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“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 10/29/2021

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.

Welcome back for some industry scuttlebutt! Let’s start with some new funding news … Yugabyte, the leader in open source distributed SQL databases, today announced that it has closed $188 million in an oversubscribed Series C funding round. The round, led by Sapphire Ventures, includes participation from Alkeon Capital, Meritech Capital, and Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, as well as existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, 8VC, Dell Technologies Capital, Wipro Ventures, and others. The round, which comes seven months after its previous round, brings the company’s total funding to over $290 million and values Yugabyte at more than $1.3B … Devo Technology, the cloud-native logging and security analytics company, announced $250 million in Series E funding at a valuation of $1.5 billion. TCV led the round, along with new investors General Atlantic and Eurazeo and existing investors Insight Partners, GeorgianBessemer Venture Partners, and Kibo Ventures. The round brings the total capital raised to more than $400 million. The new funding will fuel aggressive growth across new regions and market verticals, and significantly increase investment in channel expansion and product innovation … Embrace, the observability and data platform built exclusively for mobile, announced it has raised $45M in Series B funding led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) with participation from existing investors Greycroft, AV8, and Eniac, and founders from PagerDuty, Sendbird, LogDNA, Scopely, and TestFlight. This latest round of funding accompanies the launch of Embrace’s next platform product, Data Intelligence. With Data Intelligence, organizations can now make 100% of their mobile data accessible and actionable by their BI and Data Science teams. With full visibility into all of their mobile user experience data, a company’s engineering, product, and marketing teams can make informed, truly data-driven decisions around their marketing campaigns and product features to drive business value across retention, revenue, and adoption … Hex Technologies, the collaborative data workspace that empowers organizations to drive impact from their data, announced that it has raised $16 million in Series A financing, bringing its total funding to $21.5 million. The round was led by Redpoint Ventures with participation from previous investors Amplify Partners, as well as Data Community Fund, Geometry, Operator Collective, Tokyo Black, Vandelay Ventures, XYZ Venture Capital and individual investors … TripleBlind, the private data sharing company that offers proprietary cryptographically-enforced data privacy solution, announced it has received $24 million in an oversubscribed Series A funding led by General Catalyst and Mayo Clinic. This round follows TripleBlind’s pre-seed raise of $8.2 million announced in March 2021 … SupportLogic, creator of the proactive support experience (SX) platform, announced it has closed a $50 million Series B funding round, led by WestBridge Capital Partners and General Catalyst. Existing investors Sierra Ventures and Emergent Ventures also participated in this new funding round. The funding will support and accelerate SupportLogic’s growth and ongoing platform innovation, providing organizations with an artificial intelligence (AI)-based, next-generation service solution. This platform allows businesses to understand and act on the “voice of the customer” in real-time to enhance customer service and support, which helps to build brands, improve operational efficiency, and protect and grow revenue … Arize AI is applying machine learning to some of technology’s toughest problems. To continue with its mission, the company announced $19 million in Series A funding. Battery Ventures led the round with participation from existing investors Foundation Capital, Trinity Ventures, The House Fund and Swift Ventures. The new round comes over a year after the company came out of stealth with $4 million in seed funding led by Foundation Capital … Nexla, the unified data operations company announced a $12m Series A funding round. The investment round was led by Industry Ventures with participation from  Liberty Global Ventures, Blumberg Capital, Engineering Capital, Storm Ventures, and Correlation Ventures.  Sohaib Abbasi (ex-CEO, Informatica), Mike Tuchen (ex-CEO, Talend), Adarsh Nair (CEO, Airtel Digital), and Santosh Janardhan (VP Infrastructure, Facebook)  joined as strategic Angel investors … AI chipmaker Hailo announced it has raised$136 million in a Series C funding round led by Poalim Equity and Gil Agmon. The round was joined by existing investors, including prominent Israeli entrepreneur and Hailo Chairman Zohar Zisapel, Swiss-based ABB Technology Ventures (ATV), London’s Latitude Ventures, Israel’s OurCrowd, and new investors, including Carasso Motors, Comasco, Shlomo Group, Talcar Corporation Ltd., and Automotive Equipment (AEV) [Machshiri Tnua] … Aware, a leading enterprise-grade, collaboration governance platform making sense of human behavioral data, announced that it has raised a $60 million Series C round led by the Growth Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management, with participation from previous investors including Spring Mountain Capital, Blue Heron Capital, Allos Ventures, Ohio Innovation Fund, JobsOhio and Rev1 Ventures, and continued support from Draper Triangle Ventures and JumpStart. The round will help the company scale its AI-driven, human-centric SaaS solutions for collaboration governance and data insights. Aware enables enterprises to overcome common legal and compliance barriers to collaboration adoption, address growing data risks and insider threat concerns, and empower employees by creating more empathetic, flexible, and human-centric workplaces … Bedrock Analytics, a business intelligence platform for CPG manufacturers, announced a $5M funding raise from Silicon Valley VC firms, Cervin Ventures and Illuminate Ventures. The company, which helps CPG sales and marketing organizations humanize data and present compelling stories to their retail customers, intends to use the funds to continue to scale out its go-to-market, customer success and product teams.Bedrock uses AI and machine learning, augmented by strong domain expertise, to integrate multiple retail data sources, harmonize the data and present the most important insights into automated presentations. By showing how data, insights and story-telling can drive growth and increase market share, Bedrock is helping CPG manufacturers get the most value from their investment in retail sales data … Deci, the deep learning development company that helps enterprises build, optimize, and deploy AI to production, announced it has raised a $21 million Series A round led by New York-based global private equity and venture capital firm  Insight Partners. Deci’s existing investors Square Peg, Emerge and Jibe Ventures participated in the round and were joined by new investors including Samsung Next, Vintage Investment Partners, and Fort Ross Ventures. The investment comes 12 months after Deci secured more than $9 million in seed funding and brings the total funding to $30.1 million. The funds will be used to accelerate Deci’s commercial growth by expanding sales, marketing, and customer success operations globally.Deep learning-powered advancements in AI have led to innovations that have the potential to revolutionize enterprises across industries such as medicine, manufacturing, transportation, communication, and retail. But prolonged development cycles, high computing costs, and impracticality of deployment are major roadblocks in the path to productizing AI.

