“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 1/17/2022

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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.

Happy New Year to our growing audience! Let’s get under way with some new funding news … Virtana, a leading provider of AI-driven monitoring solutions for hybrid cloud management, has raised $73 million to accelerate growth through financing from Atalaya Capital Management, Elm Park Capital Management, HighBar Partners, and Benhamou Global Ventures. The investment will support the company’s continued innovation in the AIOps market and further bolster Virtana’s position within the $30+ billion IT operations management software market … Collibra, the Data Intelligence company, announced a new investment from Snowflake Ventures, the venture arm of Snowflake, the Data Cloud company. The investment will deepen the partnership and be used to drive product innovation, with initial focus expanding Collibra’s enterprise-wide policy enforcement capabilities and enhancing data lineage with Snowflake. With this new investment, Collibra can expand its policy enforcement capabilities, enabling organizations to classify and categorize data, associate the right policies to the right users, and secure the right level of access at scale. Together, Collibra and Snowflake’s joint customers can verify that their data platform is properly governed, and data can easily be found, understood, trusted, accessed securely, or shared … Observable, the data collaboration company, announced it has closed a $35.6 million Series B funding round led by Menlo Ventures. Existing investors Sequoia Capital and Acrew Capital also participated in this round, which brings the total invested capital to $46.1 million. Observable is a collaborative, web-based platform for data practitioners and the decision makers they empower. The funding will support the company’s growth and continued platform innovation … Labelbox, a leading training data platform for enterprise machine learning applications, announced the closing of a $110 million Series D funding led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2. Snowpoint Ventures and Databricks Ventures also participated along with previous investors B Capital Group, Andreessen Horowitz and Catherine Wood, CEO and founder of ARK Invest. To date, Labelbox has raised $189 million in venture funding … TPG, a leading global alternative asset firm, and Fractal, a global provider of artificial intelligence and advanced analytics solutions to Fortune 500® companies, announced that they have signed a definitive investment agreement. TPG is investing US$ 360 million in Fractal through TPG Capital Asia, the firm’s Asia-focused private equity platform, in a transaction that includes a combination of primary investment and secondary share purchase from Funds advised by Apax, who will remain a major shareholder following the transaction. The transaction is expected to close by the first quarter of 2022. Additional terms were not disclosed …. Mperativ announced $6 million in funding and the launch of its industry-first platform that unites revenue operations strategy across go-to-market teams. The funding includes a new $5 million Series A led by GFT Ventures with participation from Heroic Ventures and Westwave Capital, as well as a prior $1 million seed round. The investment will be used to significantly expand the company’s data science, engineering, sales and marketing teams and to accelerate the development of its groundbreaking solution. The Mperativ platform employs a new opportunity-centric data model to align marketing with sales, customer success, and finance on the cause and effect relationships between marketing activities and revenue outcomes … Monq Lab SIA, which develops a self-hosted topology-based AIOps incident control and automation platform for enterprise, announced a $1.5M seed round led by Ratmir Timashev, the co-founder of Veeam – the global leader in data protection and management. The investment will be used for the expansion of marketing and sales operations in North America and EMEA.  

