“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 2/22/2022

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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.

Let’s get under way with some funding news … Uniphore, a leader in conversational automation announced its Series E funding round of $400 million.  The round, which brings Uniphore’s total funding to more than half a billion ($610 million) is led by NEA and raises the company’s valuation to $2.5 billion. March Capital and other existing Uniphore investors along with new entities are also participating in this funding round. The new round of funding is Uniphore’s largest to date and will be used to extend Uniphore’s technology and market leadership with advancements in voice AI, computer vision and tonal emotion, as well as to expand its business operations globally, specifically in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific … In yet another sign that the world is moving from quantum exploration to quantum production – and that quantum software development is a key ingredient in gaining quantum advantage – Classiq, which provides a breakthrough platform for Quantum Algorithm Design, today announced that it has raised $33 million in a Series B round … Promethium, a next-generation collaborative analytics platform for business users and data teams, announced that it has raised $26 million in a Series A round led by New York-based global private equity and venture capital firm Insight Partners, with participation from existing investors 406 Ventures and Zetta Venture Partners. The new round brings the Menlo Park–based startup’s total funding to $34.5 million since its 2018 inception. Promethium will use the funding to scale new customer growth by building its sales and marketing efforts and continuing to innovate its products which are already being used by leading enterprises around the world … Census, the company that empowers data and business teams to sync cloud data warehouses to business tools so they have access to the data they need, announced a $60 million Series B round, bringing the total raised to $80.3 million. The round was led by Tiger Global with participation from Insight Partners and previous investors Sequoia and Andreessen Horowitz … Superconductive, providers of Great Expectations, a leading open source tool for data quality, announced it has raised a $40 million Series B funding round led by Tiger Global with support from Index, CRV, and Root Ventures, bringing total funding to $64.5 million. The new funds will be used to accelerate the continued investment in open source and its community, development and launch of a first commercial product, and key hires across the organization … Arcion (formerly Blitzz) officially launches the only cloud-native, zero-code data mobility platform to interconnect the $125 billion cloud data ecosystem with transactional databases and cloud warehouses. Arcion secured $13 million in Series A funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners, with Bessemer Vice President Sakib Dadi joining the Arcion board of directors. Strategic investor Databricks also participated in the round … Decodable, the real-time data engineering company, announced that it has raised more than $20 million in Series A funding led by Venrock and Bain Capital Ventures, with participation from additional investors including, DJ Patil, Board Member Devoted Health and former U.S. Chief Data Scientist; Olivier Pomel, CEO at DataDog; Spencer Kimball, CEO at Cockroach Labs; Jason Forget, CRO and President, Redis. The round follows a seed round of $5.5 million, led by Bain Capital Ventures, and brings the total funding to $25.5 million. Eric Sammer leads Decodable as the founder and CEO … Voltron Data, the company accelerating standards in data analytics and the largest corporate contributor to Apache Arrow, launched with an oversubscribed $88 million Series A funding round following a $22 million seed round. The A round was led by Walden Catalyst with participation from funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Anthos Capital, Battery, Coatue, GV, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Nepenthe Capital, Redline and The Factory. The company, currently at 100 employees, plans to expand Arrow-native computing and double its globally distributed and diverse team, primarily in engineering and go-to-market … Cohere, the natural language processing (NLP) platform enabling broad access to cutting-edge language generation and understanding technology, announced that it has raised $125M USD in a Series B round led by Tiger Global, with participation from founding investor Radical Ventures and returning investors Index Ventures and Section 32. The latest fundraise brings Cohere’s total funding raised to date to over $170M USD … Wallaroo Labs, Inc., announced it has closed $25 million in a Series A round led by Microsoft’s venture arm, M12. Wallaroo helps enterprises easily deploy, run, and observe ML models in production at scale so they actually impact the bottom line. New investors Ridgeline Partners and NSS Advisors joined existing seed investors Boldstart Ventures, Contour Venture Partners, Eniac Ventures, and Greycroft as part of the round. Wallaroo will use the funds to expand product, sales, and marketing, and to release a free community edition.  

