“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 3/31/2023

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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.

Let’s get moving with some new funding news …  Jigso, an AI business observability platform, announced that it has emerged from stealth with $7.5M in Seed funding led by General Catalyst, Entrée Capital and Jibe Ventures. Jigso’s technology filters out the constant influx of unnecessary notifications and irrelevant organizational information by aggregating and mining the business’s applications, enterprise systems and data, to present employees with the specific information they require. With this investment, Jigso will further enhance its ChatGPT-style slack bot – “Sidekick”, while introducing new business observability capabilities … Markerr, an analytics platform powering critical decision-making for institutional owners and operators of real estate, announced that it closed a $6.6 million Series B. The round was led by RET Ventures and includes strategic investment from Pretium, a specialized investment firm with more than $50 billion in assets under management … FedML announced $6 million in funding to spearhead a “collaborative AI” movement that empowers companies and developers to work together on machine learning tasks by sharing data, models and compute resources – fueling waves of AI innovation beyond the largest technology companies. To meet that need, FedML has built an open-source community, enterprise platform, and software tools that make it easier to train, deploy and customize machine learning models at scale across edge and cloud nodes … Impact Observatory, a leader in AI-powered global mapping and monitoring, announced that its seed funding round has closed, raising more than $5.9M. The funding will help accelerate Impact Observatory’s go-to-market for its AI-powered monitoring products for governments and commercial customers. The funding will also support ongoing research and development (R&D) to build additional monitoring capabilities utilizing the full spectrum of commercial space-based data sources … Monitaur, an AI governance software company, announced key advancements in AI governance and assurances for the insurance industry. The company has added customers, partners, board members, and regulatory leadership and secured $4.6 million funding … IPRally Technologies, the patent AI company based in Helsinki, Finland, announced an A round investment totaling €10m. The round is led by Endeit Capital with participation of previous investors Join Capital, Spintop Ventures and Icebreaker. The funds will allow IPRally to accelerate the expansion of the company and to develop the product towards a complete one-stop shop for AI-driven patent research and competitive intelligence … Qwak, the end-to-end MLOps platform, announced a new investment from Bessemer Venture Partners. The $12 million financing, at double the valuation from the company’s last funding round, follows a year of growth and represents Bessemer’s first meaningful investment in the growing area of MLOps and machine learning infrastructure. Existing investors Leaders Fund, StageOne Ventures and Amiti also participated in the round. The investment comes as machine learning (ML) is breaking into the mainstream, with generative AI applications like Dall-E, MidJourney and ChatGPT becoming massively popular and disrupting the creative industries … Immuta, a data security leader, announced an additional strategic investment to its Series E funding round from ServiceNow. This investment comes at a time of immense growth for Immuta and its Data Security Platform SaaS offering, which saw annual recurring revenue increase by 200% over the last fiscal year. With this investment, Immuta will continue growing its cloud offering as demand for comprehensive data security soars in the US, as well as the EMEA and APJ regions … pgEdge, Inc. emerged from stealth and launched the first fully distributed database optimized for the network edge based on the standard and popular open source PostgreSQL database.  Concurrently the company also announced $9M in a seed financing round led by Sands Capital Ventures and Grotech Ventures. 

In M&A activity we heard … Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE) announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire OpsRamp, an IT operations management (ITOM) company that monitors, observes, automates and manages IT infrastructure, cloud resources, workloads and applications for hybrid and multi-cloud environments, including the leading hyperscalers. Gartner estimates ITOM to be an approximately $39 billion market … Tracer, a leader in brand protection and brand success, announced the acquisition of Mad Power Technologies, a firm that provides AI and machine learning services with expertise in data capture and modeling, data engineering and advanced analytics, and cloud-based application delivery. Located in Madeira, Portugal, Mad Power Technologies will be the global Center of Excellence for Tracer AI and Data Science, extend Tracer’s European expansion, and accelerate customer support across Europe … Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has agreed to acquire industrial artificial intelligence (AI) company Flutura, headquartered in Bangalore, India. Flutura will strengthen Accenture’s industrial AI services to increase the performance of plants, refineries, and supply chains while also enabling clients to accomplish their net zero goals faster. Accenture plans to bring Flutura’s capabilities to clients in the energy, chemicals, metals, mining, and pharmaceutical industries. Terms of this deal were not disclosed. 