We learned about some new M&A activity … Irvine-based Alteryx, which develops analytics software, announced that it has agreed to acquire Trifacta, a developer of data management and machine learning software. Alteryx said it will pay $400M in cash for Trifacta, and also will establish a retention pool of $75 million for former employees of Trifacta. The company said it expects to close the first quarter of 2022. Alteryx was advised by Goldman Sachs and Fenwick & West, with Trifacta advised by J.P. … mParticle, a leader in customer data infrastructure, announced that it has acquired Indicative, a customer journey analytics platform. This is mParticle’s first acquisition, and with it, customers will be able to easily visualize and better understand the key moments in the customer journey and take immediate action to improve conversion, engagement, and retention. The combined offering will also allow teams to easily ingest customer data from additional sources such as data warehouses like Snowflake directly into mParticle. In addition to integrating Indicative’s product capabilities, mParticle will be adding Indicative’s team, led by Indicative’s CEO and cofounder Jeremy Levy. Terms of the deal are not being disclosed at this time … Playvox, a leading provider of workforce engagement management solutions for the digital-first and CRM-centric contact center, announced it has acquired Prodsight, a SaaS provider of AI-driven customer interaction analytics … Qbox, which provides hosted OpenSearch and Elasticsearch solutions and support, announced that the company has joined Instaclustr, which helps organizations deliver applications at scale by operating and supporting their open source data infrastructure. With deep expertise delivering Elasticsearch and OpenSearch as a fully-hosted service, Qbox is a natural addition to Instaclustr for its strong technical acumen around mission-critical data solutions and its commitment to open source technology … Fractal, a global provider of artificial intelligence and advanced analytics to Fortune 500® companies, announced the acquisition of Neal Analytics, a cloud, data, engineering and AI Microsoft Gold consulting partner, for an undisclosed amount.Neal Analytics strengthens Fractal’s AI engineering capabilities & cloud-first offerings on Microsoft’s multi-cloud ecosystems and enables clients to scale AI and power decisions; it also strengthens Fractal’s presence in the Pacific Northwest, Canada, and India. Founded in 2011, Neal Analytics is a Microsoft Gold Consulting Partner supporting its cross-industry clients, such as PepsiCo and Microsoft, in their data-driven transformation initiatives. Neal Analytics’ 200+ team brings deep expertise on the Azure stack – across data science, AI & ML, IoT, Edge Computing, BI, application development, migration and modernization, and automation. Neal Analytics also has partnerships with Intel, Nvidia, and Databricks … IBM announced it has acquired Envizi, a leading data and analytics software provider for environmental performance management. This acquisition builds on IBM’s growing investments in AI-powered software, including IBM Maximo asset management solutions, IBM Sterling supply chain solutions and IBM Environmental Intelligence Suite, to help organizations create more resilient and sustainable operations and supply chains. This acquisition closed on January 11, 2022. Financial details were not disclosed … GCOM, a leading technology company that specializes in outcome-driven solutions for state and local governments, announced the acquisition of ASR Analytics, a leader in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and advanced analytics for federal, state, and local governments, as well as higher education institutions. ASR is GCOM’s seventh acquisition since 2018 and its second in the data analytics space.

In people movement news we heard … Decision Intelligence company Peak announced the appointment of Zoe Hillenmeyer as Chief Commercial Officer. Zoe joins from AWS, where she has led AI Business Development since 2018. The Chief Commercial Officer role is new to Peak. Reporting into CEO and co-founder Richard Potter, Zoe will be responsible for creating and executing the scaleup’s global commercial strategy … Synaptics Incorporated announced the appointment of Vivie “YY” Lee to its Board of Directors, effective January 10, 2022. Ms. Lee has a distinguished career in executive leadership and Board of Director roles in the technology industry. She currently acts as an independent director and consultant to leading tech firms and is a member of the board of Commvault Systems, Inc. Previously, Ms. Lee served as Chief Strategy Officer at Anaplan, as well as Chief Executive Officer at FirstRain Inc. Earlier in her career, Ms. Lee held executive and product management leadership positions at Cadence Systems, Synopsys, and 8×8 (formerly Integrated Information Technology Inc.). Additionally, Ms. Lee co-founded the software company Aqueduct Software, an automated enterprise application profiling and analysis solution … CLARA Analytics, a leading provider of artificial intelligence (AI) technology in the commercial insurance industry, announced that it has hired Tyler Jones to be its Chief Customer and Marketing Officer. Jones will be responsible for directing the company’s complete relationship with its customers and driving efforts to assess and elevate experiences at each touchpoint across the customer journey, ensuring that commercial insurers are achieving optimal value from CLARA’s AI platform. Reporting to CLARA CEO Heather H. Wilson, Jones will apply his unique blend of customer-focused innovation, technology and insurance industry expertise to CLARA’s ongoing pursuit of superior customer value, continuous improvement, and exceptional service to its clients … Stardog, a leading Enterprise Knowledge Graph (EKG) platform provider, announced the appointment of Taylor Roberts as Chief Financial Officer, effective immediately.  With nearly 20 years of financial management experience, and a strong background in revenue scaling and organizational growth, Roberts will oversee the finance and accounting departments for Stardog. Roberts will report directly to Stardog’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Kendall Clark … Talend, a global leader in data integration and data governance, announced it has appointed Dustin Grosse as Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer. Dustin brings over 25 years of marketing, strategy, and go-to-market general management experience helping drive the growth and profitability of a wide range of software-as-a-service technology companies … Immuta, a leader in universal cloud data access control,  announced that Will Rahim has joined the company as Chief Customer Officer. Mr. Rahim will oversee Immuta’s functions focused on driving customer satisfaction, loyalty, and adoption … Cogniac Corporation, a San Jose, California-based provider of enterprise-class Vision Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform, announced the appointment of Ledi Imeraj as its Head of Platform Strategy. In this new role, Imeraj will leverage her expertise in technology development and technology sales to lead Cogniac’s AI platform strategy … Cohesity, a leader in next-gen data management, announced that Kirk A. Law has joined the company as senior vice president of research and development (R&D). In this role, Law has global responsibility for engineering, product management, and Cohesity’s ecosystem business.The tech veteran brings more than 30 years of relevant experience to Cohesity with a passion for developing breakthrough products, scaling high-performing teams, enriching company cultures, and delighting customers and partners … Databricks, the Data and AI company and pioneer of the data lakehouse architecture, announced the appointment of transformative leader, Naveen Zutshi, as the company’s Chief Information Officer (CIO). Zutshi will lead the global information technology functions at Databricks and brings decades of IT leadership expertise to the role. He will join the company’s executive leadership team … Quantum Computing Inc. (Nasdaq: QUBT), a leader in accelerating access to the power of quantum computing, has appointed renowned business and technology leader William J. McGann, Ph.D. as Chief Operating and Technology Officer (COO/CTO) responsible for technical and product engineering. He will lead QCI’s ready-to-run quantum software initiatives as the company enhances its quantum optimization software with powerful innovation. McGann previously served on QCI’s board of directors … Ahana, the SaaS for Presto, announced the appointment of Andy Sacks as Chief Revenue Officer, reporting to Cofounder and CEO Steven Mih. In this role, Andy will lead Ahana Cloud’s global revenue strategy. With over 20 years of enterprise experience, Andy brings expertise in developing significant direct and indirect routes to market across both pre and post sales organizations.  

