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“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 9/24/2021

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 under way with some new funding news … Blackbird.AI, an AI-driven Disinformation Intelligence Platform, announced the completion of a $10M Series A fundraising led by Dorilton Ventures, with participation from new investors including Generation Ventures, Trousdale Ventures, StartFast Ventures and Richard Clarke, former chief counter-terrorism advisor for the National Security Council. Existing investor NetX also participated. The Series A funding will allow Blackbird.AI to scale up its engineering and sales teams, fast-track new product development, and accelerate platform adoption by a global client base … Bigeye, the provider of the leading data observability platform, announced $45 million in Series B funding to further its leadership in the emerging category. Bigeye has doubled usage each of the last four quarters and added to its existing roster of customers, like Instacart and Mindstrong, with new customers, including Clubhouse, Recharge, and Udacity. Led by Coatue and with participation from existing investors, Sequoia Capital and Costanoa Ventures, the latest round follows on a $17 million Series A from just 6 months earlier and brings total funding to $66 million. With the funding, Bigeye will scale its team to address the rising demand for data observability, continue building on its product leadership, and help more data teams prevent customer-facing data outages, save expensive engineering hours, and build greater trust in the data … Matillion, a leading cloud data integration platform, announced $150M in Series E funding, led by General Atlantic, a leading global growth equity firm, with participation from Battery Ventures, Sapphire Ventures, Scale Venture Partners, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. This funding marks Matillion’s second triple-digit round of 2021, bringing the total amount raised to $310M at a valuation of $1.5B … Pyxis One, a California-based tech startup that aims to revolutionize marketing and consumer intelligence by providing an all-in-one, codeless AI platform, closed $17M in Series B funding. With total funding of $24 million, the tech startup plans to use this round of capital for investments in product development, and to expand to new markets … Viable, an analytics startup using artificial intelligence to automate text analysis of customer feedback, announced it has raised $3.9 million in pre-seed and seed funding to bring to market its next generation qualitative analysis AI tool. Craft Ventures and Javelin Venture Partners led the funding rounds respectively. Specifically, Viable is the first analytics startup to use the GPT-3 language model, from AI research and deployment company OpenAI, to extract immediate insights buried in customer surveys, helpdesk tickets, and app store reviews at enterprise scale … AI semiconductor startup Axelera AI announced today that it has successfully closed a seed investment round of $12 million. The round was led by emerging technologies leader Bitfury and joined by global nanoelectronics R&D center imec and deep-tech venture capital funds Innovation Industries and imec.xpand. The funding will support the company’s development of an industry-defining product powering AI applications at the edge … Private AI, a developer of privacy-preserving machine learning and natural language processing tools, announced that it has secured $3.15 million in seed funding to improve their product offering, expand the team, and accelerate their acquisition of domestic and international customers. The growth financing is led by Microsoft’s venture fund M12 and Forum Ventures, following a sixfold revenue increase since January. Private AI’s customer base now ranges from startups to multi-billion-dollar companies, including financial institutions and conversational AI companies … strongDM, the infrastructure access platform, announced it closed a $54 million Series B funding round led by Tiger Global, with participation from new investor GV, and existing investors Sequoia Capital, True Ventures, HearstLab, Bloomberg Beta, and Godfrey Sullivan. strongDM is an enterprise-grade platform that delivers the secure infrastructure access controls businesses require, while simultaneously providing end users with a product they love to use. It works with every infrastructure environment, legacy or multi-cloud … StreamNative, the unified messaging and streaming platform founded by the original developers of Apache Pulsar®, announced it has raised $23 million in its Series-A round led by Prosperity7 Ventures, the diversified growthfund of Aramco Ventures, and followed by their seed investors. The company brings an unmatched team of Pulsar leadership and developer expertise and provides a platform to enable companies to manage the entire lifecycle of data in any cloud environment across the enterprise … SingleStore, the single database for all data-intensive applications, announced that it has raised $75 million in its Series F funding round – the latest signal of the success of SingleStore’s cloud business and the adoption of its cloud-native database built for data-intensive applications. SingleStore indicated that the 300% growth in new customer acquisition for its cloud service led to overwhelming demand for SingleStore equity which prompted the company to raise an internal round of this size. This new funding round involved the most storied and successful B2B technology investors in Silicon Valley and the world. Insight Partners led the round, and almost all of SingleStore’s Tier A investors – including Khosla Ventures, Dell Capital, Rev IV, Glynn Capital, and Google Ventures – participated … DataChat, Inc., a software company that’s revolutionizing data analytics, announced the closing of a $25 million Series A funding round led by Redline Capital and Anthos Capital. Celesta Capital (formerly WRVI Capital) and Nepthene Capital, which led the previous $4 million seed funding round, also participated … Oddup, a premier international provider of data-driven insights for the startup and cryptocurrency ecosystems, announced the close of a $12.8M Series C funding round. With new investment from IRO Capital, Elliot Capital and Jervois Hillier as well as follow-on funding from existing investors including Click Ventures, White Capital and The Times Group’s strategic investment arm, Brand Capital, Oddup will aggressively accelerate its global expansion and product development capabilities, with a particular focus on crypto-assets, digital ledger technologies, blockchain and virtual currencies … Satori, the DataSecOps platform, announced it has raised $20 million in Series A funding round co-led by B Capital Group and Evolution Equity Partners, with participation from Satori’s Seed investor YL Ventures. Satori is the first DataSecOps platform to democratize data and scale cloud data analytics, embedding security into data operations by providing security capabilities at the infrastructure level and removing friction for data consumers. Satori’s Universal Data Access Service provides holistic visibility and a single control plane for real-time data access and usage oversight across modern data stacks. The new capital will fuel Satori’s continued R&D innovation and go-to-market expansion in the US … Databricks, the Data and AI company and a pioneer of the data lakehouse architecture, announced the final closing of their recent Series H funding. Cloud leaders and existing investors Amazon Web Services (AWS), CapitalG, and Microsoft will participate in Databricks’ $1.6 billion round of funding, which puts the company at a $38 billion post-money valuation. The Series H funding will be used to accelerate innovation and adoption of the lakehouse as the data architecture’s popularity across data-driven organizations continues to grow at a rapid pace.    

