“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 3/14/2022

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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 Pi Day! … and welcome back to another edition of “Above the Trend Line!” Let’s get under way with some new funding news … CaliberMind, a leading B2B data platform for revenue analytics you can trust, announces that it has raised $8 million in Series A funding. This round was co-led by firms IAG Capital Partners and Lavrock Ventures, with participation from Eric Matlick, CEO of Bombora, and Denver Angels … Aporia, the end-to-end observability platform for machine learning, announced a $25 million Series A funding round, led by venture capital giant Tiger Global, with participation from Samsung Next, existing investors TLV Partners and Vertex Ventures. The announcement comes just ten months after their $5 million seed, bringing Aporia’s total amount raised to $30 million. Aporia will use the funds to triple its team’s headcount over the next year, expand its presence in the US market and increase the range of use cases the solution addresses … Level AI closed a $20 million Series B financing round, led by Neeraj Agrawal at Battery Ventures, who also led the company’s Series A round. Previous investors ENIAC, Village Global also participated. The latest funding represents a four-fold increase in valuation from the company’s Series A, which closed just six months ago. To date, the company has raised $35 million … Inworld AI, offering a platform to create AI-powered characters for virtual worlds, including VR/AR, games and metaverse applications, announced a $10 million strategic funding led by BITKRAFT Ventures, with participation from The Venture Reality Fund. This round was joined by existing investors including Kleiner Perkins and CRV … DataShapes, Inc. an edge data solutions company, announced today that Berg Venture Capital has invested $5 million to speed the commercialization of a suite of intelligent solutions for the enterprise. DataShapes uses its patented Vector Learning™ technology to create SaaS solutions that capture and automate industry expertise by transforming unstructured edge-device data into immediately actionable information … Calyptia, providers of a leading platform for First-Mile Observability, announced it has closed a seed funding round of $5 million led by Sierra Ventures and Carbide Ventures. Building on the advances of open source projects Fluent Bit and Fluentd, Calyptia brings to market the first comprehensive enterprise solution to enable any organization to manage observability data at scale and receive immediate insight into their systems’ performance. Calyptia’s flagship solution, Calyptia Enterprise for Fluent Bit, includes extensive developer toolsets to simplify enterprise adoption and integrates seamlessly with existing observability backends to both improve systems analytics and reduce cost … dbt Labs, a pioneer in analytics engineering, announced that it has raised $222 million in Series D financing at a $4.2 billion valuation. The round was led by existing investor, Altimeter, with participation from existing investors Amplify Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, and Sequoia. New investors participating in the Series D include Coatue, Tiger Global, ICONIQ Growth, GV, and GIC. Three strategic investors representing leaders in the shift to the cloud – Databricks, Salesforce Ventures, and Snowflake – also participated. No new board members are joining the team … Redpanda Data (formerly Vectorized) announced it has raised $50M in Series B funding, led by GV with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners (LSVP) and Haystack VC. Released in early 2021, Redpanda is a modern streaming platform that gives developers a simple, fast, reliable, and unified “engine of record” for both real-time and historical enterprise data. With its latest capital infusion, Redpanda has raised $76M to-date and plans to grow its global engineering and go-to-market teams as customer adoption accelerates … GraphQL innovation leader Hasura announced that it has secured $100M in funding in a round led by Greenoaks with participation from existing investors Nexus Venture Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Vertex Ventures. The Series C round brings the total capital raised by Hasura to $136.5 million and the company’s valuation to $1 billion. Hasura plans to use the funding to accelerate research and development and expand go-to-market activities globally for the company’s GraphQL Engine, which makes it fast and easy for even those with zero GraphQL expertise to compose a GraphQL API from existing APIs and databases … 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.

In new M&A activity we have … Beyond Limits, an industrial and enterprise-grade AI software company built for the most demanding sectors, announced the company’s acquisition of Altec Products, Inc., a leading provider of integrated document management and workflow solutions. The addition of Altec to Beyond Limits will enable accelerated product growth and drive digital transformation in new markets, furthering Beyond Limits’ mission to create world-class solutions for businesses that improve performance and enhance human decision-making … OTA Insight, a leader in cloud-based hospitality business intelligence, announced the acquisition of Madrid-based Transparent, a market leading provider of data and business intelligence for the rapidly growing short-term rental industry … BrightEdge, a global leader in organic search and content performance, announced that it acquired AI-driven technical SEO platform Oncrawl. With this acquisition, BrightEdge is combining next-generation marketing and data science to help marketers navigate complex machine-to-machine communication to make smarter technical website and content marketing decisions as the internet evolves toward Web3.

