“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 3/19/2018

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Above the Trend Line: your industry rumor central is a recurring feature of insideBIGDATA. In this column, we present a variety of short time-critical news items grouped by category 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 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@insidebigdata.com.  Be sure to Tweet Above the Trend Line articles using the hashtag: #abovethetrendline.

Thank you for joining us for another “Above the Trend Line” column, your big data industry rumor central. So much is happening right now in our areas of focus: big data, data science, machine learning, AI and deep learning. We’re our eyes wide opening and our ears close to the ground so we can bring you all the latest scuttlebutt. Let’s start with some new M&A activity … Cloudian, a leader in enterprise object storage systems, announced that it has acquired Infinity Storage, a Milan-based pioneer in software-defined file storage solutions. With Infinity’s technology, Cloudian now offers customers integrated file and object-based storage solutions that consolidate all unstructured data types into a limitlessly scalable storage pool. The result is simple storage management that reduces TCO by more than 70 percent when compared with traditional multi-silo NAS systems … Fractal Analytics, a leader in artificial intelligence and analytics that powers decision-making in Fortune 500 companies, announced the acquisition of Final Mile. Final Mile is a pioneer in driving behavior change, integrating cognitive neuroscience, behavioral economics and design to solve critical business and developmental sector challenges.

We also learned of some recent funding news as the VC spigots remain wide open in this space … EdjAnalytics, a leading data science and prescriptive analytics firm focused in the sports, healthcare, workforce and services verticals, has announced the closing of a $2.2 million round of equity funding. EdjAnalytics was founded on the premise that a group of expert data scientists working on a diverse array of complex problems creates a breadth of experience valuable across multiple industry verticals. EdjAnalytics’ game-based approach analyzes pools of data and enables organizations to make decisions based on the highest probability of achieving their goals. This empowers faster and more accurate decision-making with proven predictive and prescriptive analytics models and custom software systems. The new capital will support EdjAnalytics’ expansion into workforce planning, using its predictive power to help businesses better manage their employees across the spectrum of pay grades and skill levels … After 6 months of rapid growth, Smarter Sorting announced it has closed $5 Million in seed funding, including $2.5 million from RTP Ventures. Smarter Sorting will use the capital to continue bringing data driven transparency to the chemical waste management industry by further investing in the machine learning driven technology that has allowed it create a one of kind smart chemical database. Smarter Sorting’s tech gives municipalities, retailers and waste management companies the ability to accurately identify, categorize and sort every class of chemical containing product, creating new waste to value supply chains in the process. The effective result is that consumer chemical products that had long been incinerated as waste are again viewed as commodities. These commodities are then used or recycled …  GeoSpock® – the extreme-scale data integration platform that provides analytics, builds insight, and enables predictions across space and time – announced that it has raised an additional $6.6M in closing its Series A funding round, bringing the total raised to $13.2M. The round was led by Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) with existing investors Parkwalk Advisors and Sir Michael Marshall. In addition, Japanese strategic investors Global Brain and 31 Ventures also participated. GeoSpock aims to become the de facto processing engine at the heart of next-generation infrastructure, including smart cities and Internet of Everything (IoE), as well as powering future mobility applications, including the management of autonomous vehicle fleets … Cloudian announced a $125 million joint venture with Digital Alpha to accelerate adoption of Cloudian’s enterprise object storage systems. The joint venture includes a utility financing facility of up to $100 million from Digital Alpha and its Limited Partners to enable flexible procurement options to accommodate customers’ rapidly growing storage environments. It also includes a $25 million equity commitment to support expansion of Cloudian’s sales, marketing, engineering, and customer-support organizations. The $100 million financing facility will enable consumption-model procurement of Cloudian products. Today, IT groups are under pressure to deliver services on demand, free of up-front capital outlays. While the public cloud is right for some of these workloads, others are best kept on premises. Through this partnership, customers can take advantage of an on-premises solution that provides the data sovereignty, performance and control of enterprise storage together with the economics of a pay-per-use model … Imanis Data , the creator of a machine learning-based data management platform that includes cloud migration and backup/recovery tools for modern data platforms, announced that it has raised $13.5 million in capital and named John Mracek as its new CEO. Imanis Data will  leverage the funding and top executive talent to capitalize on the strong demand the company is seeing for its suite of  data management solutions and strengthen relationships with major cloud players. Participants in the round include  existing investors Canaan, ONSET Ventures, Intel Capital, and Wipro Ventures, as well as new investor Asset Plus  Capital. Former Imanis Data CEO Nitin Donde will continue with the company as Chief Operating Officer (COO), where he will lead product and technology … Mist, a pioneer in self-learning wireless networks powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), announced the close of an over-subscribed $46 million Series C financing, taking the total investment in the company to approximately $88 million. The round was led by Kleiner Perkins, with additional funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, GV (formerly Google Ventures), NTT DOCOMO Ventures, and Dimension Data. In addition, Mamoon Hamid (General Partner at Kleiner Perkins) and Rob Lopez (Group Executive – Networking and Data Centre at Dimension Data) join Mist as board observers. With the latest round of financing, Mist will grow sales and marketing resources globally and continue to invest in engineering, especially in the area of Artificial Intelligence. In addition, the company will continue to develop a robust channel of Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and collaborate with leading ecosystem and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) partners.