In IPO news, we learned … GitLab Inc., the provider of The DevOps Platform, announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 10,400,000 shares of its Class A common stock at a public offering price of $77.00 per share. The offering consists of 8,420,000 shares of Class A common stock to be sold by GitLab Inc. and 1,980,000 shares of Class A common stock to be sold by an existing stockholder affiliated with Sytse “Sid” Sijbrandij, Gitlab Inc.’s Co-founder, Chief Executive Officer, and Board of Directors Chair (the “Selling Stockholder”). Gitlab Inc. will not receive any proceeds from the sale of shares of common stock by the Selling Stockholder.The shares are expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on October 14, 2021 under the ticker symbol “GTLB.” The offering is expected to close on October 18, 2021, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions … insightsoftware, a global provider of financial reporting and performance management solutions for the Office of the CFO, announced it is acquiring Magnitude, a leader in operational reporting and continuous intelligence for data-driven enterprises. The acquisition is expected to close in early November. The deal reinforces insightsoftware’s vision to provide a comprehensive suite of software solutions to help organizations run a world-class financial operation. 

In M&A activity we learned … Alation Inc., a leader in enterprise data intelligence solutions, announced the acquisition of Lyngo Analytics, a Los Altos, Calif.-based data insights company. The acquisition will elevate the business user experience within the data catalog, scale data intelligence, and help organizations drive data culture. Lyngo Analytics CEO and co-founder Jennifer Wu and CTO and co-founder Joachim Rahmfeld will join the company. Lyngo Analytics uses a natural language interface to empower users to discover data and insights by asking questions using simple, familiar business terms. Alation offers the most intelligent and user-friendly machine-learning data catalog on the market. And by integrating Lyngo Analytics’ artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning (ML) technology into its platform, Alation deepens its support for the non-technical user, converting natural language questions into SQL. 

