“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 5/14/2021

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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 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@insidebigdata.com. Be sure to Tweet Above the Trend Line articles using the hashtag: #abovethetrendline.

Let’s get the ball rolling with some new funding news … Query.AI, the provider of the security investigations control plane for modern enterprises, launched with $4.6 million in seed funding from ClearSky Security, DNX Ventures, and South Dakota Equity Partners. The company will use the funding to scale its go-to-market and engineering teams to meet significant demand for its platform. As part of Query.AI’s launch, Jay Leek, the former CISO of Blackstone, is joining the company’s board of directors. … Lightmatter, a leader in photonic computing, announced that it has raised a $80 million Series B investment round, bringing total investment raised so far to $113 million. The round was led by Viking Global Investors with participation from GV (formerly Google Ventures), Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Lockheed Martin, Matrix Partners, SIP Global Partners, Spark Capital, and others … StarTree, Inc. announced $24 million in Series A funding to build and offer a cloud analytics-as-a-service platform built around Apache Pinot™, which is uniquely designed to serve up fresh analytics at scale with low latency for thousands or millions of users. StarTree was founded by Apache Pinot’s creators, who built and operated the real-time analytics platform at LinkedIn and Uber. Apache Pinot has now been proven at scale by LinkedIn, Stripe, Uber, Walmart, Weibo, WePay and many others. StarTree will use the investment to spur broad adoption of user-facing analytics, as progressive data-driven companies provide real-time insights to customers and business partners to grow their engagement and revenue … Agnostiq, Inc., the quantum computing SaaS startup, has raised $2 million in seed funding to support the continued development of its software platform. The growth financing is led by Differential Ventures, with follow-on participation from Scout Ventures, Tensility Venture Partners, Boost VC, and Green Egg Ventures. The company previously raised $830 thousand in pre-Seed funding, with the majority coming from current investors Differential Ventures and Boost VC … Pecan AI, the business-ready predictive analytics company, announced $35 million in new funding to equip both commercial analysts and business stakeholders with the power of predictive AI. Global investor GGV Capital led the round with participation from Vintage as well as existing investors Dell Technologies Capital, S-Capital, and Mindset. This round brings the company’s total financing to more than $50 million. This Series B will allow Pecan to expand its operations globally and continue to help organizations accelerate the adoption of AI and advanced analytics … ArmorCode, the Silicon Valley startup delivering application security at the speed of DevOps, announced it has secured $3 million in seed financing led by Sierra Ventures with participation from Tau Ventures and Z5 Capital and individual investors including industry leaders Andreas Kuehlmann (CEO, Tortuga Logic; former security executive at Synopsys) and Prithvi Rai (former Sr. Director of Security at Uber, Facebook, and Yahoo!). Enterprises use ArmorCode to consolidate application security tooling, streamline application security processes, increase business agility, and improve developer productivity. 

We also heard of a number of new partnerships, alignments, and collaborations … Cervello, an elite business analytics and data management consultancy, has partnered with online data collection provider Bright Data (formerly Luminati Networks) to transform how it collects online data to give customers insights into their markets to gain competitive advantages. By outsourcing the intensive data collection process to Bright Data, the Cervello team can now focus on its core business of building intelligent, insightful platforms for customers using the company’s proprietary machine learning algorithms … KX a leader in real-time streaming analytics, announced that it has partnered with Databricks, the data and AI company, to drive business value by unifying all data, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to accelerate the growth of ultra-real-time analytics in new market sectors. The partnership combines the power of Databricks’ Lakehouse Platform with KX’s low latency streaming analytics, time-series and edge compute capabilities to jointly address market demand for real-time actionable insights, driven by the explosion of sensors and the accelerated digital transformation of all industry sectors … Hivecell, the Edge-as-a-Service company, and DataRobot, the leading enterprise AI platform, announced a partnership that will enable enterprise organizations to solve bigger challenges at the edge by processing machine learning models on-site, outside of the data closet. By leveraging the two solutions, organizations can more efficiently make relevant, data-driven decisions … Aunalytics, a leading data platform company delivering Insights-as-a-Service for enterprise businesses and Stonebridge Consulting, a provider of end-to-end business and advisory technology services for next-gen oil and gas customers, announced a strategic partnership to provide data accuracy and data management solutions to drive digital transformation in the Oil and Gas industry. The powerful combination of Aunalytics Aunsight Golden Record as a Service and Stonebridge’s EnerHub™ data management solution provides customers with Universal Data Access and dynamic data cleansing and governance for value-driven results … Subex, a pioneer of Digital Trust, announced a partnership with Snowflake, the Data Cloud company, to bring the power of AI-driven Augmented Analytics to enterprises. Subex, through its Augmented Analytics platform, HyperSense, and Snowflake will combine competencies to enable enterprises to accelerate their data analytics journey and realize the true value of their data … To better assist businesses in targeting individuals and increasing advertisement relevancy in their multichannel email campaigns, Narrative, the Data Streaming Platform that makes it easy to buy, sell and win, and Webbula,  the Data Solutions Experts, announced that the Narrative Data Streaming Platform will be the first external data platform to offer access to the Webbula Audience Data solution for hashed emails … KX, a leader of in-memory, time-series databases and streaming analytics, has announced it has become a Microsoft Partner. The two companies are working together to build a long-term technical and go-to-market roadmap to enable companies – with an initial focus on the financial services and Industrial IoT sectors – to rapidly scale up their real-time analytics and decision-making capabilities … Domino Data Lab, provider of a leading Enterprise MLOps platform trusted by over 20% of the Fortune 100, announced a partnership and joint solution enabling accelerated model development in MATLAB® and Simulink®, the productive engineering and scientific design environment from MathWorks. This joint solution, based on newly expanded integrations, gives users access to powerful, scalable cloud resources for a modern, web-first data science experience, to avoid the limitations of desktop hardware or using a remote desktop to reach a shared server. IT teams gain greater control over compute usage and cost optimization by drastically reducing the footprint where MATLAB and Simulink are installed … E4 Computer Engineering, the Italian leading provider of high performance solutions for HPC, Artificial Intelligence and Containerization, announced its partnership with Run:AI, an Israeli-based company which helps customers execute on their AI initiatives quickly and with the most efficient resources allocation.