We’ve also heard of a number of new partnerships, alignments and collaborations … Brytlyt, provider of the fast GPU database technology announced that its GPU storage and query processing technology has been integrated with MariaDB Server and is now available for preview – enabling everyone in the MariaDB community to analyze billions of rows in milliseconds using a single GPU. In addition, Brytlyt is collaborating with MariaDB Corporation to create an enterprise analytical solution with support for multiple GPUs per node – enabling Brytlyt and MariaDB Corporation customers to support analytical workloads with the highest scalability and performance requirements, on premise or in the cloud … MariaDB® Corporation, the company behind the fast growing open source database, announced the creation of MariaDB Labs, a research division that tackles the most extreme challenges in the database field. Aimed at pioneering breakthroughs, MariaDB Labs will bring together world-class experts and industry leaders to make discoveries that spawn new use cases. For its inaugural initiative, MariaDB Labs will collaborate with Intel to implement a reference architecture for databases with disaggregated memory and storage in modern data centers … DataRobot, a pioneer in automated machine learning, announced that Monsanto Company has selected the DataRobot automated machine learning platform to enable its Artificial Intelligence initiatives. Monsanto is a global modern agriculture company that develops products and digital tools to help farmers around the world grow crops while using energy, water and land more efficiently. Monsanto will leverage the DataRobot platform to improve data processes with automated and predictive analytics models that will provide insights across the company’s core business functions including research & development, supply chain, and sales … Information Builders, a leader in business intelligence (BI), analytics, and data management solutions, announced a partnership with Jethro, a leading business intelligence accelerator for Hadoop. Through the partnership, Information Builders’ customers can experience the power and cost savings of Hadoop along with the impactful data visualizations and analytics of WebFOCUS for real-time operational and customer-facing BI and analytics … Cambridge Semantics and CData Software announced a technology partnership to provide SQL query access to a code-free, graph-based, big data management and analytics environment. With graph technology becoming increasingly popular in today’s data-driven organizations, this partnership opens an entirely new option to the SQL user community, who will now be able use their existing query skills and familiar data access tools to access far richer integrations of diverse data sources.

In the new customer wins category we heard … MapR® Technologies, Inc., a pioneer in delivering one platform for all data, across every cloud, announced that Outbrain, the world’s leading premium discovery platform, is using the MapR Converged Data Platform to serve as the foundation for its new content delivery platform. With MapR, Outbrain leverages advanced algorithms to produce more sophisticated and targeted content while helping publishers understand their audiences through data – resulting in a more customized customer experience, better click-through rates, and increased revenue. Outbrain captures 10TB of data per day and has 2PB of data on the MapR Converged Data Platform. With MapR, Outbrain gained a more efficient production and testing environment that easily handles this volume, allowing for more advanced analysis to iterate and improve its algorithms. In addition, MapR has enabled Outbrain to take advantage of ecosystem advancements like Apache Spark, Hive, Sqoop and YARN for a greater competitive advantage. Outbrain has a monthly global audience of 557 million consumers, serves 250 billion recommendations a month and operates on three data centers with more than 6000 servers. As the company has grown, Outbrain has added a significant amount of data. Their previous system was unable to scale and maintain availability and performance requirements as the data volume increased. Furthermore, Outbrain needed more agility to refine its algorithms quickly to meet changing business needs. They sought to address the problems by building an entirely new and innovative solution that would grow with them … Starmind, a leading technology to expand human ingenuity by applying neuroscientific principles to AI, announced that it has been chosen by Microsoft ScaleUp to participate in the prestigious four-month program for technology start-ups. Starmind joins nine other innovative companies from around the world as they work with experienced coaches at Microsoft and continuing to develop their growth strategy. Microsoft will provide $500 million worldwide for the next two years to help founders expand through co-selling and access to Microsoft’s international sales and partner network and the Azure cloud platform. Led by a jury of Microsoft Executives and Venture Capitalists (VCs), ScaleUp’s focus is on the technological scaling of start-up solutions, especially with the aid of the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. The program is represented at eight locations worldwide: Bangalore, Beijing, London, Seattle, Shanghai, Sydney, Tel Aviv and Berlin.