In M&A news we heard … Dubber (ASX: DUB) announced that it acquired AI and natural language processing innovator Notiv for $6.6M AUS. Notiv is a Brisbane, Australia-based company that uses AI and NLP to record, and transcribe meeting notes in real-time and automates the process for creating agendas, taking action items and finding important content. Notiv works with Slack, Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams and will be beneficial to Dubber’s customers and telecom and carrier partners, as a value added service … Fivetran, a leading provider of automated data integration, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire HVR, a leading provider of enterprise data replication technology. The acquisition will allow Fivetran to provide breakthrough database replication performance along with enterprise-grade security to address the massive market for modernizing analytics for operational data associated with ERP systems, Oracle databases, and more … InMoment®, a leading provider of Experience Improvement (XI)™ solutions, announced it has completed the acquisition of Lexalytics®, the leading provider of cloud and on-premise natural language processing (NLP), and machine learning (ML) that transform structured data, text, and unstructured data from any source, into actionable intelligence for the world’s most customer-centric brands … 6sense, the market leading account engagement platform, announced the acquisition of Fortella. The move combines Fortella’s AI-driven pipeline intelligence with the 6sense platform, adding essential pipeline planning, forecasting and measurement capabilities to further empower B2B marketing leaders to achieve their pipeline and revenue goals with greater predictability.   

In the new customer wins category, we learned …  MemVerge®, the pioneers of Big Memory software, announced Memory Machine™ Big Memory virtualization software has been selected by Penn State Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences to speed the genomic analytic processing for plant DNA research to develop more sustainable plant products … Penguin Computing, Inc., a division of SMART Global Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: SGH) and leader in high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI), announced that it has been awarded two contracts totaling $68M from the Department of Defense High Performance Computing Modernization Program (DoD HPCMP) to deliver Penguin Computing’s TrueHPC supercomputing platform, plus managed services and high-performance storage, to the Navy DSRC and AFRL DSRC sites … MariaDB® Corporation announced that cloud-based Student Information System provider Campus Cloud Services has migrated to MariaDB SkySQL as its cloud database running on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and SkyDBA for fractional DBAs with A+ proactive care. With dynamic scalability and a zero-tolerance policy for any downtime, SkySQL powers Campus Cloud, a cloud solution that manages all student data in one place – across admissions, academics, financial aid, accounts and billing, graduation and career placement – for over a hundred thousand students each day and growing … Franz Inc., an early innovator in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and leading supplier of Graph Database technology for Knowledge Graph Solutions, announced that Essilor, a leading ophthalmic optics company, built an order fulfillment system based on AllegroGraph, Franz’s Graph Database platform, in only a few months after engaging the Franz team. AllegroGraph enables Essilor to quickly evolve its data model, easily connect complex supply chain relationships, seamlessly add new applications, and confidently rely on a stable, highly scalable platform … Narmi, a leading financial technology company that builds digital banking solutions, announced the launch of Narmi Analytics powered by Sisense, Inc. Narmi Analytics is designed to give banks and credit unions the business intelligence they need to unlock the full power of their data, keep up with evolving consumer expectations, and discover opportunities for growth … Aerospike Inc. announced its partnership with Dream11, the fantasy sports platform, to scale and meet requirements to handle millions of online users during the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) season. Powered by the Aerospike Real-time Data Platform, and deployed as a fully cloud managed service on AWS, Dream11 has improved performance, scale, availability and elasticitywhile reducing the total cost of its online fantasy sports service … Netradyne, a leader in artificial intelligence (AI) and edge computing focusing on driver and fleet safety, announced that it has been selected by Savage, a global provider of industry infrastructure and supply chain services, to utilize its Driveri® devices in more than 1000 of its vehicles. Driveri is the most advanced fleet safety camera platform, using vision-based edge computing and AI to reward positive driving behavior and coach those in need of improvement.

