series E round of US messaging app Symphony

New signage for MUFG Bank Ltd., the main banking unit of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., is displayed in front of the bank's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, on Sunday, April 1, 2018. Photographer: Akio Kon/Bloomberg

Financial communication platform Symphony has secured a Series E funding round of $165 million participated by Standard Chartered and  Japan’s MUFG Innovation Partners along with other investors.

This brings Symphony’s total capital raise to date to over $460 million, according to a statement.

Founded in 2014, Palo Alto-headquartered Symphony’s platform is designed to help individuals, teams, and organisations of all sizes improve productivity while meeting complex data security and regulatory compliance needs.

Within four and a half years of its launch, the company, which has offices in Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo, claims to have surpassed 430,000 licensed users from over 60 countries.

It has launched  a new business called Symphony Market Solutions which aims to help customers speed up their digital transformation initiatives via workflow automation along with a suite of standardized, licensable software solutions.

The company said it will use the new capital to evolve its new market solutions business, to accelerate growth in both its current and new markets, and further build out its feature stack to deliver a new wave of innovation to enterprises as they replace traditional collaboration tools.

For MUFG Innovation Partners, which is the investment arm of Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), the investment is the latest deal made from its reported $185-million CVC fund, which targets fintech startups in Japan and overseas.

“Digital transformation is central to Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group’s future business, and collaboration with Fintech companies is a crucial part of that process. Forming agile partnerships with exciting and innovative companies like Symphony helps us remain a partner of choice in a changing world,” said MUFG Innovation Partners  President and CEO Nobutake Suzuki.

Symphony founder and CEO David Gurlé described the participation of the new backers as an “unprecedented coalition of East and West, North to South and unites fragmented communication infrastructure into a mission-critical secure and compliant collaboration platform”.

MUFG becomes the latest banking giant to back Symphony, which counts 15 of the world’s biggest lenders among its investors, including Bank of America, HSBC, Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas.

Prior to this latest funding round, Symphony had raised a $63 million round in 2017 in a deal that valued the company at over $1 billion, according to TechCrunch.