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“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 4/11/2022

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 to another edition of “Above the Trend Line,” your big data industry news source. Let’s get under way with some new funding news … Datagen, a data-as-code leader for computer vision artificial intelligence (AI), announced it has closed $50 million USD in Series B financing led by new investor Scale Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors TLV Partners, Viola Ventures and Spider Capital. Andy Vitus, partner at Scale VP,  joins Datagen’s board of directors, effective immediately. This latest round of funding brings Datagen’s total financing to over $70 million USD. The additional funds will help Datagen to continue to bolster its leadership position in the nascent computer vision (CV) space. As one of the fastest growing fields within AI, computer vision is becoming a fully-fledged, market-tested industry in need of a proper infrastructure stack to help supercharge the development of AI and its most imminent applications … Grafana Labs, the company behind the ubiquitous open and composable operational dashboards, announced a $240 million Series D round of investment led by GIC, with participation from new investor J.P. Morgan … Ascend.io, the Data Automation Cloud, announced $31 million in Series B funding led by Tiger Global with participation from Shasta Ventures and existing investor Accel. The additional capital will be used by Ascend.io to scale go-to-market efforts and expansion into new geographies, as well as extend Ascend’s Data Automation Cloud to support full multi-cloud data mesh automation … Conversica, Inc., a leading provider of Conversational AI solutions for enterprise revenue teams, announced the successful completion of a $25 million financing with investment funds managed by Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital. Conversica will use the capital to support strategic business initiatives as it prepares for exponential growth … LinkSquares, the company behind the AI-powered contract management platform of choice, announced it has raised $100 million in Series C financing led by G Squared, with participation from new investor G2 Venture Partners as well as existing investors. This brings the company’s total funding to $161.5 million, at a current valuation of $800 million. To date, the company has built relationships with more than 500+ in-house legal teams, including Wayfair, DraftKings, and Drift. Chief legal officers and general counsels at these companies are using LinkSquares’ end-to-end contract management tools to better understand their business commitments, which were previously buried in thousands of contracts. With the new funding, the company intends to further advance its contract management offerings, while also modernizing tools in other areas of priority for CLOs, GCs and their teams … Skan.ai, providing a missing link in the evolution of automation and digital transformation, announced the close of $40M in Series B venture capital funding. The round was led by Dell Technologies Capital, with participation from additional new investors GSR Ventures and Liberty Global Ventures, along with existing investors Cathay Innovation, Zetta Venture Partners, Citi Ventures and Firebolt Ventures … Shoreline.io, the company providing real-time automation and control for cloud operations, announced that it has raised $35 million in Series B funding. The investment was led by New York-based global private equity and venture capital firm Insight Partners with participation from London-based early-stage venture fund Dawn Capital. Today’s financing brings Shoreline’s total funding raised to $57 million … Pinecone Systems Inc., a company offering a vector database for similarity search, announced the completion of a $28M Series A funding round to enable companies of all sizes to power search applications with AI. The funding round was led by Menlo Ventures, with participation from new investor Tiger Global and previous investors including Wing Venture Capital, who led the company’s seed-stage financing. Since coming out of stealth last year Pinecone has emerged as the leader of a new generation of search technology with thousands of developers signing up for their vector-database product … Spectro Cloud, a leading platform provider of a modern Kubernetes (K8s) management platform, announced the closing of a $40 million Series B funding round, led by New York City-based Stripes, a leading investor in software and consumer products … Astronomer, developer of a modern data orchestration platform powered by Apache® Airflow™, announced that it has raised $213 million in a Series C round, led by global growth equity and venture capital firm Insight Partners, with participation by Meritech Capital, Salesforce Ventures, J.P. Morgan, K5 Global, Sutter Hill Ventures, Venrock and Sierra Ventures … Selector, a leading provider of network-aware AIOps, observability and analytics for multi-cloud, announced its Series A round for $28 million, bringing total funding to $33M. Selector Analytics provides hyper speed-to-value for operations with usable AIOps and zero-touch analytics across any and all data. This round of funding was led by Two Bear Capital, SineWave Ventures, and Atlantic Bridge, and joined by Comcast Ventures and Azure Capital Partners. The new funds will be used to execute Selector’s go-to-market (GTM) strategy, invest in R&D, and expand its market reach in North America. The platform is already successfully deployed by multiple Fortune 500 customers … Run ai, the company simplifying AI infrastructure orchestration and management, announced that it has raised $75M in Series C round led by Tiger Global Management and Insight Partners, who led the previous Series B round. The round includes the participation of additional existing investors, TLV Partners and S Capital VC, bringing the total funding raised to date to $118M.  

