“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 9/5/2023

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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.

As the dog days of summer wind down, we’re seeing a rise of heat in the industry! Let’s start with new funding news … Rockset, the search and analytics company, announced it has raised $44 million bringing the company’s total capital raised to $105 million. The round was led by Icon Ventures, with participation from new investors Glynn Capital, Four Rivers, K5 Global, and existing investors Sequoia and Greylock … Lightup, developers of a modern no-code data quality monitoring platform, announced that it closed $9 million in Series A funding to further empower organizations to democratize data quality checks for 100% coverage across enterprise operations. The round was led by Andreessen Horowitz and Newlands, with participation from Spectrum 28 Capital, Shasta Ventures, Vela Partners, and Incubate Fund. Lightup will use the infusion of capital to enhance its core technology, grow its team to tap into global opportunities and expand its partner ecosystem to serve a broader customer base … ConverSight, a unified decision intelligence solution provider, has raised $9M in Series A funding. The round was led by Surface Ventures with participation from Techstars, Augment Ventures, Elevate Ventures and existing investors. ConverSight plans to use the new funding to fuel its go-to-market teams in addition to continuous product innovation and feature expansion … Increasing competition and the viral popularity of ChatGPT is spurring businesses to launch AI apps but they face time and budget constraints in rolling these out. Helping businesses solve this bottleneck, Portkey.ai is today announcing a $3m seed funding round empowering engineering teams to build and launch generative AI apps faster … DynamoFL, Inc.  announced that it has closed a $15.1 million Series A funding round to meet demand for its privacy- and compliance-focused generative AI solutions. Coming off a $4.2M seed round, the company has raised $19.3M to date. DynamoFL’s flagship technology, which allows customers to safely train Large Language Models (LLM) on sensitive internal data, is already in use by Fortune 500 companies in finance, electronics, insurance and automotive sectors … Datasaur, a leading natural language processing (NLP) platform that helps annotators train AI algorithms, announced the close of a $4 million seed funding round and launched a new feature, Datasaur Dinamic, allowing users to easily train custom NLP models. The round was led by Initialized Capital with participation from HNVR, Gold House Ventures, and TenOneTen, bringing Datasaur’s total funding to date to $7.9 million. The latest investment will be used to democratize access to the latest advancements in NLP and LLM technology … MindsDB, an artificial intelligence virtual database enabling the creation of the next wave of AI-centered applications, announced an investment from NVentures, NVIDIA’s venture capital arm, bringing total seed funding raised to $46.5 million. The latest round – which includes existing investors Benchmark, Mayfield, Y Combinator, OpenOcean and Walden Catalyst – will further advance MindsDB’s mission, making AI more accessible to all businesses by enabling the world’s 30 million software developers to implement AI capabilities in their products … Simon Data, a leading customer data platform (CDP), announced the successful completion of its Series D funding round, securing $54 million in investment. The funding round was led by Macquarie Capital with participation from several existing investors, including Polaris, .406, and F-Prime, underscoring their confidence in Simon Data’s vision and its ability to set a new standard for personalized, cross-channel marketing globally … Language I/O (LIO), a leader in real-time, business-accurate translation technology, announced its $8M Series A1 funding round led by Joint Effects, a Venture Capital firm based in Boston, MA. The largest investor in the round was the Wyoming Business Council’s Wyoming Venture Capital (WYVC) Fund. Key participants also included Gutbrain Ventures, PBJ Capital and Omega Venture Partners. This investment will help expand the LIO machine learning (ML) team and platform that integrates generative AI to improve real-time translation quality and to ultimately generate language-specific, LLM-powered chatbots.

