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“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 8/20/2018

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 M&A activity, people movements, funding news, financial results, industry alignments, 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@insidebigdata.com. Be sure to Tweet Above the Trend Line articles using the hashtag: #abovethetrendline.

Let’s dive right in with some new funding news … Domino Data Lab, provider of an open data science platform, announced it has secured $40 million in a funding round led by Sequoia Capital and Coatue Management. This funding brings Domino’s total capital raised to $81.2 million and will help Domino continue to deliver new data science platform products, acquire talent, expand globally, and secure and deepen strategic partnerships with companies like SAS and AWS … Scale announced that it has raised $18 million in Series B funding, led by Index Ventures with participation from existing investors Accel and Y Combinator. New individual investors, including Dropbox CEO Drew Houston and entrepreneur Justin Kan, also joined the round. Scale’s mission is to accelerate the development of AI by democratizing access to intelligent data. The company was founded by Alexandr Wang, a 21-year old computer scientist from M.I.T. and the youngest entrepreneur to raise capital from Accel. Scale has been on a rapid trajectory since its founding two years ago, and now counts leading companies such as Lyft, General Motors (Cruise), Zoox, Nuro, Voyage, nuTonomy and Embark as its customers … Dremio, the Data-as-a-Service Platform company, announced an investment from Cisco Investments, extending the company’s Series B financing to $30 million. The company previously closed their Series B round in January 2018, led by Norwest Venture Partners with participation from existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners and Redpoint Ventures. This brings the total amount of funding raised to $45 million. Dremio was ceated by veterans of open source and big data technologies, and the creators of Apache Arrow. Dremio is a fundamentally new approach to data analytics that helps companies get more value from their data, faster … Instaclustr, a leading provider of completely managed solutions for scalable open source technologies, announced it has raised $15 million from Level Equity, the New York City-based private investment firm. The funding provides Instaclustr with capital to accelerate expansion of its managed platform of core open source technologies. Instaclustr – now serving more than 100 customers from various industries – will double its headcount over the next year. Instaclustr’s revenues have grown 300% over the last 24 months and this pace is expected to continue.

In people movement news we heard … AtScale announced the appointment of three new board members: Jit Saxena: Founder of Netezza, which he took public and sold to IBM for $1.7 billion; Bob Brennan: CEO of Veracode and former CEO of Iron Mountain, an S&P 500 company operating in 38 countries; and Tom Heiser: Previously EVP of Cloud Strategy and Execution at EMC Corporation and former President of RSA Security … Scality, a leader in software solutions for distributed file and object storage and multi-cloud data control, announced that it has created the new role of Field CTO to help customers and prospects navigate the challenges of managing information at petabyte-to-exabyte scale, and brought on Greg DiFraia, a storage industry veteran and acknowledged expert, to fill the important role. Previously with Dell EMC, most recently in the role of CTO, Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS), DiFraia led the global sales strategy for the ECS software-defined storage platform. As VP of Strategic Alliances at Turbonomic, a hybrid cloud workload automation developer, DiFraia has had a front-row seat to see the emerging challenges of multi-cloud; his experience has huge value in today’s multi-cloud world … Looker, a leading data platform company, announced that Lynn Vojvodich has joined the company’s Board of Directors. Formerly EVP and CMO of Salesforce, Ms. Vojvodich has spent more than two decades building and transforming enterprise software companies, as well as advising start-up and growth-stage technology businesses. Prior to joining Salesforce, she was a partner at Andreessen Horowitz where she developed go-to-market strategies for portfolio companies … ThoughtSpot, a leader in search and AI-driven analytics for the enterprise, announced it has appointed Sudheesh Nair as its new CEO. Nair joins ThoughtSpot from Nutanix, where he was the company’s President. During his tenure, he was responsible for leading the sales organization and helped grow the company from $0 to over $1 billion in revenue and over $9 billion in market capitalization. Nutanix is now the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure, selling in over 100 countries and with more than 4,000 global employees. Ajeet Singh, co-founder and CEO of ThoughtSpot, will take on the full-time role of executive chairman and lead the user experience, product, and engineering functions. Singh also previously co-founded Nutanix … Hazelcast, a leading in-memory data management company with millions of productive clusters and over 60 million server starts per month, announced that Kelly Herrell has joined as its new Chief Executive Officer. Herrell has helped build four successful Silicon Valley companies over the past 20 years. He has substantial technology experience and a track record of category leadership through fostering of community, customer engagement and partner ecosystems. Most recently Herrell served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Brocade Communications, the result of its acquisition of Vyatta where he was Chief Executive Officer.