We also have new M&A activity starting with … Talend, a global leader in data integration and management, announced it has acquired Gamma Soft, a market innovator in change data capture (CDC). The addition of Gamma Soft’s highly complementary, enterprise-class change data capture technologies will help customers streamline their data modernization initiatives, including cloud migrations, and support advanced, real-time analytics use cases across hybrid and multi-cloud environments … Gupshup, a leader in conversational engagement, announced the acquisition of Active.Ai, a leading conversational AI platform for digital financial services. Based in Singapore, Active.Ai enables millions of customers to interact with their money in real time, anywhere via voice, video, and text. Founded in 2016, Active.Ai utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) and conversational services to help banks, credit unions, capital markets, and insurance companies digitally engage with customers … Zebra Technologies (NASDAQ: ZBRA), an innovator at the front line of business with solutions and partners that deliver a performance edge, today announced it intends to acquire Matrox Imaging (Matrox Electronic Systems Ltd.), a proven developer of advanced machine vision components and systems. This acquisition further expands Zebra’s offerings in the fast-growing automation and vision technology solution space following last year’s acquisitions of Adaptive Vision and Fetch Robotics.    

In new partnerships, alignments and collaborations we have … Confluent, Inc. (NASDAQ:CFLT), the data streaming platform to set data in motion, announced a new strategic partnership agreement with Microsoft. The partnership adds greater investments across technology integrations, solution development, and go-to-market activities. With this commitment, Confluent and Microsoft aim to reduce the operational burden of managing data streams in Azure and speed up real-time application development in the cloud … Netradyne, a leader in artificial intelligence (AI) and edge computing focusing on driver and fleet safety, announced that it has teamed up with Munich Re America Services, Inc. (“Munich Re”), a leading provider of risk solutions for the reinsurance and primary insurance market, to provide its Driver•i® technology within Munich Re’s Smart Mobility Program. Munich Re will add Netradyne’s AI-enabled camera system to its list of approved risk solutions for commercial fleet clients … Hailo, a leading AI (Artificial Intelligence) chipmaker, announced its partnership with CVEDIA, a leader in edge computer vision software, to launch next-generation thermal edge AI solutions. The joint solutions combine CVEDIA’s computer vision expertise alongside its synthetic data technology with the Hailo-8™ AI processor to offer customers high-performance, scalable thermal edge AI solutions for a wide range of market segments including industry 4.0, smart cities, security, transportation, and more … Incorta, the Direct Data Platform™, and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS), announced a new partnership to make Oracle Cloud ERP migration faster, easier, and more manageable for organizations with highly customized data environments. The partnership brings TCS Crystallus™ solution together with Incorta’s unified data analytics platform to deliver preconfigured industry solutions with full visibility into combined data across Oracle platforms. The joint solution is now available to customers worldwide … Kyndryl (NYSE: KD), the IT infrastructure services provider, and Cloudera announced a global partnership to help customers enable and drive their mission-critical hybrid cloud, multicloud and edge computing data initiatives. Kyndryl and Cloudera plan to establish a joint innovation center to develop integrated industry solutions and delivery capabilities designed to help customers accelerate their move and migration to the cloud platform and environment of their choice, includingAmazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure … Tecton, the enterprise feature store company, announced a partnership with Snowflake, the Data Cloud company, to help data teams operationalize ML applications. The two companies have collaborated to integrate both Tecton and Feast with Snowflake’s Data Cloud. The joint solutions provide a simple and fast path to building production-grade features to support a broad range of operational ML use cases including fraud detection, product recommendations and real-time pricing … Datafold, a data quality platform that automates the most tedious parts of data engineering workflows, announced a partnership with dbt Labs, a pioneer in analytics engineering, along with a new integration to deliver trusted data faster. Datafold has automated test coverage for analytics engineers which can now be added into a company’s CI/CD workflow in one click with dbt Cloud or with a Python SDK for dbt Core … Promethium announced a partnership with Snowflake, the Data Cloud company, to deliver federated query pipelines for the Data