“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 1/11/2023

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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.

Happy New Year to all our faithful readers from across the globe! It’s great to be here with you again in 2023 to bring you the latest industry news. Let’s start with new funding news … Chronosphere, the cloud native observability platform that puts engineering organizations back in control by taming rampant data growth and cloud native complexity, has raised an additional $115 million Series C funding. New investors include GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Geodesic Capital, bringing Chronosphere’s total funding to $343 million, and increasing the company’s valuation to $1.6 billion. Existing Chronosphere investors also participated in the round including: Addition, Founders Fund, General Atlantic, Greylock, Glynn Capital, and Lux Capital. The round will support continued innovation and go-to-market efforts for its market-leading cloud native observability platform … Chaos Genius, the DataOps observability platform, has raised $3.3M in seed funding led by Elevation Capital with the participation of Y Combinator and angel investors, including Charles Zedlewski, former General Manager at Cloudera, Holly Liu, former co-founder of Kabam, and Sumon Sadhu, among others … SirionLabs, a leader in AI-powered contract lifecycle management (CLM), announced that its Series D funding has reached $110 million as a result of an investment by Brookfield Growth. The previously announced round was led by Partners Group with participation from existing investors Sequoia India and Tiger Global. The fresh capital will enable the company to expand its leadership position in the rapidly growing enterprise CLM market … Spike, makers of the API aggregation and an ETL solution for data from wearables and IoT devices, announced the closing of a $700,000 pre-seed round to help digital health firms improve their clients’ lives. Spike allows companies to easily integrate biomarker data from 200+ wearable sensors and IoT devices into their applications. The funding round was led by Geek Ventures of New York City, with participation from CEAS Investments and APX … Vic.ai announced $52 million in Series C funding to expand its artificial intelligence (AI) platform for real-time, autonomous accounting and financial intelligence. This funding round was led by existing investors GGV Capital and ICONIQ Growth with continued participation from Cowboy Ventures and Costanoa Ventures, bringing total capital raised to $115 million. Vic.ai plans to use the new funding to add industry-pioneering modules to its platform in 2023 to help enterprises optimize their finance processes and make more informed data-driven decisions … Tredence, the Data Science and AI Solutions company, announced it has raised USD 175 million in Series B funding from Advent International to accelerate data-fueled growth and AI value realization for industries. Advent is one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors. The full financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed. Advent will acquire a minority stake in Tredence with the $175 million investment. Advent has significant investment experience in the technology services and software sectors. Recent IT and information services investments include Encora, CI&T, NielsenIQ, Neoris, Sophos Solutions, Aareon, Canvia, and QuEST Global Services … Dialpad, Inc., the AI-Powered Customer Intelligence Platform, announced a $50 million investment into the continued research and development (R&D) of artificial intelligence (AI) related technologies to accelerate the development of cutting edge features to automate business processes and provide predictive insights. Dialpad disrupted the collaboration market years ago by developing and releasing the first real-time speech recognition engine for enterprise conversations. The company has since extended its Ai capabilities by delivering industry-first features such as real-time assist (i.e., suggested answers to questions), virtual agents (Ai-powered self-service web and chatbots), and Ai CSAT (i.e., inferred customer satisfaction from service conversations), among others … Altair (Nasdaq: ALTR) a global leader in computational science and artificial intelligence (AI), has invested $10 million in Xscape Photonics, a start-up that developed patented technology for photonic chips for ultrahigh-bandwidth connections inside data centers and high-performance computing (HPC) systems … DarwinAI, an innovative Industry 4.0 company that is transforming manufacturing by instilling trust in AI, announced a $6M USD investment round led by BDC Capital’s Deep Tech Venture Fund with participation from new and existing investors. The investment extends the capital raised through previous investment rounds led by Honeywell Ventures, Obvious Ventures and Inovia Capital. 

In public offerings news … MariaDB plc (NYSE:MRDB), a cloud database company, announced the completion of its previously announced business combination with Angel Pond Holdings Corporation (“APHC”), a previously publicly traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), resulting in a combined company that is an Irish public limited company renamed MariaDB plc (“MariaDB” or the “Company”). As of December 19, 2022, MariaDB’s ordinary shares and warrants began trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbols “MRDB” and “MRDB WS,” respectively. MariaDB delivers the backbone of services used by people every day – when accessing data on their smartphone devices, filling prescriptions, using 5G or making financial transactions. MariaDB’s new generation relational database products are engineered to support any workload, any scale and any cloud enabling customers to do more with their data. MariaDB is focused on delivering cloud data services through MariaDB SkySQL that address a broad customer base.

In new M&A activity we learned … Progress (NASDAQ: PRGS), the provider of application development and infrastructure software, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire MarkLogic, a leader in managing complex data and metadata and a Vector Capital portfolio company. Upon closing of the planned transaction, MarkLogic is expected to enhance Progress’ commitment of delivering the best products to develop, deploy and manage high-impact applications by providing a unified enterprise-grade semantic data platform that empowers customers to derive value from complex data … LumApps, a leading employee experience platform, announced it has acquired Vizir, an innovative no-code digital assistant technology (“predictive chatbots”) that human resources, and information technology, communications departments can use to automate mundane tasks and improve employee access to knowledge, resources, and third-party applications at lower costs … Cognizant (Nasdaq: CTSH) announced it has agreed to acquire Houston-based Utegration LLC, a full-service consulting and solutions provider specializing in SAP® technology and SAP-certified products for the energy and utilities sectors.  