We also learned of some new M&A activity … Alpine Intuition, an AI products and services provider, and Cohesive Computing, a company specializing  in deep learning and High Performance Computing, announced that they are merging to create SquareFactory, a full-stack AI-as-a-Service company. The two companies share a common heritage; both were formed by post-graduates from the prestigious Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne (EPFL), one of the top 20 engineering universities in the world. They have now decided to unite forces to deliver a unique AI-as-a-Services experience. SquareFactory will offer a full end-to-end MLOps platform for training, deploying, and hosting AI models cost-effectively, at scale, as well as consulting and development services to help businesses to efficiently implement AI solutions and help them transition in the new era … Altair (Nasdaq: ALTR), a global leader in computational science and artificial intelligence (AI), acquired Cassini, a next-generation cloud native technology for Industry 4.0. With the acquisition, Altair deepens its expertise and strengthens its ability to offer digital thread solutions via the Altair One cloud platform … Tricentis, an industry leader in test automation for modern cloud and enterprise applications, announced the acquisition of Testim, an AI-based SaaS test automation platform. Testim extends Tricentis’ own AI-powered continuous testing platform, and will help the company further simplify test automation, enabling organizations to create resilient end-to-end tests quickly and easily … Ankura Consulting Group, LLC, an independent global expert services and advisory firm, announced that it has acquired Noragh Analytics, a globally recognized leader in advanced data analytics and the enabling of machine learning and artificial intelligence to actionable use of complex data. Noragh is a proven leader in delivering market solutions related to some of the world’s most challenging business issues and further positions Ankura as a leading innovator in addressing the needs of clients both today and in the future … Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. announced that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of Quest Software, a global cybersecurity, data intelligence, and IT operations management software provider, from Francisco Partners. Quest CEO Patrick Nichols will continue to lead the Company supported by the existing executive management team. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

In the new customer wins department we heard … DDN®, a leader in artificial intelligence (AI) and multi-cloud data management solutions, announced the Department of Defense High Performance Computing Modernization Program (DoD HPCMP) will implement its EXAScaler ES400X appliances in conjunction with Penguin Computing’s TrueHPC™ supercomputing platform. The new systems will be integrated at the Navy DoD Supercomputing Resource Center (Navy DSRC) and Air Force Research Laboratory DoD Supercomputing Resource Center (AFRL DSRC), which rank among the top 100 global supercomputers … Ocient, a leading hyperscale data solutions company serving organizations that derive value from analyzing trillions of data records in interactive time, announced that its next-generation campaign forecasting solution was selected by MediaMath, a leading technology pioneer which helps more than 3,500 advertisers solve complex marketing problems … Chain.io, a cloud-based integration platform that connects partners across the global supply chain, announced its integration with Altana AI, an artificial intelligence platform that provides a shared source of truth for the global supply chain, to help governments and the private sector build better global commerce. 

In the new partnerships, alignments and collaborations category we have … Polestar Solutions, a leading player in data analytics and enterprise performance management (EPM), announced its engagement in a partnership with Dataiku, the platform for Everyday AI. Together, the companies will seamlessly deliver enterprise-ready data and AI capabilities that will enable customers to design, deploy, manage, and govern AI and analytics applications across the enterprise. The partnership combines Polestar Solutions’ deep domain expertise and strong analytics delivery capabilities with Dataiku’s end-to-end platform that enables organizations to systemize the use of data for exceptional business results … Sentieo, maker of the only AI-powered financial intelligence platform specifically designed for the research needs of investors, today announced a partnership with Clarity AI, a leading, global sustainability technology platform. The agreement will address the rapid rise in demand for ESG data and provide investors with much-needed insights into a company’s ESG risks and opportunities. By integrating Clarity AI ESG risk scoring data into the Sentieo platform, customers will be able to quickly surface, visualize, and share ESG insights directly from their existing investment research workflow … CLARA Analytics has announced it will partner with Nationwide to provide the leading artificial intelligence (AI) technology in the commercial insurance industry for a new program aimed at improving workers’ compensation claims operations using AI … Spell, a leader in operationalizing AI for natural language processing (NLP), machine vision, and speech recognition applications, and Graphcore, maker of the Intelligence Processing Unit (IPU) for next-generation AI compute, have announced a partnership to deliver the next generation of AI infrastructure. The new solution integrates Graphcore’s IPU-POD scale-out systems with Spell’s eponymous hardware-agnostic MLOps software platform for deep learning (DLOps) to make advanced AI development faster, easier, and less expensive … Tech Mahindra, a leading provider of digital transformation, consulting, and business re-engineering services & solutions, announced a collaboration with Yellow.ai, a leading total experience (TX) automation platform to transform enterprise customer experiences with conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI). The partnership is aimed at redefining the way enterprises connect with customers, employees, and vendors … Wasabi Technologies, the hot cloud storage company, announced a partnership with Vultr, a leading independent provider of cloud infrastructure, to deliver a complete infrastructure-as-a-service solution that is much easier to use and significantly less costly than the services of the hyperscale cloud providers. By using Wasabi storage in conjunction with Vultr compute, joint customers will be able to run web apps, big data analytics, media processing and other intensive workloads with highly predictable and simplified pricing … Gradient AI, a leading enterprise software provider of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions in the insurance industry, announced that it has partnered with Spear Technologies to integrate its state-of-the-art AI solutions with Spear Technologies’ SpearClaims, the company’s property and casualty enterprise claims management system … Teradata (NYSE: TDC) announced a global partnership with Microsoft to integrate the Teradata Vantage data platform with Microsoft Azure. With this announcement, businesses seeking to modernize their data analytics workloads with security, reliability, and elasticity – even on a massive scale – can leverage the technology of both companies … Yellowbrick Data, a leader in Distributed Data Cloud architecture for data warehousing, announced a strategic partnership with Nippon Information and Communication Corporation (NI+C). The partnership advances Yellowbrick’s global expansion strategy by offering simplicity of the cloud experience, across private and public deployments or at the edge, for mission-critical applications to Japanese markets.   