In new partnerships, alignments and collaborations we heard … Redis, the real-time data platform, and Tecton, the enterprise feature store company, announced a partnership and a product integration that enables low-latency, highly scalable and cost-effective serving of features to support operational Machine Learning (ML) applications. With the new integration, Tecton customers now have the option to use Redis Enterprise Cloud as the online store for their ML features. Redis Enterprise Cloud provides 3x faster serving latencies compared to Amazon DynamoDB, while reducing the cost per transaction by up to 14x. This enables organizations to support more demanding ML use cases, such as recommendations and search ranking … DDN®, a leader in artificial intelligence (AI) and multicloud data management solutions, and Aspen Systems®, the premier manufacturer of HPC products, have partnered to deliver custom AI and HPC solutions that enable data-intensive organizations to generate more value and lower times for analyzing data, on premise and in the cloud. As datasets continue to dynamically grow in size, organizations require personalized high-performance computing (HPC) solutions that are quick to deploy and easy to use to successfully facilitate complex projects and generate faster time to results … Factored, a leader in data-centric AI helping tech unicorns and other high-profile tech companies select, upskill and build high-caliber data engineering, machine learning and data analytics teams, announced that it has partnered with Databricks, the data and AI company, to drive business value for clients by unifying all data and artificial intelligence processes and workflows in a single platform. Thanks to Databricks’ technology, including Delta Lake, Structured Streaming and the integration with MLflow, Factored engineers and analysts are providing innovative businesses with easier access to critical data driving key business decisions and strategy … Crate.io, the data management company, announced a new partnership with K2fly, a software company delivering environmental, social and governance (ESG) for the mining industry globally. With CrateDB, Crate.io’s enterprise-grade open-source database enabling data insights at scale, K2fly can now offer customers large data set analysis at speed whilst adhering to governance and regulations. CrateDB offers K2fly the ability to unlock opportunities with the world’s largest mining companies that need to harness the large amounts of data they collect. CrateDB will support K2fly’s proposition for customers around Block Model Management and Governance … Quantum Computing Inc. (Nasdaq: QUBT), a leader in bridging the power of classical and quantum computing, announced their business partnership and exclusive marketing agreement with QPhoton, Inc., a leading innovator in the quantum photonic technology space. The companies will work together to merge QCI’s quantum software solution, Qatalyst™, with QPhoton’s advanced photonic quantum technologies for its application to QCI-specific solutions … Streamlytics, a market maker in the ethical sourced data space, has announced a partnership with LiveRamp, the leading data connectivity platform. The two companies will work together to deliver what marketing and advertising teams in today’s environment are demanding: a zero-party data set.   

In people movement news we learned … Scale AI announced the appointment of Plaid co-founder, William Hockey, to the company’s board of directors. Hockey comes to Scale AI with extensive experience in financial services and infrastructure of more than a decade. He has served as the co-founder of Plaid, best known for providing fintech companies and customers with the novel infrastructure needed for financial applications such as payments, underwriting and investing … Yellowbrick Data, a leader in Distributed Data Cloud architecture for data warehousing, has appointed Tim Young as Chief Marketing Officer. Leading the company’s aggressive marketing agenda, Tim brings his track record as a builder and go-to-market expert in data warehousing, AI, and analytics markets, representing hypergrowth brands including DataRobot and Netezza, with the latter resulting in a $1.7 billion exit when acquired by IBM … Pythian Services Inc., a leading data, analytics and cloud services company, announced that Joey Jablonski has joined the company as vice president of analytics. Jablonski will lead strategic engagements to help Pythian customers develop tailored data strategy initiatives, defining and executing on data governance programs and building analytical models to power the modern, data-driven organization … Owkin appointed Professor Vassili Soumelis as Chief Medical Officer and Eric Durand as SVP Data Science today, bolstering its mission to use AI to discover and develop better treatments for patients … Couchbase, Inc. (NASDAQ: BASE), provider of a leading modern database for enterprise applications, announced Gopi Duddi as senior vice president of Engineering where he will oversee all product development and delivery for the company. Duddi is an established leader with nearly 25 years of experience in database software and cloud solution design, development and operations, having built and supported some of the most scaled services and applications in all of enterprise technology … Pliops, a leading provider of data processors for cloud and enterprise data centers, announced that Sudhanshu Jain has been appointed vice president of product management and strategic alliances for the company. In this role, Jain will lead product strategy and roadmap – and forge deeper relationships with key ecosystem partners to drive further innovation for customers … TigerGraph, provider of a leading graph analytics platform, announced that Ginger Sanfilippo, a former Neo4j VP, has joined the company as Senior Enterprise Sales Director. In this role, Sanfilippo will lead efforts to support the brand’s ongoing market dominance and further develop the company’s position as the definitive graph analytics platform for AI … Anyscale, the company enabling instant scaling of AI applications, announced the appointment of Rich Hoyland as head of sales. In this role, Hoyland will lead sales and business development efforts for the Anyscale platform, a fully managed platform for the open source distributed computing project Ray. Hoyland will report to Executive Chairman and President Ion Stoica.          

Deep Learning Patent Update – provided by Nelson E. (Nick) Brestoff, J.D., M.S. Exec. Manager & Chief Inventor, Intraspexion LLC. With two months into 2022, and as of March 1, 2022, the “land rush” for deep learning patents reached 180. Prediction: Multiplying by 6 projects out to 1,080 for 2022. That’s “on par” for the total in 2021, which was 1,104. Note: I’m seeing patents in the U.S. issued to an alliance between private enterprise and an academic institution. Most if not all of these combinations are taking place in other countries, and not in the U.S. 

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