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“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 12/10/2021

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 another edition of our industry gossip central! Let’s commence with some new funding news … Kore.ai, a top conversational AI software company, announced that it has extended its Series C funding round with participation from NVIDIA. In conjunction with the investment, Kore.ai and NVIDIA will collaborate on accelerating innovation in the deployment of conversational AI-based platforms and solutions for enterprises … ZenML, the creator of the leading extensible open source Machine Learning Operationalization (MLOps) framework for data scientists, announced it has raised $2.7 million in its seed round. It is led by Crane Venture Partners and includes notable investors, AI-researchers, and entrepreneurs like Richard Socher, Pieter Abbeel, Jim Keller, Dirk Hoke, Nicolas Dessaigne, Carsten Thoma, and others. ZenML’s framework is cloud and tooling agnostic and is used to create production-ready Machine Learning (ML) pipelines. The company will use this funding to build out the tooling suite in the open and expand its team of the world’s leading ML technologists … Anyscale, the company enabling instant scaling of AI applications, has secured $100 million in Series C funding at a $1 billion valuation, bringing the company’s total financing to $160 million. Andreessen Horowitz and Addition co-led the round with participation from existing investors NEA, Intel Capital and Foundation Capital. In addition, the company today announces the general availability of the Anyscale managed platform, which enables any developer and any organization to develop and instantly scale applications without the complexity of building and managing infrastructure … Heap, a leading digital insights platform, announced the close of its $110 million Series D round at a $960 million valuation. The funding will be used to scale Heap’s global operations and accelerate research and development of the industry’s most advanced digital analytics platform for product builders, growth marketers, and fast-moving analytics teams. Sixth Street Growth led the round which included new investment from the Growth Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management (Goldman Sachs). Sixth Street and Goldman will both receive representation on Heap’s board of directors. Existing investors NewView Capital, Menlo Ventures, DTCP, Triangle Peak Partners, Alliance Bernstein Private Credit Investors, Maverick Ventures, and The Private Shares Fund also participated. Heap’s total capital raised stands at $205 million to date … Databricks, the Data and AI Company, announced Databricks Ventures, a strategic investment vehicle that will foster the next generation of innovation and technology harnessing the power of data and AI. Its first fund, the Lakehouse Fund, will focus on early- and growth-stage companies extending the lakehouse ecosystem or using the lakehouse architecture to create the next generation of data and AI-powered companies. In addition to funding, portfolio companies will be eligible for exclusive product roadmap access, deep technical integrations and go-to-market support to take advantage of the growing momentum behind the lakehouse ecosystem … Privacy Dynamics has raised $4 million in seed funding to improve their product offering, expand the team, and accelerate growth within the modern data stack ecosystem. Privacy Dynamics’ seed financing is led by Root Ventures, with participation from Crosscut, Slack, Geometry Ventures, Hypergrowth Partners, and several angel investors from companies such as Auth0, Flatiron Health, and Looker … NetSpring.io, the operational intelligence platform, announced it has raised $13 million in Series A funding led by Dell Technologies Capital, with participation from Khosla Ventures and Wipro Ventures. Founded in late 2019 to revolutionize data analytics in the enterprise, NetSpring’s mission is to empower every enterprise to reach their peak operational agility with broader, deeper, and more timely intelligence from data. NetSpring’s vision is to be the unified command center for all operational insights from data … Wispr AI, the neurotechnology company aimed at developing the next generation of human-computer interfaces, announced it has closed $4.6 million in seed funding co-led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and 8VC. Additional participants in the financing include CTRL-Labs CSO & Co-founder Josh Duyan, Berkeley Neuroscience Professor & iota Biosciences Co-CEO Jose Carmena, Warby Parker CEO Dave Gilboa, Stanford NLP Professor Chris Manning, Salesforce Chief Scientist Richard Socher, Nesos CTO Vivek Sharma and WHOOP Founder & CEO Will Ahmed. Wispr AI plans to use the funding to accelerate development of the first functional thought-powered digital interface. The company is bringing together a formidable team of world-class neuroscientists, hardware engineers, ML engineers and product engineers who are passionate about changing the world. Wispr AI is building a wearable that can convert deliberate thought into action and high-bandwidth digital input. By combining the latest advancements in deep learning, electrical interfaces and neuroscience, the company will allow users to interface with our increasingly immersive digital world in truly seamless fashion … SingleStore, the single database for all data-intensive applications, announced that IBM has invested in the company by joining its recently announced Series F round of funding. SingleStore is on a mission to unify all data for the moments that matter by providing a modern cloud database, one that is distributed, cloud native, multi model and based on a relational foundation. IBM’s long history of investment and innovation in data and AI is a strong validation of the SingleStore technology and vision.  

