“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 2/17/2020

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.

The big data ecosystem is already heating up for some healthy acceleration in 2020, as our news feeds and rumor sources are giving us a glimpse of what’s in store – so let’s start with some new funding news … PredictHQ, the demand intelligence company, announced $22 million in Series B funding led by Sutter Hill Ventures and joined by existing investors.

PredictHQ empowers major organizations in the airline, accommodation, retail, and transport sectors to accurately anticipate fluctuations in demand for their products, services, and on their staff.

By arming leading businesses with intelligence on upcoming concerts, sporting events, conferences, school holidays, severe weather and more, PredictHQ lets companies understand the impetus behind people movement and its impact on commerce via one global events API … Hazelcast, a leading in-memory computing platform that delivers radically fast application performance at scale, announced the $50 million expansion of its Series D round due to over-subscribed interest from global investment entities.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), via its Venture Capital Investment Programme, and the German development finance institution Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (DEG) join C5 Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, Earlybird Venture Capital and Capital One Growth Ventures in this round, while Comerica Bank has provided a growth debt facility …  Aiera announced that it has raised $7 million through the sale of its Series A Preferred Stock to investors led by Fin Venture Capital and including Macquarie Group, Citi Markets FinTech Investments, and Franklin Templeton.

Aiera is an event intelligence and insights platform that leverages adaptive deep learning to enhance active fundamental investment strategies.

Using advanced linguistics and predictive modeling, Aiera offers investment managers and other professionals the ability to automatically and proactively monitor all public earnings calls and events in real-time, as well as across broker research, media, SEC filings, meeting notes, and more … A half-million-dollar loan will further the development of software that enables the more transparent and inclusive development of innovations in artificial intelligence (AI).

The early-stage technology company, Zetane Systems from Beaconsfield, Québec, announced their receipt of $250 000 each from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and the PME MTL–West Island.

This latest funding tops off previous government grants from the Industrial Research Assistance Program of the National Research Council and the Québec Ministère de l’Économie et de ‘Innovation of $50 000 and $43 360, respectively.

Zetane Systems will use the funds to advance its software as a service provision of a digital, visual workspace that helps streamline the development of complex AI projects.

Building on top of abstract computer code, the software’s visual representation of data sets and machine learning algorithms provides new means to assess the technology’s trustworthiness and gain a better understanding of its inner workings.

Support of this entrepreneurial venture in AI aligns with multiple public and private initiatives to maintain the Montréal region as a leading centre of innovation within this domain of the technology sector … Aiven , a startup that combines the best open source technologies with cloud infrastructure, announced that it has raised $40 million in Series B funding.

This brings the total funds raised to $50 million.

The round was led by Silicon Valley-based IVP , whose notable investments include Datadog, Dropbox, GitHub, HashiCorp and Slack.

Existing investors Earlybird VC and Lifeline Ventures, as well as family offices of Risto Siilasmaa, chairman of Nokia, and Olivier Pomel, founder of Datadog, also participated in the round … Databook, the AI-powered, enterprise customer intelligence platform, announced the company has secured a $5 million seed round led by Threshold Ventures.

Josh Stein, Managing Partner at Threshold, will join Databook’s Board.

The funding will be used to scale Databook’s product and go-to-market teams to tackle the customer intelligence market, projected by MarketWatch at $5 billion by 2022.

The Databook Customer Intelligence Platform combines predictive intent data, real-time insights, and time-saving productivity tools to improve selling performance across the enterprise.

Every sales rep that uses Databook, regardless of experience or skill set, can deliver the right pitch, for the right audience, at the right time–building true, sustainable customer value from the first conversation.

We also heard of some new M&A activity … Kitman Labs, Ltd, a leader in sports performance analytics, announced it has acquired The Sports Office, the pioneer in athlete data management.

The combined company creates the strongest data science and development capacity in the industry and forms the largest data set from an advanced network of elite sports leagues, governing bodies, and professional and development clubs across the globe.

The joint development power will be used to deliver innovations more rapidly to address the new, fast-changing needs caused by the skyrocketing growth of performance and medical data … Infor, a global leader in business cloud software specialized by industry, announced that an affiliate of Koch Equity Development LLC, the investment and acquisition subsidiary of Koch Industries, Inc.

, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the remaining equity stake in Infor held by Golden Gate Capital.

At the close of the transaction, Infor will become a standalone subsidiary of Koch Industries, and will continue to be operated by the company’s current management team from its headquarters in New York City.

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display(div-gpt-ad-1439400881943-0); }); In the new customer wins department we learned … Splice Machine, a provider of a scalable SQL database that enables companies to modernize their legacy and custom applications to be agile, data-rich, and intelligent, announced that it has been awarded a Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract by the United States Air Force (USAF) to automate the manual process of assigning resources to missions in order to meet mission objectives on a defined timeline.

Splice Machine’s intelligent SQL platform will be evaluated as a solution to modernize this process, minimizing compute complexity, while maximizing training and mission-objective effectiveness … Fluree, provider of a blockchain-backed data platform, announced it has won a contract from the United States Air Force (USAF) to bring commercial best-in-class technologies to the Air Force and U.

S.

Department of Defense (DoD).

As part of the Small Business Innovation Research AFWERX technology innovation program, Fluree’s data management platform was selected to provide the USAF with secure, worldwide command-and-control communications using an encrypted, distributed, blockchain-backed graph database shared between partners … LifeLink announced a successful, large scale conversational technology deployment at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, with a patient engagement chatbot handling the majority of online patient appointment requests.