We also heard of a number of new partnerships, alignments and collaborations … SAS, a leader in analytics and software services, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are teaming up to transform the drug development process to prevent infectious disease threats from turning into a pandemic like COVID-19. The partnership is focused on the work of the University’s Rapidly Emerging Antiviral Drug Development Initiative (READDI) which is developing broad spectrum antiviral drugs to have on the shelf to prevent future pandemics. To advance their work, SAS research and development teams are applying advanced machine learning techniques to integrate multiple biological data sets from the deep lung environment of severely ill COVID-19 patients. These analyses will be used by Carolina researchers to identify targets for new COVID-19 antiviral drugs … McObject®, an innovative pioneer in embedded database systems, has collaborated with Wind River® and announced the availability of McObject’s revolutionary eXtremeDB/rt database management system (DBMS) for VxWorks®-based hard real-time embedded systems. eXtremeDB/rt supports hard real-time system requirements through the introduction of a new time-cognizant transaction manager. Time-cognizance guarantees predictable execution of transactions, ensuring that tasks involving database activity (reading and/or writing) successfully commit or successfully abort within their deadlines, and never miss (run past) deadlines. Real-time determinism is increasingly critical in systems like autonomous driving, positive train control, defense and other systems where failure can result in material damage or put lives at risk … EY announced an alliance between Snowflake, a Data Cloud company, and Ernst & Young LLP (EY US), to help businesses transform how they manage and share their data assets. The alliance combines Snowflake’s Data Cloud with EY US business insights to offer innovative solutions across industries, initially starting with financial services. Snowflake’s Data Cloud can increase the utility of public cloud solutions through a next-generation approach to data modernization, with a single, integrated platform for data warehousing, data lakes, secure data sharing, application development, integrated data engineering and the ability to run advanced data analytics. Snowflake’s innovative technology combined with market-leading capabilities offered by EY US teams can help accelerate how organizations thrive in the digital age … DataSwitch, a no-code platform provider for digital data transformation, and Innovative Routines International (IRI, The CoSort Company), a leading ISV in data manipulation and masking, and, have partnered to create an end-to-end, multi-featured metadata and data engineering environment to: convert legacy data and ETL tools, create and orchestrate data integration jobs with AI, mask PII, and wrangle data in business-friendly ways for analytics … APARAVI® Software Corporation, the trusted disruptor in unstructured data management, announced the company’s strategic partnership with GEN3i, a Next-Generation partner delivering integrated IT and Information Governance services, to unlock and migrate data stored on tape … The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center (UNMCCC), one of the most preeminent cancer centers in the nation, and RS21, a data science company employing innovative artificial intelligence, visualization, and software development methods, have announced a partnership to build an integrated informatics system and data warehouse. The integrated informatics system will improve access to both population- and patient-level healthcare data, empowering UNMCCC researchers and clinicians to improve care and advance important cancer research. Using data automation, machine learning and AI technologies, the system will provide speed to insight and precise analytics to inform healthcare decisions and research. It will also support UNMCCC’s targeted outreach for preventative screenings and behaviors.