Cloud. Promethium’s federated query pipelines can enable Snowflake customers to publish a federated query created in Promethium to Snowflake’s platform with just a few clicks, without writing code or designing complex ETL pipelines. Data teams can now get data to Snowflake much easier and much faster … Mlytics established a strategic partnership with Microsoft to apply the power of Microsoft Azure Machine Learning together with Mlytics to scale its AI capabilities to improve web performance, resiliency, and user experience … Liqid, a leading software company delivering data center composability, announced it is collaborating with big memory solutions pioneer MemVerge and technology industry leader Intel to deliver composable memory solutions for big memory computing. With Liqid Matrix™ composable disaggregated infrastructure (CDI) software and MemVerge® Memory Machine™ software, Liqid and MemVerge can pool and orchestrate DRAM and storage-class memory (SCM) devices such as Intel® Optane™ Persistent Memory (PMem) in flexible configurations with GPU, NVMe storage, FPGA, and other accelerators to perfectly match unique workload requirements. The joint solutions, available today, deliver unparalleled scale for memory intensive applications for a variety of customer use-cases, including AI/ML, HPC, in-memory database and data analytics … Espressive, a pioneer in artificial intelligence (AI) for enterprise service management (ESM), announced a partnership with Ivanti, the provider of the Ivanti Neurons automation platform that empowers organizations to discover, manage, secure, and service from cloud to edge. 

In the people movement category we heard … RapidAI, a leader in neurovascular and vascular imaging driving the next evolution of clinical decision making and patient workflow, today announced Amit Phadnis, former GE Officer and Chief Digital Officer of GE Healthcare, as the company’s new Chief Innovation and Technology Officer … Cytel Inc. has appointed Albert Kim, MD, PhD, as its first Chief Medical Officer (CMO), driving expansion of the advanced analytics capabilities available to clinicians looking to streamline therapeutic development. Dr Kim brings more than 21 years of interdisciplinary experience in medicine and drug development across a range of therapeutic modalities, and has held senior leadership roles at both Novartis and Pfizer. The appointment will fortify Cytel’s strategic consulting capabilities to support efficient navigation of uncertainties in product development … AHEAD, a leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions, announced the appointment of its new Chief People Officer, welcoming Preet Michelson to its Executive Leadership Team. As CPO, Michelson will be responsible for all aspects of AHEAD’s human resources strategy, including talent management, leadership development, and compensation and benefits … ionir announced the hiring of two new executives, Tad Lebeck as senior vice president of product development and Barak Azulay as vice president of engineering. Both will be critical in stewarding the ionir product and technology as the company brings on new customers and partners … Okera, the Universal Data Authorization company, announced that recognized technology visionary Bobby Napiltonia has joined the company as President. Known for disrupting the way businesses and consumers leverage technology, he brings more than 30 years of experience increasing revenue and building out some of the largest ecosystems that have transformed industries … DuploCloud, an industry pioneer for no-code/low-code infrastructure automation and compliance, announced that Zafar Abbas, an accomplished engineering leader, has joined the DuploCloud team as its Vice President of Engineering. An industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience, Zafar will be responsible for leading the global engineering and operations team at DuploCloud … ScaleFlux, Inc., a leader in deploying Computational Storage at scale, announced it has hired Eric Pike as vice president of business development, along with a full team of go-to-market talent to usher the company into its next phase of growth … ThoughtSpot, the Modern Analytics Cloud company, announced Kuntal Vahalia has been appointed Senior Vice President of Worldwide Channels and Alliances. In this role, Vahalia will manage and oversee ThoughtSpot’s global partner, alliances, and channel programs as part of the go to market team. In particular, Vahalia will focus on empowering customers to dominate the decade of data by putting innovation from across the modern data stack in the hands of every employee … Snowplow, a leader in data creation and behavioral data, announced the appointment of Christopher Lynch as chairman. Lynch has a proven track record of innovation and market disruption, having previously catalyzed markets around a wide variety of technologies, including web switching, virtualization, security, and most recently Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data analytics … Confluent, Inc. (NASDAQ:CFLT), the data