In people movement news we learned … Scale AI announced former Cloudera Chief Product Officer, Arun Murthy has joined the company as Chief Product and Technology Officer. As CPTO for Scale, Murthy will oversee the entire tech stack and engineering team, and help build new tools to continue to accelerate the development of AI systems and establish the value prop of AI for enterprise across industries … Sentra, a cloud data security company, has appointed Joseph Hoban to vice president of sales. In his new role, Hoban will draw from more than 15 years of experience leading successful global sales teams to increase Sentra’s revenue growth, and scale the company’s customer base worldwide. Hoban will lead Sentra’s sales team, identify new business opportunities, as well as drive the company’s channel strategy and partner ecosystem … Appen Limited (ASX:APX), a leader in providing high-quality training data for artificial intelligence (AI) systems, announced the appointment of Saty Bahadur as its new Chief Technology Officer (CTO). With more than 25 years of experience developing groundbreaking technology, products, and platforms, Saty is a highly respected leader in the AI field and brings a wealth of expertise in driving innovation and operational excellence … Snowplow, a leader in behavioral data creation, announced the leadership appointments of John Piekos as Senior Vice President of Engineering and Ari Daskalakis as Vice President of Global Sales Engineering. Snowplow unlocks behavioral data at scale, enabling any organization to create the richest possible data asset and power advanced analytics and AI use cases … Zilliant, the No. 1 software platform for price and revenue optimization and management, announced the hiring of Tanya Cunningham as vice president of professional services and the promotion of Sofia Simaria to vice president of science and applications delivery … EnterpriseDB, a leader in accelerating Postgres® in the enterprise, announced that Chandler Hoisington has been appointed EDB’s new Chief Product Officer, Leslie O’Neil has been promoted to Chief Human Resources Officer, and Jozef de Vries has been promoted to Chief Product Engineering Officer all reporting to CEO & Chairman Ed Boyajian … Logz.io, provider of the efficient, simple-to-use observability platform, based on open source, announced that company co-founder Asaf Yigal will now undertake the critical role of chief technology officer, with responsibilities spanning product vision and technical evangelism as well as strategic and business partnerships … Cockroach Labs, maker of a leading enterprise-grade distributed SQL database, CockroachDB, accelerates their business with the hire of new President and Chief Revenue Officer Jason Forget on the back of strong customer growth, global expansion, and the continuous addition of product features built to bring even more large scale, mission-critical data to the cloud … Enterprise Search leader Sinequa announced the appointment of Ulf Zetterberg to Co-Chief Executive Officer. Alexander Bilger, who has served as Sinequa President and CEO since 2005, will continue to lead Sinequa’s technology vision and strategy alongside Zetterberg who will focus on worldwide business operations. With a combined mission for enabling information-driven organizations through intelligent search and knowledge management, Bilger and Zetterberg bring business and technical acumen to drive Sinequa’s next phase of growth and advance its market position as a leading Enterprise Search player … MANTA, a leader in data lineage and metadata management, announced the promotion of Ernie Ostic to chief evangelist and the addition of Bernard Desarnauts to assume the role of senior vice president of product, formerly held by Ostic … Chris Rice joined Lucata as Chief Executive Officer to lead the company into its next phase of growth. Chris’s career and experience have demonstrated his understanding of the need for innovative, next-generation solutions. He most recently served as CEO of STL Access Solutions, where he scaled the team and business, leading innovation to realize the full potential of broadband fiber and 5G within telecom. Previously, Chris spent 25 years at AT&T where he led the research, development, and operations of the entire wireline network and managed a multi-billion-dollar budget in oversight … Scalitya leader in distributed file and object storage, announced that it has appointed an experienced former HPE executive, Peter Brennan, as chief revenue officer (CRO). Scality’s addition of the CRO role reflects its mission to capture increasing market share in the thriving file and object storage space. Expanding growth activities worldwide, Brennan will lead sales and marketing efforts to maximize revenue with an emphasis on partners and the channel … Aiven, the open source cloud data platform, announced that David Wyatt joins the company as Chief Revenue Officer. Wyatt brings over more than two decades of sales leadership roles and a track record of accelerating growth in many Software as a Service (SaaS) companies such as Databricks and MuleSoft … Digibee, an enterprise integration platform as a service (eiPaaS) company that helps organizations build flexible, highly scalable integration architecture, announced it appointed Matt Durham as head of market strategy. Durham will leverage over 25 years of software industry experience and over 20 years of experience in the integration market to enhance awareness of Digibee overall and especially in the U.S. He also will work with customers and prospects to ensure their requirements are met … Nicholas Tatonetti, PhD, an expert in biomedical data science, has joined Cedars-Sinai as the vice chair of Computational Biomedicine and associate director for Computational Oncology at Cedars-Sinai Cancer … Alkymi, a leading data acceleration platform, announced that it has added Andrea Remyn Stone, former CEO of the Data & Analytics Division of the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) and Global Head of Strategy for Bloomberg LP, to its board of directors. With more than 25 years of financial technology experience, Stone will work closely with the leadership team and offer her extensive expertise in digital transformation and product strategy to unlock the full value of data for customers … Verusen, the AI-powered supply chain materials intelligence leader, announced that Scott Matthews, former CEO of MRP and CrowdTwist, is joining Verusen as Chief Executive Officer and board director. Scott joins Verusen to lead day-to-day operations alongside Founder Paul Noble, who will transition to the position of Chief Strategy Officer.

