“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 2/9/2021

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Above the Trend Line: your industry rumor central is a recurring feature of insideAI News. In this column, we present a variety of short time-critical news items grouped by category such as M&A activity, people movements, funding news, industry partnerships, customer wins, rumors and general scuttlebutt floating around the big data, data science and machine learning industries including behind-the-scenes anecdotes and curious buzz. Our intent is to provide you a one-stop source of late-breaking news to help you keep abreast of this fast-paced ecosystem. We’re working hard on your behalf with our extensive vendor network to give you all the latest happenings. Heard of something yourself? Tell us! Just e-mail me at: daniel@insideAINews.com. Be sure to Tweet Above the Trend Line articles using the hashtag: #abovethetrendline.

Let’s get the buzz ball rolling with some new funding news … Iteratively, a SaaS tool that helps data and product teams define, instrument and verify their analytics tracking, announced that it has secured $5.4 million in new capital led by Google’s AI-focused venture fund, Gradient Ventures, with participation from Fika Ventures and early investor PSL Ventures. Zach Bratun-Glennon, Partner at Gradient Ventures, joins the board. Iteratively takes a proactive approach to solving the problem of poor data quality, by helping teams ensure that data quality issues are caught before making their way into production. Solving and preventing issues proactively at the source means data consumers have high quality and trustworthy data that’s ready for use, with no cleaning required. This is significant since analysts and data scientists today waste up to 80% of their time preparing and cleaning data, leaving a minority of time for actual analysis … Granulate, a company providing an autonomous real-time computing workload optimization and cost reduction solution, announced a $30 million Series B funding round, bringing the company’s total amount raised to $45 million. The round was led by Red Dot Capital Partners with the participation of existing investors Insight Partners, TLV Partners, and Hetz Ventures. Dawn Capital also joined the round as a new investor. The Series B is Granulate’s second round of funding over the past ten months, as adoption of the company’s solution has more than tripled since the Series A … Datomize announced the completion of its $6 million seed funding round for the commercialization of its synthetic data solution that accelerates time to market for artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) models and new products that drive business growth. This funding round was led by TPY Capital, as part of its thematic focus on groundbreaking data and analytics startups, with participation from its first investor F2 Venture Capital, which backs visionary big data and AI companies … Today Leadspace announced it has raised $46 million in growth funding led by JVP. The funding validates Leadspace as a front runner in a burgeoning Customer Data Platform (CDP) market that is estimated to generate $2.4 billion in 2020, and expand to $10.3 billion by 2025. Leadspace plans to use the funding to grow the team in both Israel and the U.S. and keep up with the increasing demand they’ve seen in the last year … Touchcast, Inc. a leading virtual experience company, announced it has raised $55 million in series A funding from Accenture Ventures, Alexander Capital Ventures, Saatchi Invest, Ronald Lauder and more. The funding will be used to scale Touchast’s virtual event platform, which combines the power of AI and mixed reality to transform how enterprises communicate and collaborate.

In new M&A activity we heard … Collibra, the Data Intelligence company, announced the acquisition of OwlDQ, a leading provider of predictive data quality software. OwlDQ uses machine learning to detect anomalies in data, to generate data quality rules automatically and to reconcile replication errors. The company helps leading organizations like Constellation and VillageCare make their data cleaner every day. The integration of OwlDQ into the Collibra Data Intelligence Cloud introduces a new offering, Collibra Data Quality, which will allow organizations to centralize and automate data quality workflows to comply with global regulations and streamline their data and analytics processes across the enterprise. 

