March 6, 2018

Kensho Acquisition S&P Global Makes Largest A.I. Deal In History

Daniel Nadler, the CEO and founder of artificial intelligence start-up Kensho , kicks off a pair of Ugg boots and sits cross legged on a chair in his boardroom on the 46th New York’s One World Trade Center as a powerful nor’easter rages outside.

The scene, like the name Kensho (to see nature) is intentionally Zen: Nadler wears prayer beads on each wrist, drinks green tea from a cast iron Japanese pot and eats oranges, precisely sliced, from black earthenware bowl. There is a Buddha on one wall. Yet, all this meditative calm betrays the frantic pace in which Nadler has grown and evolved the tech start-up.

Nadler launched Kensho five years ago out of the kitchenette of venture firm, General Catalyst, in Cambridge while simultaneously finishing a mathematics PhD. at Harvard. Fast forward to today and Nadler is selling the company (now 120 plus employees strong and profitable) to S&P Global SPGI +0.33% for $550 million–the largest price on an A.I. company to date. Despite the sale, Kensho will remain a stand alone brand, with Nadler remaining at the helm.

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