In the new customer wins department we have … Era Software, the observability data management company, announced Ivanti, an IT software company based in Utah, has selected EraCloud for the company’s log management. EraCloud, launched on Nov. 4, 2021, is a software as a service (SaaS)-based offering that includes the EraSearch observability and analytics platform optimized for real-time, low-cost log management. In addition to EraSearch, EraCloud features administrative functions that help organizations move from logs to insights in seconds, without operational complexity. Ivanti is using EraCloud predominantly for processing application logs, as well as some Microsoft IIS and other system logs. Ivanti’s applications are built with the .NET framework … Altair (Nasdaq: ALTR), a global leader converging simulation, HPC, and AI, signed a multi-year agreement with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to offer Altair’s HPC solution suite for job scheduling and management with HPE’s HPC systems to support next-generation supercomputing. The solution suite includes Altair PBS Professional, a fast and powerful workload manager that provides users with robust, scalable technology, capable of handling the most intense jobs while improving productivity, optimizing utilization and efficiency, and simplifying administration for supercomputers of any size … CogniSure AI, a Delaware-based corporation, has announced that West Bend Mutual Insurance, a Wisconsin-based leading P&C Insurance carrier, has chosen CogniSure AI to help automate the process of ingesting the Loss Runs received from hundreds of carrier loss runs in PDF/Excel into usable Loss Summaries and Loss Insights saving significant amount of underwriting effort and time.