The LifeLink chatbot uses text messaging to interact with patients and collect information related to appointments being requested through the Jefferson website.

In people movement news we heard … Qumulo, a leader in enterprise-proven hybrid cloud file storage, announced the appointment of Barry Russell as senior vice president and general manager of cloud.

In his new role, Russell will lead Qumulo’s cloud strategy across business development, alliances and go-to-market execution.

Before joining Qumulo, Russell was the vice president of cloud business globally at F5, where he led cloud field sales, solution architecture and the overall alliance strategy … DataRobot, a leader in enterprise AI, announced that it has appointed Dan Wright as President and Chief Operating Officer.

Wright most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer at AppDynamics, the leader in application performance management (APM).

During his nearly seven years at the company, Wright helped AppDynamics increase annual recurring revenue 100x, establish itself as the largest and fast-growing APM vendor, and become cash flow positive while driving toward profitability.

In 2017, AppDynamics was acquired by Cisco for $3.

7 billion two days before its planned initial public offering.

Following the acquisition, AppDynamics continued its aggressive growth as a part of Cisco … Datical, a leading provider of database release automation solutions, announced the appointment of seasoned open source executive Dion Cornett as president.

As president, Cornett brings over a decade of open source leadership experience at Red Hat and MariaDB.

He previously served as CEO of ReachForce, a B2B marketing and sales software provider that was acquired by Leadspace.

Previously, he was the vice president of global sales at MariaDB Corporation, one of the fastest growing open source database providers with more than 12 million users worldwide.

Before that, he held multiple vice president roles at Red Hat for over eight years.

In the new partnerships, alignments and collaborations category we heard … Speechmatics and Soho2 have announced their partnership to deliver consulting services to their customers, and a new product offering ‘Speech2’.

The industry-first solution is designed to leverage the latest advancements in any-context speech recognition for machine learning driven content analysis.

Soho2 has significant depth in delivering machine-learning driven solutions to market.

The new product from Soho2 will give companies in legal, compliance and contact centers the invaluable ability to analyze voice data garnered from calls.

Speech2 enables companies to bring new levels of flexibility to data analysis for high-volume, real time or recorded voice data through mission-critical, accurate speech recognition.

Using AI and machine learning, the solution will deliver an unparalleled ability to derive insight from voice data and also manage risk.

The product can be deployed in any customer-managed environment to enable control over personal or sensitive data to be retained … Splice Machine, a provider of a scalable SQL database that enables companies to modernize their legacy and custom applications to be agile, data-rich, and intelligent, announced a new partnership with Heirloom Computing to enable enterprises to modernize legacy, mission-critical, mainframe applications with Splice Machine’s intelligent SQL database.

Businesses will benefit by at least an order of magnitude, from reengineering applications by hand, to replatforming at compiler-speed to an agile Java ecosystem on a modern data platform.

In addition, enterprises will gain access to powerful new functionality by running their applications on the Splice Machine platform, such as leveraging real-time and historical data in analytics and injecting AI and machine learning into their applications … Sisense, a leading analytics platform for builders, and UiPath, the leading Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software company, announced a partnership to leverage Sisense’s technology platform to deliver advanced business analytics capabilities to UiPath’s industry-leading RPA software platform.

The two companies are the leaders in their respective categories and this partnership brings unparalleled process analytics capabilities to companies everywhere.

The addition of Sisense’s AI-powered analytics to the UiPath platform takes UiPath’s customers’ automation strategy to the next level.

It allows them to measure the true impact of RPA on their organization and leverage the actionability of advanced analytics to align to strategic business outcomes.

Together, analytics and RPA are an unparalleled force to accelerate automation and drive digital transformation … Qlik announced an expanded partnership with Snowflake, the cloud data warehouse, that includes Qlik’s integration with the Snowflake Partner Connect program to enable Snowflake customers to seamlessly experience Qlik’s award winning enterprise data integration software with a two week free trial.

The free trial includes tutorials for quickly ingesting and delivering data in real-time to Snowflake.

Customers can extend their trial to deliver data from many popular enterprise database systems, mainframes or SAP applications, as well as automate the process of creating and updating analytics-ready data sets in Snowflake with Qlik data warehouse automation software … data.

world, the cloud-native data catalog company, announced an expanded partnership with Snowflake, the cloud data platform, that includes integration to Snowflake Partner Connect.

Now enterprises can easily document and govern the data in their Snowflake data warehouse, ascribe meaning and context, and make it available to the broader workforce for collaboration, query, and analysis.

Connecting these industry-leading SaaS platforms makes it easier for people to make data-driven business decisions with clarity, accuracy, and speed.

And finally, we received a commentary about how technology can aid in the Coronavirus crisis: “As the global pandemic of the coronavirus continues to spread and fears rise, public officials are looking for ways to predict, educate, act, and ultimately prevent the spread of disease to save lives,” commented Joy King, Vice President, Vertica Product Management at Micro Focus.

“This creates a need for technologies such as predictive analytics and machine learning to analyze and identify patterns, create intelligent alerts and mitigate the virus’ impact.

Public officials should be turning to these technologies to track the spread of the virus, and warn the public appropriately, as well as quell fears in largely unaffected areas.

Additionally, doctors in highly affected areas can also use technology to analyze virus patterns and successful treatments in other patients to recommend the most effective actions and preventative measures.

Machine learning and predictive analytics have already proven effective to battle other pandemics such as the opioid crisis.

By taking a technology and analytical approach to this pandemic, public officials and doctors alike can help the most at-risk patients and regions geographically, to implement outreach, education and intervention programs.

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