We also learned of some new partnerships, alignments and collaborations …  Dremio, the open and easy data lakehouse company, and Domo, a data experience platform innovator, announced a new partnership to expand access to critical data for better decision-making. Through a native data integration with Domo Cloud Amplifier, joint customers can easily connect to Domo to analyze data directly on the data lakehouse. Cloud Amplifier extends the capabilities of the data lakehouse and gives more data users access to critical data to gain insights and make better data-driven decisions … ThoughtSpot, the AI-Powered Analytics company, and Google Cloud announced an expanded partnership to help companies reimagine how they utilize data, analytics, and AI to drive business outcomes. This new partnership includes delivery of ThoughtSpot’s SaaS offering on Google Cloud, a deep integration with Looker Modeler, and bringing ThoughtSpot Sheets Analytics to Google Connected Sheets, along with new ways to purchase, deploy, and consume ThoughtSpot on the Google Cloud Marketplace, Google BigQuery Partner Center, and Google Workspace Marketplace. The news comes on the heels of the launch of ThoughtSpot Sage, a new natural language search experience for data powered by large language models like GPT … UiPath (NYSE: PATH), a leading enterprise automation software company, and Amelia, an enterprise leader in Trusted AI, announced a partnership that brings together the power of the UiPath Business Automation Platform with Amelia’s enterprise-grade Conversational AI to create a fully integrated IT digital agent solution. Together, the market leaders will enable customers to deliver personalized employee experiences at scale, helping businesses drive efficient growth by doing more with less … data.world, the enterprise data catalog for the modern data stack, announced that it is partnering with dbt Labs, a pioneer in analytics engineering, to deliver deeper visibility into transformation and greater discoverability into data assets built with dbt. The new partnership builds on data.world’s existing integration with dbt Core, dbt’s open source transformation tool, to include dbt Cloud. Now dbt Cloud users have the ability to gain powerful insights through data.world’s knowledge graph … Sonata Software, a leading Modernization and Digital Engineering company, announced that it has signed a Global Gold Services partnership agreement with Sinequa, the leading enterprise search cloud company. This partnership enables Sonata to offer its customers a powerful intelligent search solution on which knowledge-intensive organizations can support enterprise-wide search and develop customized domain and situational applications … Atakama, a pioneer in multifactor encryption, enabling unrivaled data protection through distributed cryptographic key management, announced that it has partnered with Panzura, a leader in hybrid multi-cloud data management, to deliver a seamless end-to-end data management and protection solution … Panintelligence, a provider of embedded SaaS analytics, and Yellowbrick Data, a multi-cloud data warehouse vendor, announced a partnership to uniquely support the use of analytics embedded in a data warehouse across both cloud and on-premises SaaS environments … Satisfi Labs, a leading conversational AI platform for destinations and experiences, announced that it has partnered with accesso Technology Group, a premier technology solutions provider for attractions and venues worldwide. The strategic collaboration between the two companies will empower streamlined and intuitive engagement between leisure & entertainment venues and their guests with AI-driven customer communication …  QuEra Computing, maker of the publicly accessible neutral-atom quantum computer – Aquila, announced a new partnership with the National Energy  Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC). The partnership will give NERSC access to QuEra’s  neutral-atom technology, advancing the center’s efforts to help develop and evaluate quantum  computers with the goal of allowing its users to solve problems in quantum dynamics, chemistry, high energy physics, and other fields.   

In the customer wins category we have … Couchbase, Inc. (NASDAQ: BASE), the cloud database platform company, announced that Quantic, a cloud-based point of sale (POS) platform company, selected Couchbase Capella™ Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) on AWS to help manage and scale the company’s growing workloads. With Capella powering its modern applications, Quantic is prepared for future business growth to deliver seamless, reliable experiences to customers … Couchbase, Inc. (NASDAQ: BASE), the cloud database platform company, announced that Lotum, a leading provider of mobile gaming applications, has selected Couchbase Capella™ Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) on Google Cloud to power its most popular mobile game, 4 Pics 1 Word. Capella delivers a consistent and always-on experience for Lotum game users, regardless of network connectivity. Since moving to Capella, Lotum has benefitted from increased performance and scale for its games, as well as meeting customer demand for a synchronized gaming experience across devices … TruEra, which provides the first suite of AI Quality management solutions to test, explain, debug and monitor Machine Learning (ML) models, announced that it has been selected by PwC to collaborate on AI Risk Management in the UK and Ireland … Alation, Inc., a leader in enterprise data intelligence solutions, announced that not-for-profit life insurance provider, WoodmenLife, leverages Alation’s data intelligence platform to increase productivity. With Alation, WoodmenLife’s data and business analysts govern and manage data as a strategic asset, modernize the organization’s technology stack, and migrate critical data to the cloud. Prior to Alation, workflows that took 3 – 5 days on average now run in 15 minutes, increasing productivity by nearly 99%. 

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