Wall Street eyes Perzo for new trading chat function
Wall Street investors could see startup Perzo as their first step towards a new web chat function for financial traders.
In the fast-paced world of financial trading, having channels for rapid communication is vital. As a result many traders might take for granted their access to Instant Bloomberg, a messaging platform that traders have been using to inform their work for some time. But reports suggest that some of Wall Street’s biggest investors are thinking of building an alternative.
Goldman Sachs, BlackRock and a group of other major players are apparently eyeing tech startup Perzo, an instant messaging service based in California’s Palo Alto. If the firm is sold to a group of these major investors, it is expected that it will be put to use as part of a plan to develop a new messaging service to compete with Bloomberg’s offering.
With an investment somewhere between $40 million (£23.75 million) and $50 million potentially at stake, it’s a bold move.
It may not shake up the way traders do business – it appears they would do the same work but simply use a different platform to communicate in real time. But it would have the effect of breaking Bloomberg’s dominant position in Wall Street.
Bloomberg’s information terminals cost $20,000 per year, the Wall Street Journal reports, which has not been ideal for some firms forced to make cutbacks. But another major issue has been the closed nature of the system, meaning that some companies have been seeking options that can be customised more freely.
However, the crux of the issue for many firms lies in allegations last year that Bloomberg journalists had accessed information regarding how staff were using trading floor terminals. A report found nothing to suggest reporters had actually used the terminals, but by that point relations were already damaged.
Goldman Sachs has been working on its own platform for some time, but the rumoured Babble system has yet to get off the ground. Perzo’s expertise could inject new life into the development.
What’s more, since firms are seeking to move away from the dominance of a single company in the shape of Bloomberg, a messaging system with the backing of several companies is also likely to be more popular.