In new M&A developments we have … Jumio, a leading provider of AI-powered end-to-end identity orchestration, eKYC and AML solutions, announced that the company is acquiring current strategic partner 4Stop, a leading data marketplace and orchestration hub for KYB, KYC, compliance and fraud prevention. The addition of 4Stop’s data sources to the Jumio KYX Platform realizes Jumio’s strategic vision of redefining the end-to-end identity industry … View, Inc. (NASDAQ: VIEW) (“View”), a leader in smart building technologies, announced it has entered into a strategic agreement with RXR Realty to combine RXR’s WorxWell™ data analytics platform into its broader technology stack … Broadcom Inc. (NASDAQ: AVGO) announced its intent to acquire privately held AppNeta Inc. headquartered in Boston, MA.  AppNeta is a leading SaaS-based network performance monitoring solution for the distributed enterprise, providing IT teams with precise, end-to-end visibility into network performance from the end user’s point of view, independent of what network they use to access applications … Torch.AI, a leader in artificial intelligence (AI) powered ultra-high speed data processing, announced the acquisition of The DataTech Group (DataTech), a technology solutions provider that delivers software and technical expertise across data warehousing solutions, decision support systems, and enterprise architectures with a focus on complex IT environments and systems from Teradata, Oracle, Sybase, Informix, and more … Hyperscience, the human centered automation company, announced it has completed the acquisition of Boxplot, a startup based in Berlin, Germany. Boxplot provides a graph data modeling tool that enables organizations to visualize and better understand their customers’ data and explore how it relates to other data across their organization. Boxplot reinforces Hyperscience’s core proposition of transforming human-readable data into machine-readable data, critical to solving today’s customer management challenges. End-customers are often impacted by slow processes, such as several weeks instead of days to process a mortgage or a medical insurance claim. 

We also learned of a number of new partnerships, alignments and collaborations … ZaloniTM, an award-winning leader in data governance and DataOps, announced a new partnership with CData Software, a premier provider of data connectivity solutions, to provide over 250 data source connectors in the Zaloni Arena platform. The partnership provides extensive real-time data connectivity in Zaloni Arena, expanding data cataloging, governance, and observability across distributed data environments … Katana Graph, the AI-powered graph intelligence company providing faster and more accurate insights on massive and complex data, announced that it has released a high-performance graph analytics Python library in collaboration with Intel. Katana Graph has designed an easy-to-use library for the benefit of data scientists and the growth of the open core community. The library can also take advantage of the Anaconda Metagraph orchestration layer that provides a common entry point to graph algorithms. Through full Intel CPU optimization, Katana Graph provides a rich high-performance library for native graph applications such as pathfinding, clustering, and node ranking, among others. Users can collect data in various formats and easily import them into Katana Graph’s engine to obtain greater insights into their data. For example, users can determine potential side effects of drugs via medical knowledge graphs or follow monetary transactions to uncover fraudulent accounts … Alation, Inc., a leader in enterprise data intelligence solutions, today announced formal partnership agreements with Bigeye and Soda, leading data observability vendors. The partnerships provide customers with the choice to select the best data observability partner for their organization’s needs. Alation’s active data governance helps organizations drive data culture by providing all data users, regardless of technical skillset, with access to quality data. Bigeye’s data observability platform helps detect data quality issues and ensures reliable data pipelines. Soda’s data observability platform allows teams to discover, prioritize, and collaboratively resolve data issues. The platforms are invaluable for alerting technical users to deeper data quality issues, such as the trustworthiness of the data or its usability. Alation’s integrations with Bigeye and Soda provide all data consumers, from business users to data scientists, with a single-pane-of-glass view into the trustworthiness and reliability of data. This results in a streamlined analysis process that empowers data users to use data and generate insights with confidence … Sama, a leading machine learning training data and validation provider offering high-quality software and solutions to Fortune 2000 companies, announced its partnership with Mila, the world’s largest academic research center in machine learning. Selected as a partner for its accurate, bias-free training data solution, Sama will continue its work with Mila to pioneer AI innovation through collaborative research, while developing AI technologies to solve key problems in deep learning, data automation, and synthetic data generation … Plotly Technologies, the Montreal-based company that brought interactive, scientific data visualization to the web browser through its open-source Plotly and Dash libraries, announced a partnership with Mila, the world-renowned artificial intelligence institute based in Quebec. The partnership highlights the importance of interactive visualization for understanding artificial intelligence processes and outputs.  