In new people movement news we learned … Gradient AI, a leading enterprise software provider of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions in the insurance industry, announced Anthony Tuffile has been named chief revenue officer (CRO). In this role, he will oversee the company’s sales team, drive revenue generation activities, and accelerate the next phase of growth by expanding Gradient AI into new insurance markets … Dataiku, the platform for Everyday AI, is proud to announce the appointment of Edward Bush as Chief Operating Officer with a focus on enabling the company’s operational growth by leading global people, expansion, and program management. Ed joined in 2017 as Dataiku’s VP of Finance and has helped Dataiku raise over half a billion dollars and grow the company from less than 50 employees to almost 1,000 today. Ed has a strong track record of building and running teams at Dataiku and beyond, having also done so at rapidly scaling companies like WeWork and VTS across finance, legal, people, business operations, and analytics functions. Along with his operational experience, Ed brings deep knowledge and appreciation of Dataiku’s people and processes, enabling him to continue scaling the business while further strengthening the company’s global employee culture … ExtraHop, a leader in cloud-native network detection and response, announced that Patrick Dennis has been named the company’s Chief Executive Officer. Dennis’ appointment follows outgoing CEO Arif Kareem’s decision to retire. Dennis will work alongside the ExtraHop executive leadership team to amplify the company’s current momentum and advance its mission to stop advanced threats …  MemVerge™, the pioneers of Big Memory software, announced that experienced executive Sean Milner has joined the company as Vice President of Sales. As part of the growing MemVerge leadership team, Milner brings a proven track record of building high-performance sales, pre-sales, and customer success teams and innovative prospecting strategies that accelerate emerging technology adoption and complex sales cycles … DataRails, the financial planning and analysis platform for Excel users, announced that it has hired David Rosenberg as VP of Customer Success. The news comes on the heels of executive appointments amid a period of unprecedented growth at the company. David joins DataRails from a data consulting company Keyrus, where as the managing director, he oversaw the company’s growth from 35 to 120 employees. He has previously held additional senior roles at vision.bi (acquired by Keyrus) Allscripts, and Intel. Rosenberg’s 17 years of experience in data analytics and customer-facing leadership, is a fit for DataRails’ customer base of CFOs and financial planning and analysis leaders who need the connecting of disparate financial company data, while also bringing more than 17 years of customer-facing leadership … Torch.AI, a leader in artificial intelligence (AI) powered ultra-high speed data processing, is proud to announce that, Amy Bradshaw, is joining the company as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). A central member of the executive team, Bradshaw will drive the company’s effective risk management and financial strategy, drawing from an extensive background in advanced technology and large-scale business … StarTree, Inc. announced the appointment of Tim Berglund as the company’s Vice President of Developer Relations. In this role, Berglund will spearhead the company’s efforts to expand and deepen ties with the Apache Pinot™ developer community to help users gain real-time insights to drive decision making and behavior … Pepperdata, a leader in big data performance management, announced the appointment of Maneesh Dhir as the new Chief Executive Officer. Former CEO Ash Munshi will assume the role of Executive Chairman of the company’s board of directors after leading the company through five years of growth … dbt Labs, a pioneer in analytics engineering, announced that Margaret Francis has joined as its chief product officer. A data and engineering industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience, Francis has led product strategy for both startups and enterprise organizations. In her new role at dbt Labs, Francis will execute on an ambitious product roadmap that serves data teams at startups and the Fortune 100, supporting users across open source and commercial product lines … Proton.ai, the AI-powered growth engine for distributors, announced the appointment of two executive positions. The company has hired Kevin Colón as Chief Revenue Officer and tapped Emily Garza as Vice President of Customer Success … Fluent.ai, a Canadian company specializing in embedded speech recognition solutions, announced today the expansion of its executive leadership team with the appointment of Jessica Giaccari to Vice President of Finance.      

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