streaming platform to set data in motion, announced the appointment of Gunjan Aggarwal as Chief People Officer (CPO). Gunjan joins Confluent from RingCentral, where she most recently served as Executive Vice President (EVP) and the company’s first CPO. As Confluent’s Chief People Officer, Gunjan will lead the people and places function for the company including talent acquisition and development, organization effectiveness, rewards and recognition, people operations, culture and inclusion, real estate and workplace experience … Lumeo, a designer of computer vision solutions, welcomes George Joseph as Vice President of Engineering. George has an impressive professional history of building strong engineering and program management organizations … DryvIQ (formerly SkySync), a leading Enterprise Data Management (EDM) platform company, announced the appointment of Sean Nathaniel as President and Chief Operating Officer, as well as Kevin Choksi, co-founder of WorkForce Software as a new board member. Nathaniel will oversee all aspects of the business with the objective of accelerating growth, scaling the business, and delivering on the company’s vision of empowering enterprises to safeguard what matters while reducing corporate risk … SingleStore, the single database for all data-intensive applications, announced the addition of Shireesh Thota as senior vice president engineering. Thota will lead the company’s engineering efforts and oversee the design and development of the SingleStore DB product. Yatharth Gupta, meanwhile, will head up product management and design. Both Thota and Gupta will report directly to CEO Raj Verma … Ambarella, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMBA), an edge AI semiconductor and software company, announced that Brian C. White has joined the Company and will be appointed chief financial officer (CFO) after filing its fiscal year 2022 Annual Report, which is estimated to be filed on April 1st. As CFO, Mr. White will report directly to Chief Executive Officer Fermi Wang … Cloudera, the hybrid data cloud company, made a series of senior executive announcements to bolster its leadership team as the company prepares for rapid growth in 2022. Cloudera has appointed Abhas as Chief Strategy Officer, responsible for global corporate strategy, pricing, new product introduction, and other functions related to Cloudera’s growth and direction. To further scale the company’s innovation and meet customer demand for cloud-native solutions, the company has also named Prat Moghe as EVP, GM of Cloud. In addition, Irma Laxamana has been named as Chief Legal Officer, responsible for worldwide legal affairs and compliance activities … Speedb, maker of a next-generation data engine that helps organizations evolve their hyper-scale data operations, has named Chip Ernst to its executive team as vice president of US sales – the company’s first sales leader since emerging from stealth in December 2021. As developers struggle with cloud-scale applications that can’t perform, the appointment of Ernst will enable Speedb to reach more organizations that are looking to deploy modern-day data engines in their architectures – data engines that are purpose-built for today’s massive, hyper-scale data operations … Domino Data Lab, provider of a leading Enterprise MLOps platform, announced that John Kahan, Chief Data Analytics Officer Emeritus at Microsoft, has joined the company as a strategic advisor to both its CEO and Board of Directors. In his new role, Kahan will advise Domino’s product development and go-to-market efforts … Spitch.ai, a leader in conversational AI solutions, announced the appointment of Piergiorgio Vittori as its President and CEO of its U.S. division. Vittori will be heading Spitch’s expansion into the U.S. market following his successful efforts as Vice President of Worldwide Business Development and Regional Managing Director … Matillion, a leading enterprise cloud data integration platform, announced the appointment of two new executive leaders. Dave Packer will join the company as President, Worldwide Field Operations, and Mark Johnston has been named Chief Marketing Officer. Packer and Johnston bring deep and diverse experience leading high-growth organizations and will help fuel the next phase of growth at Matillion … BigPanda, Inc., a leader in AIOps Event Correlation and Automation, announced Rick Underwood will be joining the company as chief revenue officer, in charge of the global Pre-sales, Sales and Channel. Underwood was previously vice president of major accounts sales at Snowflake. At BigPanda, he will scale their business with a commitment to continue delivering exceptional customer experiences … Lightbits®, the software-defined and NVMe® data platform for any cloud, announced that it has appointed Charla Bunton-Johnson as its new Vice President of Global Alliances and Channel. The role will be to drive growth velocity through the channel, forming and strengthening alliances that better enable partner success, and manage the firm’s global GoPurple program.    