In the people movement category we have … Heap, a leading Digital Insights platform, announced the appointment of Steve Love as Chief Financial Officer. Love joins two other recent additions to Heap’s C-Suite, new Chief Revenue Officer Sean Andrew and new Chief Customer Officer Ahmed Quadri, in Heap’s continued progress building a best-in-class go-to-market team and accelerating the significant momentum Heap established over the past year … Clear Ventures announced that Vijay Reddy, former partner at Intel Capital, has joined the Clear team as its newest Partner. With $330 million of assets under management from a world-class investor base, Clear is a Silicon Valley frontier technology venture capital firm that is purpose-built to help startup teams win. Vijay brings to Clear his background, domain expertise and well-established reputation as a leading AI and frontier technology venture investor. Having invested in 20 AI and frontier technology startups, including 4 unicorns and 2 IPOs, he has helped his portfolio raise more than $3.5B and achieve aggregate valuations in excess of $20B … Okera, the Universal Data Authorization company, announced that Sanjeev Mohan, former Research Vice President, Big Data and Advanced Analytics at Gartner, has joined the Okera advisory board as a strategic advisor. Sanjeev, an expert in data management and governance, will work with Okera to better illuminate the governance complexities that data stakeholders experience and overcome. He will also help educate the market on the benefits of maturing Universal Data Authorization (UDA) solutions … Dan Weinberg joined Instabase, a horizontal application that enables organizations to automate their most complex business processes, as a Regional VP. Dan joins Instabase from AppDynamics, where he most recently served as a VP leading a team of 100+ sales professionals. At Instabase, Dan will lead the company’s ecosystem of sales professionals across the U.S. and Canada as Instabase helps enterprises solve complex and critical unstructured data automation problems such as client onboarding, mortgage processing and medical claims processing … Dotmatics Ltd, an Insightful Science company that provides leading scientific informatics software to drive the automation of lab data workflows and accelerate critical R&D discovery, announced the appointment of Mike McKee as its new President. McKee is an experienced CEO with a demonstrated history of leadership in the technology industry. In his role, McKee will continue to accelerate the Company’s impressive growth, scale the high-performing global team with deep domain expertise, double R&D investments, and lead integration efforts with Insightful Science’s thriving portfolio of scientific research and data solutions serving more than 1.5 million global scientists … Congruity360, a leading SaaS data governance provider, announced that Dave Casillo has joined the Congruity360 leadership team as Chief Revenue Officer. The company recently divested its legacy third-party maintenance, data migration, and new hardware sales offerings in order to focus solely on its SaaS data classification and governance business, led by its machine-learning driven platform Classify360 … Jumio, a leading provider of AI-powered end-to-end identity verification and eKYC solutions, announced the appointment of Jennifer N. Harris to serve on the company’s Board of Directors. Most recently, Harris was chief financial officer at Q2 Holdings, Inc., a provider of secure, cloud-based digital solutions in financial services, where she took the company through its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014 … AHEAD, a leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions, welcomes Barbara Morgan to its board of directors. In this role, Morgan will help shape the company’s next phase of growth by focusing on scaling with purpose and expanding into areas with high-impact returns for clients … Sema4, an AI-driven genomic and clinical data intelligence platform company, announced the appointment of Gustavo Stolovitzky, PhD, to the newly established senior leadership position of Chief Science Officer (CSO). Dr. Stolovitzky is a world-renowned expert in computational biology, disease modeling and nano-biotechnology, with over 25 years of experience in high throughput data analysis for biology and the application of technology to solve biomedical problems. At Sema4, he will have a key role in developing the strategic research direction of the company … Sumo Logic, (Nasdaq: SUMO), a pioneer in continuous intelligence, announced the appointment of Margaret Francis to its board of directors as an independent board member to help the Company further serve the burgeoning DevSecOps market opportunity … Digital.ai, a leading AI-driven DevOps value stream delivery and management platform, announced the appointment of Stephen Elop as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Elop succeeds Ashok Reddy, who has decided to step down as CEO of the company to pursue other interests. Going forward, Mr. Reddy will serve as a special advisor to the Board of Digital.ai … Noogata, a global leader in no-code artificial intelligence (AI) data analytics for enterprises, has appointed Fleur Sohtz to the newly created role of Chief Revenue Officer responsible for global marketing, sales and business development activities, and for the expansion of the business in the United States … CLEVR, the low-code and no-code Software-with-a-Service provider, announced the appointment of Kay Lankheet as lead for the newly created business unit and the launch of CLEVR Field Services Manager (FSM). This new software solution is designed to dramatically cut costs, shrink the carbon footprint and tackle staffing challenges for companies that dispatch skilled technicians to customers’ homes. 

Deep Learning Patent Update – provided by Nelson E. (Nick) Brestoff, J.D., M.S. Exec. Manager & Chief Inventor, Intraspexion LLC. As you know, “deep learning” is the form of Artificial Intelligence that works. People and companies from all over the world are filing for U.S. patents using “deep learning, “deep neural,” or “multi-layer neural” in the Claims. To keep it simple, I call all of those variations just “deep learning.” In 2020, there were 726 “deep learning” patents. In 2019, the total was 396. In 2018, the total was 162. This year, as of September 21st, the number of new “deep learning” patents is 809. And there’s one more Tuesday in September, plus October, November & December, to go!

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted Brightflag, the AI-powered legal operations management software company, a patent for its innovative application of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in legal technology. U.S. Patent No. 11,107,137 validates the systems, techniques and processes for automated analysis of legal invoices which form the core of Brightflag’s software. Brightflag’s patented solution applies machine learning to an extremely valuable but traditionally untapped source of insight — outside counsel invoices. The software automatically classifies invoice text into the appropriate tasks and activities to create a structured, machine-readable data set on legal service delivery, helping in-house teams to better understand and control the more than $300 billion spent annually with outside counsel in the U.S. alone.

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