In the new customer wins department we heard … VAST Data, the storage software company breaking decades-old tradeoffs, announced that the digital travel platform, Agoda (a Booking Holdings subsidiary), selected VAST’s Universal Storage as the data science backbone for its big data and machine learning environment. The inherent high-performance and low-latency benefits of Universal Storage will help Agoda deliver more insights and perform more queries in less time for their real-time analytics, supporting thousands of users that are simultaneously searching the website to find the best deals on hotels, flights and other travel reservations.

In people movement news we learned … Arturo, an AI-powered platform that derives property insights and predictive analytics from aerial and satellite imagery, announced that Anita Tulsiani has joined the company in the newly created role of Chief Marketing Officer. Tulsiani will be responsible for building a world class marketing organization, with an emphasis on digital marketing, omni-channel excellence, and bolstering Arturo’s value proposition …. Indico Data, the unstructured data company, announced the appointment of Bob More to chief revenue officer (CRO). As CRO, More is responsible for leading go-to-market field operations, including sales, ecosystem and alliances, customer success, solutions consulting, solutions engineering and revenue operations, further accelerating Indico’s rapid adoption among the Fortune 500. An experienced revenue executive, Mr. More’s track record of building and scaling go-to-market teams and driving topline growth spans more than 20 years, with a particularly strong focus in data and analytics … imply.io, the creators of the popular database for modern analytics applications, announced the appointment of Jennifer Palecki as the company’s first chief people officer. Ms. Palecki will report to Fangjin Yang, Imply co-founder and CEO, and will lead the company’s strategy and processes for building and retaining exceptional talent. The appointment represents a milestone investment in the company’s culture with an emphasis on collaboration and growth … Acceldata, the multidimensional Data Observability Cloud, announced that Sameer Narkhede, founder and CEO of dataSnight, and the dataSnight team are joining Acceldata. The addition of Narkhede and dataSnight will bring cost, performance, and operational visibility into Acceldata’s Data Observability Cloud for modern data cloud environments, including Snowflake and Databricks. Narkhede is an industry veteran with extensive experience in building and managing data environments. He founded dataSnight to help enterprises improve data operations for modern data clouds as these environments become an increasingly important component of technology infrastructure … Actian, a leader in hybrid cloud data analytics, management, and integration solutions, announced that Jennifer Jackson has been appointed Chief Marketing Officer. Jennifer brings 25 years of technology experience to Actian, where she will be responsible for developing and executing a global marketing strategy to drive growth. She is driven by customer outcomes and has a passion for data and analytics, continuous improvement, and developing women in technology. Prior to joining Actian, Jennifer most recently served as Vice President, Digital Marketing and Strategy at Teradata, where she led the digital, strategy, and operations functions focused on web modernization and strategy execution … New Relic has appointed Riya Shanmugam as Group Vice President of Global Alliances and Channels to further develop and strengthen the company’s partner strategy and channel programs. As enterprises across every industry and region continue to realize the benefits of cloud-based observability as an open, connected, and programmable practice for every engineer across every stage of the software lifecycle, partners will continue to be essential in bringing the value of New Relic One to more engineers.

Deep Learning Patent Update – provided by Nelson E. (Nick) Brestoff, J.D., M.S. Exec. Manager & Chief Inventor, Intraspexion LLC. On December 7th, 2021, the Land Rush for Deep Learning patents reached 1,044. With three opportunities in 2021 for the USPTO to announce new patents, the total for the year may well hit 2,100. That’s a big leap from 726 in all of 2020.

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