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“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 8/26/2022

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 the Summer-of-Scuttlebutt! Let’s get started with some new funding news … Zilliz, a leading vector database company and the inventor of Milvus, announced that it has raised a $60 million extension to its initial $43 million Series B. Prosperity7 Ventures, the diversified growth fund under Aramco Ventures, led the round, with participation from existing investors Temasek’s Pavilion Capital, Hillhouse Capital, 5Y Capital, and Yunqi Capital. This brings total investment in the company to $113 million … Pliops, a leading provider of data processors for cloud and enterprise data centers, announced that it has closed a $100 million Series D funding round, bringing total investment in the company to more than $200 million since its founding in 2017. Led by Koch Disruptive Technologies (KDT) – with SK hynix, Lip-Bu Tan, Chairman of Walden International, and State of Mind Ventures Momentum, in addition to previous investors also participating in the round – this latest investment will be used to address the broad market opportunity for the innovative Pliops Extreme Data Processor (XDP). Pliops will continue to build out its strong semiconductor, hardware and software roadmap, while aggressively driving its vision of re-architecting the data stack and bringing ultra-scalability to data centers with customers and partners. In parallel, the company is streamlining its global operations and team of experts in recognition of a changing business landscape … Klavi — a leading SaaS platform in data aggregation, analytics and API services that empowers companies with its Open Finance solutions — received a new US$ 15 million capital contribution. The series A round was led by venture capital funds Iporanga Ventures and Parallax Ventures and included GSR Ventures (an investor in several unicorns, including Didi/99). The banking infrastructure provider CIP S.A. and Vivo Ventures, Vivo’s Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) launched in April, also entered the round, marking their first investment in a fintech. The funding also allows for an additional closing within 90 days, and other already engaged investors will also enter … Jiminny, a UK headquartered conversation intelligence provider supporting sales teams across the world, has closed a $16.5 million series A funding round. The round was led by Kennet Partners, a transatlantic growth equity firm, adding to its targeted portfolio of technology growth stage investments … VERSES Technologies Inc. (NEO: VERS) (“VERSES” or the “Company”), a contextual computing platform provider specializing in the next generation of artificial intelligence solutions, is pleased to announce a non-brokered private placement of units (“Units”) for gross proceeds of up to C$10,000,000 through the sale of up to 10,000,000 Units at a price of C$1.00 per Unit (the “Private Placement”). he proceeds from the Private Placement are intended to be used for general working capital purposes … The global AI community, DPhi, announced that it has raised strategic seed funding of €300,000 from Selçuk Boydak, a serial AI entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist. Selçuk has been successfully building innovative companies for over 20 years, primarily in Switzerland, and is currently focusing on the global roll-out of a unique AI ecosystem. DPhi is a global AI community with headquarters in Belgium and India. It started with the vision to make AI education accessible to everyone and build AI for good to solve key challenges of humanity. As part of its community initiatives, DPhi provides free AI and data science courses by industry experts from large tech companies or startups worldwide. Over 100K+ learners from 150+ countries have benefited since its inception in 2020. The impact of DPhi extends beyond education; its Crowdsourcing AI Platform empowers the community members to apply their skills to solve real-world problems. It fostered AI-driven innovation among several leading companies and solved meaningful problems, including predicting earthquakes to save lives, safeguarding NFTs, and building an AI-powered lens for the blind. Soon the company will launch a global AI marketplace with ready-to-use AI solutions (algorithms) built by the best data scientists worldwide … Addressing the next generation of AI-enabled sensing solutions, MatrixSpace announces completion of $10.1M in private investor funding with secured enterprise and government customers in place … Equalum, a best-in-class provider of data integration and ingestion solutions, announced a $14M Series C financing round. The investors include Planven, United Ventures, Innovation Endeavours, Saints Capital and the company’s newest partner, SpringTide Ventures. Total fundraising now stands at $39M as the company leads the industry in helping organizations connect to, transform, manipulate, and synchronize disparate data from multiple sources at unmatched speed and scalability.

In M&A news we heard … MariaDB® Corporation announced it has acquired CubeWerx, leaders in geospatial solutions, for an undisclosed amount. With the acquisition, MariaDB adds cloud-native, scalable geospatial capabilities that the company plans to offer through its fully managed cloud service MariaDB SkySQL. Applications that leverage geospatial data are truly transformative, enabling businesses to offer new products or services that are highly engaging and tailored to end users … Signal AI, a leading global External Intelligence company, announces that it has acquired US company KELP Inc., the first actionable platform for corporate reputation. The acquisition builds on deep synergies between the two businesses. It accelerates a shared vision to help organizations understand the external events that are impacting their success. Together, Signal AI and KELP will enable executives to make more informed decisions to shift their strategies, capitalize on emerging opportunities, and mitigate rising risks. The combination of Signal AI’s unique external intelligence data and KELP’s industry leading reputation insights will create a game changing solution that empowers organizations to quantify the aggregate impact of all company actions and strengthen corporate reputation.