In the new people movement category we have … Dgraph Labs, the open source graph database, announced that Austin Rutherford has been named senior vice president of customer journey. This expansion of the executive team comes on the heels of the appointment of Gary Hagmueller as CEO. The addition of Rutherford signals Dgraph’s continued expansion as the company’s rapid growth requires further customer success leadership … Alteryx, Inc. (NYSE: AYX), the analytics automation company, announced the appointment of Paula Hansen as chief revenue officer (CRO). Hansen will report directly to Mark Anderson, chief executive officer (CEO), and will lead the global go-to-market (GTM) organization, including worldwide sales, channels and all industry-specific GTM initiatives. She will play a critical role in driving the company’s next phase of growth, responsible for scaling global sales teams, strategy, operations and market expansion … Neural Magic, an AI company offering a novel software architecture for machine learning, announced that industry veteran Brian Stevens will be joining the company as Chief Executive Officer. Stevens brings vast experience in open source, enterprise, and hyper-scale cloud to the team. Before joining Neural Magic, Stevens was Vice President and CTO of Google Cloud and Executive Vice President and CTO of Red Hat. Stevens will lead the company as it continues to create groundbreaking algorithms and tools that bring software, rather than specialized hardware, back to center stage in machine learning infrastructure … Unbabel, an AI-powered language operations platform that helps businesses deliver multilingual support at scale, has announced the hire of James Palmer as chief financial officer (CFO). Palmer is a 30-plus year veteran of advising and leading global companies through growth and development in the technology sector, and will help propel Unbabel into its next phase of industry leadership … SupportLogic, the continuous Service Experience (SX) platform for customer support and service teams, announced the appointments of John Kelly as Chief Revenue Officer and Sreeni Iyer as VP of Engineering. Both Kelly and Iyer join SupportLogic as it continues to gain market traction with enterprises looking to protect customer revenue by reducing churn and support escalations through AI-based detection and use of customer signals that directly improve the service experience … Olea Edge Analytics, an intelligent edge computing platform for the water utility industry, announced the addition of Ben Wilson as Chief Operating Officer. Wilson, the former Chief Technology Officer – Energy at Google, will build out Olea Edge Analytics’ growing technology team and guide the technical development of new products … Reltio, a provider of the cloud-native master data management (MDM) SaaS platform used by companies worldwide to succeed in the digital economy, announced that David Kirven has joined the company in the role of Chief Marketing Officer. He is a marketing veteran whose experience spans consumer, SMB, and large enterprise technology marketing.  

In new customer wins, we heard … Datadobi, a global leader in unstructured data management software, announced Proximus Group, a premier provider of telephony, internet, television, and network-based ICT services in Belgium, has deployed DobiMigrate to accelerate and help ensure the success of its data storage infrastructure transformation … Diveplane, the company keeping the humanity in artificial intelligence (AI), announced that, following an extensive product review, Duke Health has selected Diveplane’s GEMINAI solution to protect the privacy of both patients and their data in the institution’s research efforts. Diveplane’s GEMINAI utilizes AI to create verifiable synthetic “twin” data sets that enable sharing and analysis of sensitive data without risk of any mishandling of protected health information. The synthetic data created by GEMINAI realistically supports data modeling and analysis but does not contain any personally identifiable information, making it easy for this information to be shared while maintaining compliance with both PHI and HIPAA rules and regulations.