In the new customer wins department we learned … Cloudian® announced that Rabobank, a Dutch multinational banking and financial services company, has deployed Cloudian object storage as part of its multi-layered protection solution against ransomware attacks. In conjunction with Veeam backup software, Cloudian’s S3 Object Lock solution enables Rabobank to make backup data copies immutable and, therefore, impervious to encryption or deletion by cybercriminals. This data immutability—validated in U.S. government certification testing*—ensures quick, reliable recovery in the event of a ransomware attack … Ocient, a leading hyperscale data analytics solutions company serving organizations that derive value from analyzing trillions of data records in interactive time, announced it was selected as the next-generation campaign forecasting, inventory analysis, and bid shading solution by Basis Technologies, a leading provider of cloud-based workflow automation and business intelligence software for marketing and advertising functions within enterprises … mParticle, the Customer Data Platform, announced that Channel 4 Television Corporation, a British free-to-air public-service television network, has selected mParticle as its customer data infrastructure to support the company in making data-led decisions. mParticle will play a foundational role in the company’s Future4 strategy which has set Channel 4 on a path to thrive in the digital age … TruEra, which provides the suite of AI Quality management solutions for AI explainability and model quality, announced that it has been selected by Aboitiz Data Innovation (ADI), a part of the Aboitiz Group, to help drive machine learning model performance, explainability, and trustworthiness across the organization … MarkLogic Corporation, a leader in complex data integration and portfolio company of Vector Capital, announced that it has won part of the new $240 million Department of Defense (DoD) Joint Artificial Intelligence Center’s (JAIC) Data Readiness AI Development contract … Iguazio, the MLOps (machine learning operations) platform provider, announced that LATAM – the leading airline group in Latin America – has selected its MLOps platform for a large scale, cross-company AI innovation project. The project will span the entire organization and will include use cases such as optimizing and safeguarding the company’s popular frequent flyer program from fraud, improving pilot training through better understanding of the factors that create un-stabilized approaches to landing, and intelligent route planning to reduce CO2 emissions … Paravision, a U.S.-based leader in mission-critical face recognition and computer vision, announced that it has been awarded a Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA) for the Department of Defense (DoD) Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC). 

In the newly awarded patent department we have … Crux Intelligence, the enterprise-level AI platform that helps diagnose, predict, and prescribe what will happen in your business,  announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. patent for the company’s one-of-a-kind natural language processing (NLP) engine ASK. A subsidiary of AI giant Fractal Analytics, Crux Intelligence is the leading provider of augmented analysis and business intelligence tools that deliver unparalleled data access, quality and speed to insights through the convergence of NLP, ML and AI. 

Deep Learning Patent Update – provided by Nelson E. (Nick) Brestoff, J.D., M.S. Exec. Manager & Chief Inventor, Intraspexion LLC. For personal reasons, Intraspexion LLC is selling 2 deep learning patents (Priority Date = July 1, 2016) and the 1st issued patent to use both deep learning and blockchain for a high value model, namely the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Contact ICAP IP SVP Paul Greco here — paul@icapip.com. At the end of March, 2022 and Q1, the number of deep learning patents reached 282, which projects to reach 1,128 by year-end, and so may exceed the 2021 total of 1,104.

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