We also learned of some new partnerships, alignments and collaborations … DataStax, the real-time data company, and Decodable, the streaming processing platform company, announced a new partnership to help developers build modern real-time applications and deliver data services in minutes and at dramatically lower cost. As a result of the partnership, the two companies will connect their cloud services to deliver the benefits of three powerful open source technologies together: Apache Pulsar™, Apache Flink™ and Apache Cassandra™. The joint solution will be offered as fully-managed services available on any cloud through DataStax’s Cassandra-based Astra DB, Pulsar-based Astra Streaming, and Decodable’s SQL-based stream processing platform powered by Apache Flink … Analytics leader SAS has joined forces with SingleStore to help organizations remove barriers to data access, maximize performance and scalability, and uncover key data-driven insights. SAS® Viya® with SingleStore enables the use of SAS analytics and AI technology on data stored in SingleStore’s cloud-native real-time database. The integration provides flexible, open access to curated data to help accelerate value for cloud, hybrid and on-premises deployments … MinIO Inc., creators of the MinIO Multi-Cloud Object Storage suite, announced a deeper strategic collaboration with Intel to deliver superior performance across mission critical workloads, creating optimized infrastructure options for customers. MinIO is a high-performance, Kubernetes-native, S3-compatible object store. It is optimized for 3rd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors at a granular level, including built-in Intel Advanced Vector Extensions 512 (Intel AVX-512) single instruction multiple data (SIMD) acceleration capabilities. The enhanced performance characteristics have made MinIO a leading object store for machine learning frameworks, analytics applications, databases, web applications and other performance-oriented workloads. MinIO’s architecture is renowned for its simplicity and scales from terabytes to exabytes easily … Synthesized, the high-quality data generation company, announced a partnership with BigID, a leading data intelligence platform, to deliver a solution that allows teams to easily generate, mask, subset, and repopulate sensitive data eliminating the risks of data leakage … Prefect Technologies, Inc., the company behind the open-source data workflow automation platform Prefect, announced its partnership with Databricks, the Data and AI company, to provide data engineers, data scientists and analytics engineers the ability to automate dataflows for even the most data-intensive organizations and applications. Together, organizations will have greater control and confidence in their workflows along with the ability to connect various resources across the modern data stack on the lakehouse. The Databricks Lakehouse Platform combines the best elements of data lakes and data warehouses, enabling users to unify their data, analytics and AI, build on open source technology, and maintain a consistent platform across clouds. Combined with Prefect’s data workflow orchestration platform, data teams will have greater performance, reliability, and visibility into their data … Couchbase, Inc. (NASDAQ: BASE), provider of a leading modern database for enterprise applications, announced a partnership with Hammerhead, a technology company with a mission to inspire and empower all people to unlock their athletic potential through cycling. Powered by Couchbase Mobile, Hammerhead’s Karoo 2 is an advanced cycling computer with cutting-edge features, including predictive path technology. Couchbase enables Hammerhead to provide seamless data syncing — regardless of internet connectivity — for an easy and reliable cycling experience for users … Origami Risk LLC, a leading risk, safety and insurance software as a service (SaaS) technology firm, and CLARA Analytics, a leading provider of artificial intelligence (AI) technology for commercial insurance claims optimization, announced they have formed a strategic partnership to make CLARA’s claims solutions available to insurers, managing general agents (MGAs), and self-insured pools using Origami’s industry-leading multitenant SaaS property and casualty platform … CognitiveScale, the company with a leading AI engineering platform and over 170 AI patents that enables AI-powered personalization solutions across the customer journey, and DeepTarget, a transformational Fin-Ed-Tech company that teaches community financial institutions (CFI) how to drive new recurring profits from their financial products and services, have joined forces to make powerful AI-driven decisions accessible, practical and usable by CFIs of all sizes.  

