Goldman group set to buy Perzo message startup

Free, open-source application seen as alternative to Bloomberg

A sign of US bank Goldman Sachs on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. EPA/JUSTIN LANE

A sign of US bank Goldman Sachs on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. EPA/JUSTIN LANE

 

Wall Street firms led by Goldman Sachs Group are close to buying a stake in chat and instant messaging startup Perzo in pursuit of an alternative to a similar application from Bloomberg, sources familiar with Goldman’s plans said.

Banks are trying to cut costs as sluggish trading volumes and higher regulation weigh on revenues. Bloomberg has dominated messaging on Wall Street for years, but its application is part of a data, trading and news terminal that costs about $20,000 a year. The Perzo applications are free.

Several banks and asset managers are considering an investment in Perzo, including Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America Corp, Deutsche Bank, HSBC Holdings, BlackRock and the hedge fund Maverick Capital, said two sources briefed on the matter who declined to comment publicly.

The companies, which have received term sheets for the deal, declined to comment.

Goldman Sachs and Bloomberg also both declined to comment for this story.

Open-source

Palo AltoDavid Gurle

Perzo’s application is open-source, meaning customers can plug it into their systems and alter it as they see fit, whereas Bloomberg customers have to buy the entire terminal.

Banks have been looking for messaging alternatives to Bloomberg’s closed system for years and have had limited success because the Bloomberg system is used by so many on Wall Street. –(Reuters)