In new M&A activity we learned … IFS, the global cloud enterprise software company, announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Falkonry, Inc. a California-based Industrial AI software company that provides automated, high-speed data analysis to the manufacturing and defense industries. The AI-based, self-learning solution continuously monitors large volumes of data for assets, machines, systems, and industrial processes to discover and analyze unusual behavior and causes of failures … insightsoftware, a global provider of reporting, analytics, and performance management solutions, announced it acquired Vizlib, a UK-based software company that builds powerful value-added products for Qlik Sense. With this deal, insightsoftware can provide Qlik users with powerful new capabilities to supercharge operational planning, reporting, and analytics. It also complements insightsoftware’s previous acquisition of Power ON, and extends write-back: the ability to update source data in enterprise databases directly onto the Qlik platform … SpringML, a technology services company with leading cloud, data engineering, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, announced its merger with Egen, a cloud migration, application modernization and platform engineering provider. The combination of Egen’s cloud and platform engineering expertise with SpringML’s data, analytics and AI capabilities creates a provider with end-to-end capabilities across the cloud, data, analytics, AI, and platform engineering spectrum. The combined business will have all the capabilities necessary to increase the value and accelerate the timeline of the data-driven digital journeys of private and public sector clients. Egen and SpringML together will represent one of the largest independent players in the Google Cloud ecosystem, with deep expertise across the most critical aspects of cloud and data transformation … Apica, a leader in synthetic monitoring and observability, announced its agreement to acquire observability data fabric startup LOGIQ.AI. Apica also announced it has raised $10M in funding from existing investors Industrifonden, SEB Foundation, and Oxx. With the acquisition and the new financing, Apica plans to continue delivering affordable and flexible observability innovations and develop new capabilities in the coming months for enterprise customers … IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced it has completed its acquisition of Apptio Inc. after receiving all required regulatory approvals. The acquisition gives clients the ability to derive additional value through the powerful combination of Apptio and IBM.

In the people movement category we heard … DiffusionData, a leader in real-time data streaming and messaging solutions, announced that Scott Fink, previously an Executive Director Site Reliability Engineering at CME Group, as its new Managing Director for the Americas. Scott will be responsible for all customer and partner engagements for DiffusionData Inc across the US, Canada and Latin America … Alteryx, Inc. (NYSE: AYX), the Analytics Cloud Platform company, announced the appointment of Scott Van Valkenburgh as Senior Vice President, Global Alliances and Channels, to lead Alteryx’s global partner strategy and execution … Vectra AI, a leader in AI-driven cyber threat detection and response, announced the appointment of Scott Dussault as chief financial officer (CFO). An accomplished executive with a proven track record of driving financial performance and creating shareholder value, Dussault will lead Vectra AI’s financial operations as the company enters its next stage of growth … ThoughtSpot, the AI-Powered Analytics company, announced that Jeff Depa has joined the company as its Chief Revenue Officer. In this role, Depa will contribute to ThoughtSpot’s strategic growth and revenue goals by maximizing profit through go to market strategies that operationalize outcomes across the entire customer lifecycle … SolarWinds (NYSE:SWI), a leading provider of simple, powerful, secure observability and IT management software, announces database and cloud migration expert Kevin Kline has been appointed Senior Staff Technical Marketing Manager. After a brief hiatus, Kline has returned to the SolarWinds team to serve as a subject matter expert on a variety of data management systems … Zilliant, the software platform for price and revenue optimization and management, announced that Chris Lee has joined the company as Chief Revenue Officer … Dataiku, the platform for Everyday AI, announced that it has appointed JY Pook as Senior Vice President & General Manager of Asia Pacific & Japan (APJ), further solidifying its commitment to the APJ region. Pook is a seasoned executive with an extensive background in leading digital transformations and go-to-market strategies in the APJ technology sector. He joins Dataiku from Tableau at Salesforce after almost 12 years as Senior Vice President & General Manager of APJ. Pook will leverage his experience to elevate Dataiku’s presence, strengthen AI adoption across diverse industries, drive growth, and empower local teams in the APJ region … Protegrity, a leader in data security and privacy, announced Dante Malagrino has been appointed Chief Product Officer (CPO), and Christian Carnell has been appointed Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Reporting to Protegrity CEO Paul Mountford, Malagrino and Carnell will take on their new executive leadership roles in August to lead Protegrity’s next phase of growth.   