In people movement news we have … Domo (Nasdaq: DOMO) announced that Wendy Steinle will join the company as chief marketing officer (CMO). Steinle brings exceptional executive leadership in business-to-business tech marketing to Domo. She spent more than six years at Adobe where she led new cross-functional go-to-market (GTM) strategy and enablement initiatives that played a significant role in helping Adobe’s Digital Experience business grow from $1.6B to more than $3B in just three years. In addition, she led joint marketing efforts in the Adobe and Microsoft partnership, and led the company’s customer success and engagement platform, Experience League … Lightmatter, a leader in photonic computing, has named its new Vice President of Hardware Engineering, Richard Ho, who spent nearly 9 years at Google leading the revolutionary Cloud Tensor Processing Units (TPU) project. Ho will spearhead Lightmatter’s chip engineering division, with a focus on developing and deploying Lightmatter’s state-of-the-art photonic AI accelerator and wafer-scale interconnect for faster and cleaner computing solutions at scale … Irisity AB (publ), a leading AI video analytics provider, continues to strengthen its management through the recruitment of David Hansson as VP R&D Sweden. David Hansson currently holds the position as Manager Gateway Development at Ericsson AB and will join Irisity by October 10, 2022 …  AtScale, a leading provider of semantic layer solutions for modern business intelligence and data science teams, announced Elif Tutuk as the new VP of product. In this role, Elif will lead AtScale’s global product team, spanning the Bay Area to Boston to Bulgaria, with responsibility for product management, product strategy, design and innovation. She brings extensive business intelligence and analytics expertise, having spent the last 12 years with Qlik. Her most recent role prior to AtScale was as Qlik’s vice president of innovation and design, overseeing a global team of user experience designers, product designers, and engineers. She holds patents in the areas of search and conversational analytics, data analysis, and data management. Prior to Qlik, Elif started her career as a developer and analyst … Recently launched MatrixSpace announced the appointment of industry sales leader Lori DeMatteis as Chief Revenue Officer. Lori will drive MatrixSpace’s sales and go to market programs across a range of industries and geographies. Lori brings a track record of driving significant revenue for emerging technologies into vertical industries for startups to market leaders such as Oracle and Emerson. Most recently she was Global VP of customer success, sales and marketing at aviation safety innovator Iris Automation. MatrixSpace is addressing the next generation of AI-enabled sensing solutions and already has early enterprise and government customers in place. The company is building real-time edge-based sensing with AI to sense and detect objects, motion, and direction in any situation. This ability to combine industry leading sensing, AI edge processing and RF communication in real-time is a major technology breakthrough with significant vertical market applications … Cockroach Labs, the company behind the leading cloud-native distributed SQL database CockroachDB, announced Michelle Wilson, former SVP and General Counsel for Amazon, will be joining its Board of Directors as the first independent director. Her arrival to Cockroach Labs aligns with the company’s explosive growth in the cloud database market … CData Software, a leading provider of data connectivity and integration solutions, announced Josh Waldo has joined the company’s leadership team as Chief Revenue Officer (CRO). In this new role, Waldo will lead the expansion of CData’s sales, strategic partnerships, support, and customer success initiatives.  

In the customer wins category we heard … Aspen Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: AZPN), a leader in industrial software, announced that Birla Carbon, a leading sustainable manufacturer and supplier of carbon black additives, is scaling its deployment of AspenTech’s software across nine sites globally. Birla Carbon operations extend across 12 countries, on five continents, with 16 manufacturing facilities, for a combined annual production capability of over two million tons. By capitalizing on industrial data with AspenTech’s AIoT solutions, the company can accelerate enterprise visibility via an integrated approach to manage Industrial AI applications and further reduce complexity, lower total cost of ownership, and empower employees by providing access to the right technology tool for optimal productivity … SAIC turned to AI and analytics provider Dataiku when creating Tenjin, their low/no-code AI and machine learning tool. Dataiku’s integration allowed them to quickly add additional security features and provide a data science suite that developers could easily operate … mParticle, a leader in customer data infrastructure, announced that C&A, one of Europe’s leading fashion retailers, has selected the mParticle Customer Data Platform (CDP) as its customer data management infrastructure. C&A plans to use mParticle to help them understand their customers’ engagement and bridge in-store and e-commerce retail experiences … Diveplane, the company keeping the humanity in artificial intelligence (AI), announced Mutua Madrileña, one of Spain’s leading general insurance companies, with over 13.5 million customers, has selected GEMINAI™, Diveplane’s flagship product, to support its synthetic data strategy. Like many, the insurance industry must navigate strict regulations and privacy concerns when sharing and utilizing policyholder data. This creates challenges as insurers determine risk models, price products, create policyholder standards, and even determine rare occurrences. GEMINAI™ creates a verifiable synthetic ‘twin’ dataset with the same statistical properties of the original data, but without including real-world confidential information, allowing the data to be applied widely while adhering to privacy regulations and protecting personal information … Cloudian announced that Validated Cloud, a leading Cloud Service Provider (CSP) in the Life Sciences industry, has introduced a new service offering based on Cloudian’s HyperStore object storage platform. The new service, GxP S3 Simple Storage Service, leverages HyperStore’s limitless scalability, military-grade security and native S3 compatibility to meet Validated Cloud customers’ needs for fully compliant data management and protection, including data archive and data lake use cases.

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