In people movement news, we heard … Couchbase, creator of the Engagement Database, announced the further strengthening of its executive bench with the appointments of two strategic hires: Robin Schulman joins as Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, and Jessica Yuen joins as Chief People Officer … Vexata announced the appointment of Charlie Leeming as chief sales officer. Charlie joins from Brocade Communications where he grew the business from $30M to over $2B annually. In his new role, Charlie will be responsible for building out an extensive sales organization and working with resellers and channel partners around the world … Neura, a leading Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform for personalization of digital experiences, announced that its CEO, Amit Hammer, has joined the Forbes Technology Council, a hand-selected, invitation-only community of world-class CIOs, CTOs and technology executives … GridGain Systems, provider of enterprise-grade in-memory computing solutions based on Apache® Ignite™, announced it is expanding its management team to keep pace with surging demand for its in-memory computing solutions. Lalit Ahuja has been named vice president of Professional Services and will lead GridGain’s expanding global professional services organization. Tim Carley has been named managing director of EMEA and will head up sales and customer operations across the entire EMEA region.

And finally, we received some new research surrounding the IoT healthcare market from our friends over at Global Market Insights. The IoT Healthcare Market is set to grow from its current market value of more than $2 billion to over $10 billion by 2024. IoT in healthcare market has been forecast to witness remarkable growth prospect in the years ahead, subject to the robust enhancements in healthcare infrastructure. Digitization, having paved its way toward healthcare, has prompted numerous hospitals and regional governments to undertake initiatives to deploy IoT in the healthcare sector, owing to the rise in the requirement for mobility and communication in medical care. With the implementation of IoT facilities, healthcare service providers may be able to deal with the challenges related to consumer data sharing, since this technology is highly capable of dealing with patient data operations very efficiently. The emergence of the internet of things has significantly impacted the overall IoT in healthcare industry trends since the last few years. Statistically, in 2016, IoT in healthcare market held a revenue of more than USD 2 billion.

Nowadays, medical research institutes and healthcare product manufacturers have been joining hands to accelerate digitalization across the healthcare sector by deploying technologically advanced digital health products. For instance, Oxford University and National Institute for Health Research (NIH) have signed a five-year agreement with the London based giant in IoT in healthcare market, Drayson Technologies to build and commercialize digital healthcare tools. Through this research agreement, the Oxford Biomedical Research Center aims to deliver excellent benefits to patients from hospital to the comfort of their homes. For this research and development program, NIH has provided funding to Drayson Technologies, which also raised USD 53 million from several other funding agencies.

Recently, the integration of the internet of things with artificial intelligence (AI) has changed the outlook of healthcare institutions, having fortified medical care data maintenance with improved storage capability, robust connectivity, and high security. The well-known participants in IoT in healthcare market are also focusing on AI-based IoT healthcare facilities. For instance, IBM has recently developed an AI system for hospitals that will help to carry out tedious tasks much more efficiently and flawlessly than humans. In fact, IoT has helped bring about a paradigm shift in healthcare, subject to the introduction of smart devices that help provide and secure patient data.

The stand taken by regulatory bodies and regional governments have also influenced IoT in healthcare market outlook considerably. In fact, it has been observed that governments have been pressurizing healthcare centers to implement IoT, on the grounds of which numerous hospitals and clinics have deployed IoT technology to maximize patient comfort. In addition, many countries have commenced smart city programs incorporating healthcare IoT projects, which would also push IoT in healthcare market share. For instance, the Singapore government has collaborated with Intel and Dell to deploy the Internet of things for eldercare patient pilot project at the Saensuk Smart City. The large-scale deployment of smart city projects across several other countries will further stimulate IoT in healthcare industry size over the years ahead.

In the future, the integration of IoT in healthcare facilities is likely to increase the possibility of operating analytical tools and maintaining electronic health records. The growing renovation of established healthcare facility centers is another major factor that will push IoT in healthcare industry size, slated to cross USD 10 billion by 2024.


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