We also learned of a number of new partnerships, alignments and collaborations … Sinequa, a leader in intelligent search, announced its partnership with vdR Group, a leading engineering, manufacturing, and AEC solutions provider. With a focus on driving digital transformation, Sinequa has built a robust integration with one of vdR Group’s core solutions, CADnection. The partnership will enhance Sinequa’s powerful intelligent search platform, which is already trusted by some of the world’s largest manufacturers … IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Palantir Technologies (NYSE:PLTR) announced a new partnership consisting of IBM’s hybrid cloud data platform designed to deliver AI for business, with Palantir’s next generation operations platform for building applications. The product is expected to simplify how businesses build and deploy AI-infused applications with IBM Watson and help users access, analyze, and take action on the vast amounts of data that is scattered across hybrid cloud environments – without the need for deep technical skills.  The new product, Palantir for IBM Cloud Pak for Data, is planned for general availability in March of 2021 … Alteryx, Inc. (NYSE: AYX), a leader in analytic process automation (APA), and HCL Technologies (HCL), a leading global technology company, announced a global strategic alliance to help companies across the globe succeed in their analytics automation and digital transformation priorities. As part of this strategic engagement, HCL has also been named an Alteryx Elite Alliance Partner … Hybrid cloud data warehouse company Yellowbrick Data announced that g2o has joined the company’s partner program, ensuring that customers in the East North Central U.S. can deploy cloud data warehouse solutions at scale with superior data performance and high-touch human service. Customers can get data insights in real-time from all of their data — regardless of where it is in the cloud, at the edge, and in data centers — to deliver answers where they are most needed, at the best price points in the industry … Olea Edge Analytics, an intelligent edge computing platform for the water utility industry, announced an expanded $3.9 million partnership with the City of Atlanta – Department of Watershed Management that is expected to recover millions of dollars in revenue for the utility by monitoring high-value water meters. The partnership between Olea Edge Analytics and Atlanta began in 2018 as a pilot program that placed Olea Edge Analytics sensors on 20 meters. Those sensors identified malfunctioning high-value water meters and helped the Department of Watershed Management executives prioritize repairs. In three months, Olea had found over a million dollars in recoverable revenue for the water department. Encouraged by those initial results, the program grew to 700 meters, with Atlanta devoting $1 million to the project. In less than 12 months, the program identified $10 million in potential revenue.

In people movement news, we heard … Datos, a global clickstream data provider, is gearing up for success with a new CEO at the helm, sales veteran Eli Goodman. Prior to Joining Datos, Goodman was the VP of Strategic Sales at marketing analytics company Jumpshot. During his time running the sales and partnership teams at Jumpshot, Goodman was responsible for driving over 20MM in annual revenue by early 2020.  His central focus was licensing clickstream data to the most sophisticated data engines on the planet, including, but not limited to, Institutional Finance, Market Research, Management Consulting, and Intelligence platforms of all kinds … Responding to this fast-changing environment, and with an eye to future needs that have yet to emerge, analytical intelligence provider 1010data has appointed a new Chief Product Officer, Jonah Ellin. Jonah brings 25 years of experience across the tech industry, and his credentials include dunnhumby and IRI.  He will step into a visionary role as an information and database architect, to bring 1010data’s Insights Platform to the next level … NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP), a global cloud-led, data-centric software company, announced that Carrie Palin, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Splunk, provider of the Data-to-Everything™ Platform, has joined its Board of Directors. Palin’s appointment aligns with NetApp’s commitment to diversity and a refreshed Board of Directors. This brings the number of directors on the NetApp Board to nine, eight of whom are independent and half of whom have been appointed within the last five years … Sisu, the augmented intelligence solution, announced the appointment of global marketing expert Sun Lee as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). In her role, Lee will report directly to Founder and Chief Executive Officer Peter Bailis and lead all marketing functions at the company. Lee brings extensive industry expertise, most recently from Pure Storage and SurveyMonkey … VAST Data, the storage company breaking decades-old tradeoffs, announced the appointment of three industry leaders to its executive team. VAST is hiring Helen Protopapas as Vice President of Finance, Tom Whaley as Vice President of Sales, and Rick Franke as Vice President of Global Customer Success, Services and Support. The additions come amid accelerated global expansion and customer adoption as the company continues its period of hypergrowth.

In the customer wins department we have … TomTom (TOM2), the location technology specialist, and Precisely, a global leader in data integrity, announced an expansion of their long-standing relationship. TomTom will provide Precisely with its leading map and traffic datasets, helping Precisely customers leverage important context to make better-informed, more confident business decisions. Precisely will use TomTom’s highly accurate map information as well as its historic and real-time traffic data – sourced from over 600 million connected devices. This map and traffic data can help financial services organizations reduce fraud, enable insurance companies to better manage location risk, and improve targeted retail marketing campaigns by providing better customer insights … Mitra QSR, one of the nation’s top-50 franchised restaurant operators with more than 200 KFC and Taco Bell locations, leveraged Hypersonix, a leading enterprise AI platform for consumer commerce industries, to achieve exceptional sales growth despite the many challenges facing Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deep Learning Patent Update – provided by Nelson E. (Nick) Brestoff, J.D., M.S. Exec. Manager Y& Chief Inventor, Intraspexion LLC

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