In people movement news, we heard … DataKind, the global nonprofit organization that leverages data science in the service of humanity, has appointed Lauren Woodman to the role of Chief Executive Officer. Woodman brings with her more than 25 years of experience working at the intersection of technology, development, and policy … Indico Data, the company transforming unstructured data into actionable business insights, announced the appointment of Mike ‘Gus’ Gustafson, chairman of Druva, to its board of directors, and Jeff Thomas as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). The two join at a time of great opportunity for the company. Indico Data is poised to lead businesses in realizing the complete value of their existing software investments, including RPA, CRM, ERP and more, by enabling these systems to work with unstructured data … Cribl, a leading Observability Pipeline company, today announced the addition of four veterans of the data and security industries to help the company accelerate into a period of fast growth and establish itself as a leading vendor in enterprise observability. Jim Cavanaugh, former President of Asia Pacific and Japan at AppDynamics, has joined Cribl to run the Americas sales team, and Patrick Wade, former Vice President of Sales Engineering at AppDynamics, will run Global Sales Engineering.  Zachary Kilpatrick, formerly Vice President of North America Alliances at Okta, has been appointed to lead Global Channels. Mike Podobnik joined Cribl as Vice President of People from Confluent, where he was leading Talent and Employee Experience … Lumeo, a designer of computer vision solutions, has named Bob Cutting as Chief Operating Officer. Cutting brings extensive operations and video analytics experience to Lumeo, which develops an award winning “no-code” video analytics platform that enables solution providers to quickly create and deliver a wide range of AI-powered analytics using any camera, video management solution, and third-party analytics … CallMiner, the leading provider of conversation analytics to drive business improvement, today announced that Marty Pankau has joined the company as chief customer officer (CCO), leading all aspects of customer success. In his new role, Pankau will lead programs to help CallMiner’s customers reach their unique business objectives through the strategic use of conversation analytics solutions. His team will be focused on all aspects of customer implementation, retention and growth ensuring strong ROI achievement across CallMiner’s growing customer base … InMoment®, a leading provider of Experience Improvement (XI)™ solutions, announced it has appointed Mehul Nagrani as General Manager, AI Product & Technology. Mehul brings extensive experience in leveraging machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) to deliver artificial intelligence (AI) products and technology that operationalize experience data to drive better business decisioning … Infinidat, a leading provider of enterprise-class storage solutions, announced that Eric Herzog has been appointed Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). A former senior executive at global storage providers EMC and IBM, Herzog joins Infinidat, effective today, reporting to Infinidat’s CEO Phil Bullinger … Panzura has announced the appointment of Brian Brogan as the company’s new Vice President of Global Sales Channels. Brogan will lead efforts to drive the success of Panzura partners around the world, including system integrators, value-added resellers, technology alliance partners, and OEMs. He comes to Panzura with more than two decades experience in the IT channel, having served in leadership roles at Automation Anywhere, SAP, EMC (now Dell EMC), and IBM … 84.51°, a retail data science, insights and media company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Kroger Co., has named Todd James chief data & technology officer. A driver of digital transformation, James will pave the way for the continued growth of 84.51°, building on its rich data, science, and technology capabilities. He will lead all technology functions and enterprise capabilities teams, including product & design, engineering, data science, science research and consumer research … Matillion, a leading enterprise cloud data integration platform, announced Naggi Asmar as its first Chief Engineering Officer. In this role, Naggi will lead and scale Matillion’s engineering team as the company enters its next phase of growth. Asmar is a Silicon Valley engineering leader with more than 25 years of experience leading development organizations across companies of all sizes. He has spent the majority of his career building and scaling global engineering teams and delivering for enterprise customers, most recently as senior vice president of engineering at Medallia where he scaled the engineering team by 10 times its size and helped lead that global team as the company went public. 

