UPDATE 1-AI software firm 6sense valued at $5.2 bln after SoftBank joins funding round

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Jan 20 (Reuters) - Artificial intelligence-driven software firm 6sense said on Thursday it was valued at $5.2 billion after a late-stage funding round that included SoftBank Vision Fund 2 as new investor.

San Francisco-based 6sense, which helps enterprises grow their revenue and customer engagement by analyzing sales and marketing data, was last valued at $2.1 billion in March 2021 following a $125 million Series D funding.

"Our growth continues to outpace every competitor in our category, and customers consistently rave about the exceptional results they see with 6sense," Chief Executive Officer Jason Zintak said in a statement.

Interest in such software companies from venture capital firms and investors has been growing due to the pandemic-driven shift to hybrid working and sustained demand for remote productivity services.

The companies' frenetic pace of fund raising is expected to continue this year, as cash with these firms remains at an all-time high, and returns outpace all other asset classes, according to a report from PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association.

6sense said it raised $200 million in the latest funding round, led by new investors Blue Owl and MSD Partners with participation from Tiger Global, Franklin Templeton, Insight Partners, D1 Capital Partners and Sapphire Ventures.

Founded in 2013, 6sense counts major companies such as Cognizant, Dell Technologies, Qualtrics International and Baker Hughes Co as customers.

The new fundraise brings the total capital raised by 6sense since its inception to $426 million, the company said. (Reporting by Manya Saini and Sohini Podder in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M. and Maju Samuel)