In the new partnerships, alignments and collaborations department we have … Seeq Corporation, a leader in advanced analytics for manufacturing, announced a partnership with Databricks, the data and AI company, that brings a native integration between each company’s platform to simplify access to high quality asset and process data, unify IT and OT data processing and accelerate AI/ML adoption across the industrial manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and energy sectors … Deloitte announced an expansion of its strategic alliance with NVIDIA to help enterprises around the world use generative AI to reinvent how they conduct business. Deloitte will use NVIDIA AI technology and expertise to build high-performing generative AI solutions for enterprise software platforms to help unlock significant business value … Cyxtera (OTC: CYXTQ), a global leader in data center colocation, interconnection services, and digital infrastructure, announced its collaboration with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to help customers simplify their IT operations, improve agility, and realize significant cost savings. As an HPE Partner Ready service provider, Cyxtera is now offering its Enterprise Bare Metal solution supported by the HPE GreenLake platform. With HPE ProLiant servers on Cyxtera Enterprise Bare Metal, customers can benefit from the operational flexibility of the cloud with the performance, control, cost-predictability, and security of dedicated infrastructure running in Cyxtera’s global data centers … Rackspace Technology® (NASDAQ: RXT) — a leading end-to-end, multicloud solutions company, announced a partnership with Aible to enable enterprise-scale data analysis and data storytelling while providing deep insights through a proprietary conversational interface. Foundry for AI by Rackspace (FAIR™) is dedicated to accelerating the secure, responsible, and sustainable adoption of AI and data solutions in enterprises across all industries, and through this partnership will be powered by Aible … XponentL Data (XponentL), a leading data products solution provider, and Tamr, Inc. a leading cloud-native data mastering solution, announced their strategic partnership aimed at delivering cutting-edge data product solutions. This collaboration brings together two industry-leading companies with a shared vision of empowering clients to unlock the full potential of their data … United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X) and Google Cloud announced a new collaboration to build applications using Google Cloud’s generative artificial intelligence (“gen AI”) technology to help drive efficiencies and improve employee experiences in the largest iron ore mine in North America. As  a leading manufacturer engaging in gen AI with Google Cloud, U.S. Steel continues to advance its more than 100-year legacy of innovation. The first gen AI-driven application that U.S. Steel will launch is called MineMind™, which aims to simplify equipment maintenance by providing optimal solutions for mechanical problems, saving time and money, and ultimately improving productivity. Underpinned by Google Cloud’s AI technology like Document AI and Vertex AI, MineMind™ is expected to not only improve the maintenance team’s experience by more easily bringing the information they need to their fingertips, but also save costs from more efficient use of technicians’ time and better maintained trucks. The initial phase of the launch will begin in September and will impact more than 60 haul trucks at U.S. Steel’s Minnesota Ore facilities, Minntac and Keetac …  Kyndryl (NYSE: KD), the technology infrastructure services provider, and Microsoft announced a joint effort to enable the adoption of enterprise-grade generative AI solutions for businesses on The Microsoft Cloud. Leveraging the partnership’s Joint Innovation Centers, Kyndryl’s growing patent portfolio in data and AI, and its access to Microsoft 365 Copilot, Azure OpenAI Service and Microsoft Fabric, the two companies will rapidly design, develop and drive new generative AI innovations and solutions across their enterprises. To further the advancement of new AI capabilities, Kyndryl is also committing to utilize the Kyndryl University for Microsoft to educate thousands of Kyndryl employees on new Microsoft AI technologies … PEAK:AIO, a provider of a transformative software defined storage platform designed to meet the needs of artificial intelligence, announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Stormgrid, a provider of cutting-edge hybrid artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. Together, PEAK:AIO and Stormgrid will offer state-of-the-art AI infrastructure providing enhanced performance and scalability for Stormgrid’s burgeoning customer base … Ascend.io, a leader in Data Pipeline Automation, announced that it will offer free data ingest services into the Databricks Lakehouse Platform, offered by Databricks, the data and AI company. The integration of Ascend’s data management capabilities with Databricks’ Lakehouse Platform caters to the diverse needs of today’s data professionals while eliminating the cost of loading and syncing data … Presidio, a leading global digital services and solution provider announced an extensive partnership with Nasuni Corporation, a leading provider of file data services. Nasuni is optimizing AWS Cloud use and reducing OpEX with Presidio’s Proactive Recapture into Savings Management (PRISM) program. In addition, Nasuni has signed a multi-year business agreement with Presidio to simplify how companies store, protect, and manage file data in hybrid cloud environments. 

In customer wins news we heard … C3 AI (NYSE: AI), the Enterprise AI application software company, announced that the U.S. Air Force will adopt a C3 AI air logistics optimization application to conserve flight energy as a new order under a previous U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) agreementWallaroo.AI, a leader in scaling production machine learning (ML) from the cloud to the edge, announced it has been selected by AFWERX (the innovation arm of the Department of the Air Force) for a Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II contract to address the most pressing challenges in the Department of the Air Force (DAF) … Qlik® announced that Social Innovation Company Hitachi, Ltd. has adopted Qlik analytics with additional services within its Hitachi Omika Works. This has enabled the division to analyze and draw insights from data, enabling better risk analysis while eliminating ambiguity for faster decision making across its organization. 

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