In the new partnerships, alignments and collaborations category we learned … Silwood Technology Ltd and Collibra, Inc. have announced a partnership in which Collibra will resell Silwood’s Safyr® self-service metadata discovery software. The partnership enables enterprises to quickly incorporate metadata information from their SAP, Oracle, Salesforce and Microsoft ERP and CRM packages into market leading Collibra Data Governance and Catalog solution. Collaborating with Collibra has already proven successful in a number of joint engagements where customers, like Alberta-based ATB Financial, has significantly reduced the time and cost to accurately provision metadata from SAP into the Collibra Catalog, using the Safyr interface … Versium, a leading AI predictive analytics technology company, announced a new partnership with LiveRamp®, an Acxiom® company (NASDAQ: ACXM) and leading provider of omnichannel identity resolution. As part of the agreement Versium will launch powerful new AI-driven business decision-maker segments as part of a new B2B DMP. This fills a critical market gap by enabling offline business professional data, often contained within a company’s own CRM, to be targeted online. The partnership also provides LiveRamp customers with access to Versium’s modeling engine to create custom audiences, optimized for the maximum propensity to engage. Versium’s capability to cross index business and consumer personas, ensures that the resulting digital audiences have sufficient reach. As a result of this partnership, business consumers will experience fresher, more relevant digital engagement from brands, and more easily discover offerings that meet their needs … Agorai, an integrated marketplace for Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools and the data assets that fuel them, announced that DeepVideo, is joining the Agorai AI marketplace. This brings into immediate use DeepVideo’s suite of native AI contextual advertising tools, matching video content with advertisers, used to run its Smart Product Ads … SQream, developer of SQream DB, a leading GPU database for rapidly analyzing massive data stores at a fraction of the cost, announced a strategic partnership with Moyo Business Advisory, a leading South African system architecture and analytics company. The partnership will dramatically enhance Moyo’s ability to meet its top-tier clients’ burgeoning big data demands. The partnership with Moyo will provide SQream with a valuable footprint in Africa. SQream already has a string of US and Asian customers, and recently formed a partnership with Alibaba who has invested in the company. Moyo, one of the leading South African technology integrators and resellers, serves numerous clients in the JSE top 100 who operate in a variety of industries such as financial services, natural resources, utilities and mining … Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has formed a strategic alliance with and made a minority investment in Malong Technologies, an artificial intelligence (AI) start-up headquartered in Shenzhen, China. Malong has been recognized by global companies and organizations and analyst firms as an AI pioneer and innovation leader. Through the alliance, Accenture’s Applied Intelligence practice and Malong will offer computer vision and product recognition capabilities to clients worldwide. The alliance gives Accenture a strategic AI presence in China and forms part of its wider regional growth strategy. Malong’s product recognition and auto-tagging technology, ProductAI®, lets machines “see” physical objects the way a person does. Retailers can use it to make product checkouts much more efficient and allow their customers to shop for items by taking a picture of it with their smartphones. Other use cases include defect detection in manufacturing to drive quality, baggage scanning for improved safety, and analyzing medical images to help doctors make critical decisions faster.

For new customer wins, we found out … Supercomputer leader Cray Inc. (Nasdaq:CRAY) announced that it has delivered and installed a Cray® XC50™ supercomputer at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). The supercomputer, nicknamed NS-05 “ATERUI II,” provides more than 3 peak petaflops making it the world’s most powerful supercomputer dedicated to astrophysical calculations. NAOJ will use the system as a new “telescope” for theoretical astronomy to perform full-scale, high-resolution simulations of the formation and evolution of the Milky Way galaxy as well as three-dimensional simulations of a supernova explosion with realistic microphysics, among other models … Looker, a leading data platform company, announced that Five Guys JV – premium burger chain – has implemented Looker to deliver an enhanced customer experience, increase operational efficiency and drive improved sustainability across the business. Looker has opened up access to data across its business from sales, operations and business planning to warehouse management, speeding up access to insights and informed decision-making. Before Looker, reporting was a time-consuming process which required input from the development team, resulting in bottlenecks and slowing the decision-making process. The introduction of Looker has optimized this process reducing it from days to hours, improving the business’ ability to quickly react to insights … MapR® Technologies, Inc., a leading data platform for AI and Analytics, announced that Edwards Ltd., a world leader in vacuum and abatement solutions, is using the MapR Data Platform to develop semiconductor industry solutions to analyze data from its equipment within customer sites to deliver predictive maintenance and near real-time anomaly detection as part of a major step towards an Industry 4.0-based smart connected portfolio. MapR will provide a core technology in a major shift for Edwards that embraces real-time data analysis from its equipment to help its customers improve quality and yields in vacuum-intense semiconductor manufacturing processes … QuantaVerse, the maker of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions purpose-built for identifying financial crimes, announced it has signed a three-year agreement with the Banco de Credito e Inversiones (Bci) for its United States Branch. Bci Miami Branch selected the QuantaVerse AI Financial Crime Solutions as an additional tool to mitigate risk, automate investigations and meet anti-money laundering (AML) compliance requirements … Badoo, the global dating app used by almost 400 million people in 190 countries, has upgraded its data analytics infrastructure to a 20-node implementation of Exasol, the in-memory database, to enable data-led decision making throughout its operations. Prior to Exasol’s implementation, Badoo had been struggling to scale its database software as the volume of its data grew. Previous analytics systems had been unable to process the huge volumes of data generated by 60 million monthly users sending 350 million messages a day and make them available for data scientists to use. Badoo uses Exasol to enable its data analytics for a range of user and departmental data repositories, notably its product development and customer retention.

 

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