In M&A news we learned … Amplitude, the Digital Optimization System, announced that it has acquired Iteratively, a leader in data planning and instrumentation. On the heels of its launch of the industry’s first Digital Optimization System, Amplitude is further extending its integrated data management capabilities so digital teams can proactively and continuously improve the data quality across their analytics and personalization solutions … DataRobot, a leader in enterprise AI, announced the acquisition of Zepl, a cloud data science and analytics platform. The acquisition will unlock new capabilities within DataRobot’s enterprise AI platform for the world’s most advanced data scientists … ServiceNow (NYSE: NOW), the leading digital workflow company that makes work, work better for people, announced it has signed an agreement to acquire next-generation observability leader Lightstep. By acquiring Lightstep, ServiceNow will solidify and accelerate its position as the world’s leading enterprise platform for digital businesses. ServiceNow is already a recognized market leader in IT service management, IT operations management, and digital workflows. With Lightstep, an emerging pioneer in next-generation application monitoring and observability, ServiceNow will help DevOps engineers build, deploy, run, and monitor state-of-the-art, cloud-native applications. Together, ServiceNow and Lightstep will extend the benefits of observability across the enterprise through digital workflows that convert real-time insights into action across all the technologies, people, and processes that enable digital business … Precisely, the global leader in data integrity software, newly backed by Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. (together with its affiliates, “Clearlake”) and TA Associates, announced a definitive agreement to acquire data integrity and governance software provider Infogix. The announcement comes less than two weeks after Clearlake and TA completed their acquisition of Precisely and represents the first major step to accelerate growth under their ownership. Terms of the deal were not disclosed … Demandbase, the B2B go-to-market leader, announced the acquisition of both InsideView, a leader in sales and marketing intelligence, and DemandMatrix, the best provider of technographic data and intelligence … Ciitizen, a healthcare technology company helping patients get full control of their medical records to access better treatment options including participation in research and clinical trials, announced the acquisition of Stella Technology’s Health Information Exchange (HIE) business. By adding Stella’s leading digital health information technology platform and interoperability expertise, Ciitizen is creating a new healthcare data infrastructure that advances data quality while enabling HIEs to comply with the new federal information blocking rules and improving patient access to their full health history … Syniti, a global leader in enterprise data management, and Data Migration Resources, Inc. (DMR), a proven provider of high-quality data to the world’s leading organizations, announced they have come together to uniquely address enterprises’ rapidly growing need for holistic and strategic enterprise data management. With globally-trusted technology and expertise from thousands of successful go-lives, the organization provides unique solutions that rapidly translate data into valuable insights, helping enterprises grow faster, reduce risk and increase their competitive edge. It will operate under the Syniti name with Bridge Growth Partners, LLC as the majority shareholder.    

We also received a commentary from Mike Waas CEO/founder of Datometry who discusses why virtualization makes Teradata obsolete, and how the technology is helping Microsoft and Google take the crown from Teradata on EDW; the complexities involved in replatforming data warehouse applications and how virtualization is doing what four generations of data warehousing technology couldn’t accomplish.

Datometry solves one of the most challenging problems in IT: how to switch from one database to another without having to rewrite all of one’s applications. They accomplish this with a virtualization layer, akin to a hypervisor. The platform allows applications written for one database to run on different databases by translating all database commands in real-time. For example, an application written for Teradata could then run on Microsoft Azure Synapse or Google BigQuery without costly code changes. An immediate application of Datometry is the moving of workloads from on-premises data warehouse appliances to cloud-native data warehouses. Notably, many enterprises are currently struggling with this kind of transition. Instead of facing a conventional migration project that might take years, Datometry promises their customers to execute this kind of transformation at a fraction of the cost, time, and risk. Over the past four decades any number of startups have tried to unseat the incumbent database vendors in this space. They usually failed because of the strong vendor lock-in that the incumbents hold. With Datometry this dynamic might get changed up for good.

Deep Learning Patent Update – provided by Nelson E. (Nick) Brestoff, J.D., M.S. Exec. Manager & Chief Inventor, Intraspexion LLC. This week, the patent numbers had hit the 11 million mark, and the first new “deep learning” patent was 11,002,202 to Cummins Inc. For this week, there were 24 new patents, for a total of 430 in 2021. Cisco Technology, Inc., General Electric and IBM had two new patents each. Since January 1, 2017, there have been 1,797 new “deep learning” patents, an average of about 413 per year. In all of the years since January 1, 2001, the average was only 4 per year. The Land Rush since January 1, 2017 continues to be spectacular.

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