We also have a number of new partnerships, alignments and collaborations … CerebrumX Lab Inc. (CerebrumX), an AI-driven automotive data services & management platform, announced its partnership with Toyota to provide valuable real-time insights aimed at making connected fleet operations safer and cost-effective. The partnership is focused on reducing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for fleets by utilizing embedded telematics data from participating Toyota vehicles to promote data-driven decision-making and upgraded performance … ThoughtSpot, the Modern Analytics Cloud company, and dbt Labs, a pioneer in analytics engineering, announced a formal partnership to bring self service analytics to the modern data stack. The new partnership builds on the two companies’ work in recent months to build robust integrations that deliver tangible business value to shared customers such as Huel, TotallyMoney, Loan Market Group, Chick-fil-a, Nasdaq, Roche and GoSharing. The recent product integrations include bringing dbt models into the ThoughtSpot data workspace and integrating ThoughtSpot with the dbt Semantic Layer … data.world, the enterprise data catalog for the modern data stack, announced it has partnered with Databricks, the lakehouse company, to offer greater visibility and understanding of data across the Databricks Lakehouse Platform and other data sources through an integration with Databricks Unity Catalog, the platform’s unified governance solution. The integration expands on an existing technology partnership that enables Databricks customers to use data.world’s native virtualization capabilities to discover, explore, and experiment on data wherever it lives … ClearML, a leading open source, end-to-end MLOps platform, and Ultralytics, a leading vision AI company, announced today that they have partnered to integrate ClearML’s open source toolkit into Ultralytics’ YOLOv5 stack. 

In people movement news we heard … Appen Limited (ASX:APX), a leader in high-quality data for the AI Lifecycle, announced the official starting of Armughan Ahmad as CEO and President. With over 25 years of experience scaling multi-billion-dollar technology businesses and building strong global teams, Armughan plans to accelerate adoption within the fast-growing enterprise AI market … Unravel Data, the DataOps observability platform built to meet the needs of modern data teams, announced that David Blayney has joined the company as Regional Vice President, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). His hiring reflects the growing need for a unified view of data pipelines and cloud cost management and follows the company’s recent leadership announcements and Series D funding … Speedb, the company behind the Speedb data engine, a drop-in replacement for RocksDB, named acclaimed data structures researcher Niv Dayan to its advisory board … tvScientific, a leading connected TV performance advertising platform, announced the strategic appointment of industry veteran Michael Bilow, as its first head of data science, as well as the official launch of its Data Science Advisory Board. Together Bilow and the board will provide strategic guidance over tvScientific’s industry leading approach to television attribution. Leveraging the expertise of the board and cutting-edge and effective AI/machine learning algorithms, tvScientific will now enable mass advertiser adoption of TV as a performance channel … Exasol, the high-performance analytics database provider, announced John Knieriemen has been appointed as the company’s North America Business Lead. In this newly created role, Knieriemen is responsible for strategically scaling Exasol’s North America business presence across industries and expanding the organization’s partner network. Knieriemen brings more than two decades of data analytics experience to Exasol, with deep expertise in new logo acquisition, account management, and solutioning in the data warehousing, big data, and cloud analytics space. At Exasol, he will grow the company’s regional sales team, strengthen customer relationships across various industries such as retail, financial services and more, while working closely with partners to ensure Exasol meets all of their needs … OpenDrives, Inc., the global provider of enterprise-scale, software-defined data storage and management solutions, announced the appointment of Izhar Sharon as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Sharon brings 25 years of enterprise data storage expertise leading revenue growth and company scale for companies such as Infinidat, IBM and Dell EMC. His appointment builds the debut of OpenDrives’ next-generation enterprise IT and cloud management solutions, and also follows a series of strategic hires from Quantum, Kyndryl, Unisys and DreamWorks Studios.

In the customer wins category we have … The Detroit Lions announced that Wallaroo.AI is the franchise’s official artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) partner. The Lions will work with Wallaroo to scale the use of AI across many different business objectives on and off the field. The first phase of this partnership will integrate Wallaroo technology into the newly established Trace3 Analytics War Room at Ford Field, where they will work directly with the Lions’ analytics team during games to improve the fan experience across various elements such as ticketing, parking, concessions, retail, and fan sentiment … Rockset, the Real-time Analytics Database Built for the Cloud, announced that Allianz Direct is leveraging Rockset’s cloud-native technology to deliver real-time pricing for its insurance products, bolstering its position as the digital insurance provider of the future. As risk mitigation becomes increasingly data-enabled, Allianz Direct, the pan-European direct insurer of the Allianz Group, is committed to building the future of digital insurance by providing the highest level of customer experience through digital transformation efforts … MariaDB® Corporation announced that Certified Power Solutions (CPS), a leader in the engineering, manufacturing and distribution of hydraulic systems and controls, is well-equipped to safely clear snowbound winter roads by choosing MariaDB SkySQL as its cloud database running on Amazon Web Services (AWS). While summer was unbearably hot around the country, winter is coming and is expected to be brutally cold with record-breaking lows, according to Farmers’ Almanac. Powered by SkySQL, CPS’s winter road maintenance system for snowplow trucks collects data every five seconds from 5,000 vehicle sensors to better inform local agencies about their salt use for de-icing roads and keeping communities safe … KX — maker of kdb+, the fast time series database and real-time analytics engine — announced that Stifel Financial Corp. (NYSE: SF), the full service brokerage and investment banking firm, has chosen KX to enhance market data analytics and drive real-time decision making. With over 8 billion shares traded annually in the U.S., Stifel will leverage the unmatched speed and scalability of kdb+ for data ingestion and processing to improve its trade execution analytics and operations in order to increase value for its clients … Gradient AI, a leading enterprise software provider of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions in the insurance industry, announced today that Bardon Insurance Group, a medical stop loss Managing General Underwriter (MGU), is using its SAIL™ solution to better evaluate the risk of medical loss for group health insurance.   

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