In the new partnerships, alignments and collaborations department we have … DataVisor, a company that delivers sophisticated Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered fraud management solutions, announced a partnership with Equifax, making the global data, analytics, and technology company its primary consumer identity data partner. DataVisor will enhance and extend its market-leading behavior analytics and fraud detection solution by combining rich consumer identity data from Equifax with powerful AI signals, for zero-lag detection and a frictionless customer experience … Espressive, a pioneer in artificial intelligence (AI) for enterprise service management (ESM), announced that it is partnering with Webex by Cisco to simplify the workday and help power hybrid work. Espressive Barista, the company’s AI-based virtual support agent (VSA), is now an embedded app available directly within Webex, providing Webex customers with a single source of truth for answering all employee questions across their organizations. This integration will automate the resolution of employee questions, issues, and requests while enabling help desk agents to stop monitoring public channels. With Barista, organizations can leverage Webex for employee self-help and experience greater help desk and employee productivity … Iguazio, the MLOps (machine learning operations) company, announced that it has become a Pure Storage technology partner. The new partnership will empower enterprises to unlock the value of their data and bring data science projects to life in an efficient, automated and repeatable way. Together, Iguazio and Pure Storage empower enterprises to continuously roll out new AI services by adopting a production-first mindset using technologies which later allow them to scale with AI.  By providing enterprise grade capabilities around data management, scale and performance and a layer of abstraction and automation, enterprises can start to focus on their business applications and not the underlying infrastructure … DAS42, a provider of FullStack data technology implementation and advisory services, and AtScale, a leading provider of semantic layer solutions for modern business intelligence and data science teams, announced a partnership to deliver innovative solutions to enterprises implementing modern data platforms … TigerGraph, provider of a leading graph analytics platform, announced it is collaborating with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Xilinx, Inc. on a solution to make graph analytics capabilities more accessible for enterprises to accelerate insight while reducing costs and resources. The bundled solution, which is comprised of HPE ProLiant servers using Xilinx accelerator cards and TigerGraph’s native parallel graph database, delivers 48x faster time-to-insight and an 18% boost in accuracy, providing more effective real time analytics for things like fraud detection, customer360, and supply chain optimization in manufacturing. Now any company can easily load, process, and analyze massive amounts of data in real-time to find key relationships within data and realize the full transformative potential of graph analytics … Conversica, a leader in Conversational AI Assistants helping dealerships attract, acquire, grow, and retain customers at scale, announced a strategic partnership with CDK Global that will integrate Conversica’s Automotive Sales Artificial Intelligence (AI) Assistants into CDK Elead customer relationship management (CRM), offering automotive dealerships a competitive advantage through the ability to scale communications with customers and enhance the shopper experience … Mona, the intelligent monitoring for AI systems, announced a partnership with New Relic, the observability platform. New Relic is a powerful cloud-based observability platform that helps engineers instrument, analyze, troubleshoot and optimize their entire software stacks. Companies that currently use New Relic can now view dashboards with Mona insights that instantly detect anomalies about data integrity issues and model performance issues within their production AI systems, significantly reducing business risks. The partnership is focused on bridging the gap between data scientists and production teams, enabling fast and reliable Machine Learning Operations, such as data corrections, model retraining, or other mitigations … UiPath (NYSE: PATH), a leading enterprise automation software company, announced a partnership with Snowflake, the Data Cloud company, that integrates UiPath Insights with Snowflake’s platform. UiPath Insights is a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) analytics solution that measures, reports, and aligns enterprise automation operations with strategic business outcomes. This combined offering of UiPath with Snowflake’s compute, elastic scaling, and enterprise-grade secure data sharing capabilities provides customers with faster data processing, while enabling them to perform long-term historical analysis to scale their automation journeys.

We also heard of a number of new customers wins … Datometry, a leader in database virtualization, announced that UK retailer Co-op completed the modernization of its data warehouse by moving its workloads to Azure Synapse. The Datometry Hyper-Q virtualization platform enabled Co-op to complete data warehouse migration on a highly accelerated timeline, and without the cost and risk associated with conventional database migrations … Domo (Nasdaq: DOMO) announced that Odele, the clean beauty brand known for approachable, accessible products for you and your family, has chosen Domo’s modern business intelligence platform to supercharge growth across multiple retail channels … Privacera, the unified data access governance leader founded by the creators of Apache Ranger™, announced that its customer, Sun Life, leveraged Privacera’s data access governance to rapidly migrate to AWS and automate data management, fine-grained data access control, and compliance across its Amazon EMR, Amazon S3, and on-premises Hadoop environments … Ascend.io, the data engineering company, announced that Be Power, a company dedicated to the diffusion of charging infrastructures for electric mobility, has deployed the Ascend Unified Data Engineering Platform to significantly increase its data engineering velocity. Instead of pursuing custom-built solutions, Be Power leverages Ascend to dynamically generate and optimize autonomous data pipelines in a fraction of the time. To design and implement the solution, Be Power worked with Moviri, the EMEA-based Ascend partner offering bespoke end-to-end business analytics solutions for enterprise businesses … Alluxio, the developer of open source data orchestration software for large-scale analytics and AI/ML workloads, announced that WeRide, China’s leading L4 autonomous driving company, is using Alluxio’s Data Orchestration software as a hybrid cloud storage gateway for applications on-premises to access public cloud storage like AWS S3. The new data architecture provides a localized cache per location to eliminate redundant requests to S3. In addition to removing the complexity of manual data synchronization, Alluxio directly serves data to engineers working with the same data in the same office, circumventing transfer costs associated with S3 and improving end-user work efficiency several fold. 

Deep Learning Patent Update – provided by Nelson E. (Nick) Brestoff, J.D., M.S. Exec. Manager & Chief Inventor, Intraspexion LLC.

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