We also heard of new partnerships, alignments and collaborations … Coding Dojo, a global education technology company, announced that specialty outdoor retailer REI Co-op will be sponsoring two data science scholarships to increase opportunities for diversity in the data science industry. Coding Dojo and REI will identify two students from underrepresented groups in data science to complete Coding Dojo’s newly expanded Data Science Online Part-Time Bootcamp, helping to provide more economic opportunities for diverse professionals.The newly expanded program is designed for working professionals looking to make a career change, offering flexibility depending on students’ desired learning outcomes and future career aspirations. In the first 12 weeks of the bootcamp, students will get a deep dive into the fundamentals of data science and machine learning in Python to prepare them for careers in data analysis. In the new four-week Data Enrichment track, students will get further exposure into data pipelines, including SQL, how to extract, transform and load data, statistics for model selection, A/B testing, and a group project to help them prepare for careers in data science … Pathr.ai, the artificial intelligence (AI) powered spatial intelligence platform, announced today it is partnering with Ombori, a forward-thinking retail technology firm, delivering the next generation of retail solutions. This partnership is focused on reducing in-store friction, streamlining operations, and elevating customer experiences. Now, retailers with installed Ombori products can assess how technology is changing the way people move and interact in retail stores, allowing Ombori retailers to boost in-store profits and enhance customer experiences … Moogsoft, the AIOps pioneer and observability leader, announced its partnership with AI observability solutions Alesia Labs (Activesec). Through this partnership, Moogsoft will enhance Alesia’s observability portfolio with AIOps capabilities, such as noise reduction, anomaly detection and insight enrichment.Alesia Labs provides full-stack observability solutions that deliver real-time alerting, reporting and troubleshooting for top business process visibility. As Alesia expands its international footprint into Latin America (LATAM) and Europe, the company is broadening its AIOps service offerings through its partnership with Moogsoft …. Seeing Machines Limited (LSE: SEE), the advanced computer vision technology company that designs AI-powered operator monitoring systems to improve transport safety, announced a collaboration with Ambarella, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMBA), an AI vision silicon company, to bring integrated Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) and occupant and driver monitoring system (OMS and DMS) solutions to the market.This unique technology combination will bring Seeing Machines’ industry leading OMS and DMS technology solutions to Ambarella’s CV2x CVflow® family of edge AI perception systems on chip (SoCs). Ambarella’s CV2x-based reference design platform performs the vision processing and fusion of Seeing Machines’ driver monitoring software with forward-facing ADAS features to provide a complete, integrated DMS and ADAS solution … Leading full-cycle product engineering company offering a confluence of technology, analytics and marketing, INT. has entered into a strategic partnership with Mendix, a Siemens business and the global leader in enterprise low-code, to jointly offer disruptive solutions. The alliance will address the digital-first considerations of enterprises in the new normal world scheme of things. The solution will make use of Mendix’s industry-leading capabilities in enabling low-code applications coupled with INT.’s established value proposition revolved around lightning fast project delivery, customization without limitations and ability to deliver solutions that are collaborative as well as affordable … Anomalo, the complete data quality platform company, announced a partnership with Snowflake, the Data Cloud company, to help customers trust the data they use to make decisions and build products. The combination provides customers with a way to monitor the quality of the data in any table in Snowflake’s platform without writing code, configuring rules, or setting thresholds … Soda, the provider of data reliability tools and observability platform, has announced a partnership with Xebia’s data & AI consultancy, GoDataDriven, to solve critical data reliability and quality issues faced by organizations. The partnership includes the co-development of a new Open Source Software (OSS) Spark library that supports organizations with a big data friendly solution for maintaining data quality, and an agreement to build optimal data quality workflows for joint customers … After a year of record financing and year-over-year growth across sales channels, hiring and the global customer base, Starburst, the analytics anywhere company, is announcing a partnership with Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, to deliver Starburst Enterprise to the Greater China market. Through this partnership, Alibaba Cloud is providing engineering to integrate Starburst Enterprise on Alibaba Cloud, as well as providing the sales, services, and support resources needed to deliver a seamless customer experience. Starburst is currently available on major public and private cloud platforms, including AWS, Azure, GCP, Red Hat, and HPE, but this partnership is a key step in providing the analytics engine for data mesh to Alibaba Cloud customers in Greater China. 

Deep Learning Patent Update – provided by Nelson E. (Nick) Brestoff, J.D., M.S. Exec. Manager & Chief Inventor, Intraspexion LLC. Here’s the starting bar chart for 2022, with 41 new “deep learning” patents. As a reminder, “deep learning,” means (“deep learning” or “deep neural” or “multi-layer neural”) in a patent’s claims.

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  1. I stumbled upon this engaging blog post, and I must say, the insights shared here truly resonate with the pulse of the data industry. The data landscape is evolving at an unprecedented pace, and it’s exhilarating to witness the trends and rumors that shape our journey forward.