“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 1/9/2017

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Above the Trend Line: machine learning industry rumor central, is a recurring feature of insideBIGDATA. In this column, we present a variety of short time-critical news items such as people movements, funding news, financial results, industry alignments, 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 our readers a one-stop source of late-breaking news to help keep you 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@insidebigdata.com.  Be sure to Tweet Above the Trend Line articles using the hashtag: #abovethetrendline.

Welcome to 2017! After a brief year-end hiatus, we’re back with more big data industry scuttlebutt for your pleasure. We see 2017 as the “Year of Intelligence” with AI and deep learning technologies leading the way. Let’s get the ball rolling with with some exciting M&A news starting with DataStax, a leading provider of database software for cloud applications based on Apache Cassandra™, announcing the acquisition of DataScale, a provider of cloud-based management services for data infrastructure.

At DataStax, we recognize that delivering cloud applications at a global scale is critically important, and that’s why we’ve decided to introduce a fully-managed, comprehensive data service offering to help our customers transform their businesses even faster,” said Billy Bosworth, CEO, DataStax. “DataStax is thrilled to welcome to our team the experienced engineers and senior leaders at DataScale. Together we will accelerate our customers’ ability to deliver cloud applications that provide real-time value, by offering another powerful option for deploying and managing those systems at epic scale.”

NETGEAR, Inc. (NASDAQ:NTGR), a global networking company that delivers innovative products to consumers, businesses and service providers, announced that it has acquired Placemeter, Inc., an industry leader in computer vision analytics. Placemeter’s world-class engineering talent will be integrated into NETGEAR’s Arlo Smart Home Security team, and their proprietary computer vision algorithms will be used to build leading video analytics solutions for the Arlo platform … Qlik®, a leader in visual analytics, announced it has acquired Idevio, a provider of geographical-related software and services and a Sweden-based Qlik partner. This acquisition not only extends Qlik’s current mapping capabilities, but also moves its offerings beyond visualization with support for a broad range of advanced geoanalytic use cases. Using patented technology that compresses and streams mapping data, both Qlik Sense® and QlikView® customers now have the ability to expose hidden geographic relationships, offering greater insight, better decisions, and higher ROI. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed … Xplenty, the data integration platform helping organizations make raw data “analytics-ready,” announced it has received $4 million in funding from Bain Capital Ventures, Rembrandt Venture Partners and True Ventures. Existing Xplenty investors Magma Venture Partners and Waarde Capital also participated in the round. The investment will allow Xplenty to continue to grow globally and develop new platform capabilities. To date, Xplenty has raised more than $7 million. In addition to its new investment, Xplenty has also announced the acquisition of Driven, Inc. Driven is a leader in big data application infrastructure, delivering platforms that help enterprises create, deploy, run and manage data applications at scale. As more organizations seek to operationalize data to enhance business outcomes, Driven’s technologies make data-driven application development, execution and management simpler, faster and smarter. The funding did not include the acquisition price of Driven. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In new funding news, we heard that GridGain Systems, provider of enterprise-grade in-memory computing solutions based on Apache® Ignite™, revealed the close of its oversubscribed Series B funding round with a $4 million strategic investment from a multibillion-dollar global telecommunications company, as well as a sub-$1 million investment from Broadway Angels. The investments close the Series B financing round announced in February of this year, bringing the total Series B funding to $16.3 million. The additional funds will be used to continue expanding the company’s global sales and marketing efforts and to increase investment in research and development. GridGain Systems has averaged triple-digit annual sales growth during the past three years, recently expanded into Europe, and made successful inroads in financial services, fintech, software, e-commerce, retail, online business services, healthcare, telecom and other major sectors … NGDATA®, the customer experience management solutions company, announced that it has closed $9.4 million of venture funding, bringing the total Series B round to roughly $20 million. Idinvest Partners led the round with participation from existing investors including Pamica, SmartFin Capital, Capricorn Venture Partners, Nausicaa Ventures, and angel investors. The latest investment serves as a significant validation of the company’s business growth and increasing demand for NGDATA’s customer experience operating system, Lily Enterprise™. The funds will be used to accelerate sales and marketing, product innovation and acquisitions.

In the new partnerships, alignments and collaboration category, we learned that Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE: PBI), a global technology company that provides innovative products and solutions to power commerce, announced that it has joined Hortonworks Partnerworks in the Modern Data Solutions (MDS) partner program to enhance data management and analytics for clients so that they may be able to leverage the power of a Big Data platform. Clients will now have access to data quality, advanced geospatial foundation and geo-enrichment capabilities that will result in faster, more scalable business insight. Through the partnership Pitney Bowes will deploy its data quality and geospatial capabilities, which recently achieved Hortonworks Certification. These data quality and geospatial capabilities are critical in driving business transformation and outcomes in a data-driven world. Location-based data, in particular, plays an important role in how businesses understand their customers because it is one of the most consistent ways to link people, places and things … Logtrust™, the Real-time Big Data-in-Motion firm for Fast Data, Big Data analytics, and Panda Security, a leader in cloud-based security solutions, announced the availability of the Advanced Reporting Tool (ART), which automatically generates security intelligence that allows organizations to pinpoint attacks and unusual behaviors, and detect internal misuse of systems and networks. ART’s unique capabilities enable calculations, graphical visualization and alerts that allow companies to secure all vulnerable end-points, including those associated with IoT networks and devices.

There’s been a lot of chatter in the industry about the ongoing attacks on exposed MongoDB databases. Zohar Alon, Co-Founder and CEO for Dome9 offered us the following observation:

User errors coupled with weak security practices continue to jeopardize workloads running in cloud environments. In the public cloud, one strike is all it takes to bring a business to its knees. Security in a cloud environment has to be designed in layers, starting with policies that minimize the attack surface by eliminating unnecessary asset exposure.”

And finally, our Vendor of the Week is Kinetica, provider of the fast, in-memory database accelerated by GPUs, announcing its recognition by ESG in its Delta-V Awards as one of the top twenty companies that accelerated innovation in big data and analytics in 2016. Kinetica empowers organizations to address a wide range of use cases in real time–even with real time visualization, including risk management, anomaly and fraud prevention, resource allocation on the fly, inventory tracking, terrorist and other national security threat tracking, energy generation optimization, and customer engagement improvements.

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