Cultivate Raises $8M to Bring Scalable AI-Driven Leadership Coaching to the Enterprise

People mingling in conversation

Cultivate, a digital leadership coaching platform that leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to provide in-the-moment feedback and management coaching within the enterprise, today announced an $8 million Series A investment to grow its go-to-market team and product offerings. Trinity Ventures led the Series A round with participation from previous investors Bloomberg Beta, Silicon Valley Data Capital and SAP.iO. Karan Mehandru from Trinity Ventures will be joining the Cultivate board of directors. Cultivate has raised a total of $10 million since the company exited from a Samsung NEXT accelerator program in the summer of 2018.

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Reimagining Retail: How FINDMINE is using AI to enhance customer experience

“As a consumer, I was always frustrated that when I’d buy a product, there was always more work for me afterwards. If I bought a skirt, I’d have to figure out how to wear it in an outfit. If I bought a couch I’d have to figure out what rug and throw pillows would look good with it and then buy those things. If I bought a new set of trims for my bathroom I’d have to search for the valves that would fit,” says Michelle Bacharach, founder and CEO of FINDMINE.

She discovered that when it came to recommending products to customers, retailers still relied heavily on manual processes. For instance, while brands know which products might be complementary — which pair of shoes would look great with the bag you’ve just added to your cart and which scarf, jeans or shirt would complete the look — they were just not very good at prompting the customers towards the right purchase. That’s where FINDMINE comes in.

FINDMINE uses AI to help customers “complete the look” and provides retailers an easy, efficient and scalable way of communicating that to customers. “Our engine shows consumers a little recipe for how to use each product they’re buying.” For brands and retailers using FINDMINE, the impact has been incredible. “For our customers the value is threefold. First, we’re helping them gain efficiency in their operations by spending fewer manhours in merchandising. Second, the overall brand experience is augmented for the customer, building loyalty. Third, FINDMINE helps generate revenue, in some cases as much as $60 million for a customer — because we help consumers make the right buying decisions.”

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B2B Growth Opportunities in Southeast Asia

Asia’s startup ecosystem had been on the ascendance over the past few years. According to a study backed by Vertex Venture Holdings and Preqin, Asia could overtake North America as the epi-center for venture capital funding next year. Asia VC funds had USD 323 billion worth of assets under management (AUM) at the end of last year vs North American VC funds which had USD 397 billion. With more unicorns in China than the US, it is not surprising that the bulk of the Asian funds are focused on China. However, Southeast Asia already have USD 28 billion AUM and attracting Chinese and Japanese investors to the region.

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Making innovation real at Intelligent Enterprise Demo Day

Innovation is currently a hot topic on the agenda of all corporates. Nearly all of them want to ‘make innovation real’. That is, they desire to harness innovation as the catalyst for achieving real business value, business outcomes, and better experiences for their customers.

Even before the term exploded in the ecosystem and beyond, SAP has always nurtured a culture of innovation by building an infrastructure that provides a foundation for growth and innovation.

To this end, SAP.iO Foundry Singapore was launched to help startups build innovative enterprise software solutions that deliver value to SAP customers. Startups accelerated in the program have integrated their solutions with various SAP products.

The first SAP.iO Foundry Singapore includes the following startups:

1.) Adaface — Enables and automates first-round tech interviews to identify the best engineering talent faster.

2.) Flowcast — Uses patented machine-learning algorithms to harness untapped, complex data to automate credit decision-making. This provides greater visibility to customers to address underserved markets.

3.) LuxTag — Provides an anti-counterfeiting and anti-theft solution that uses blockchain-enabled traceability to deter product counterfeiting and fraud.

4.) Notarum — Provides a modern workflow tool designed to reduce busywork by automating corporate due diligence. Notarum makes performing due diligence analysis and sharing work with teammates easier than ever.

5.) Pulsifi — Predicts workplace outcomes to identify, retain and develop great people. By using artificial intelligence to incorporate multiple data sources across hard skills and soft traits, this HR analytics platform derives employee success profiles to improve HR decisions across the employee lifecycle, from hiring to development.

6.) SizeNFit — Helps online shoppers find apparel that fits. This e-commerce add-on aims to increase sales and reduce returns.

7.) TADA — Offers data-driven customer advocacy and engagement platform that helps brands moving from transactions to relationships and customers to advocates. This enables businesses to attract, engage and retain customers.

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Asia set to eclipse US as world’s venture capital powerhouse

Southeast Asia also enjoys strong government backing for entrepreneurship, backed by a rising, affluent, middle class, said Scott Russell, president for Asia Pacific Japan at German software provider SAP, whose SAP.iO Foundry fund based in Singapore is in the process of accelerating seven early-stage startups. “We see innovative and ambitious startups developing across the region,” said Russell. “This is driving deal flow and overall interest from venture capitalists to invest.”

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AI-based chatbot Niki to add seven more Indian languages

Artificial Intelligence start-up Niki is all set to diversify into seven other Indian languages after having tasted success in the Hindi language app-based internet commerce by creating a virtual agent for online voice-based transactions for consumers who are hassled by the barriers like using the keyboard in English or Indian languages.

Niki has already created a user base of 18 lakh consumers in Hindi language and the start up firm has reached an annual turnover of Rs 300 crore.

IIT Kharagpur alumnus and CEO of Niki Sachin Jaiswal told The Pioneer, “What we are trying to do is to unlock internet commerce for the next billion users in India by developing a virtual agent for them. In India, 95 per cent of the people don’t know how to use an app because most of the apps are in English language. Typing through keyboard in vernacular language is complicated and one should have a basic understanding of computer terminologies to process the instructions through the apps.”

Niki has developed a solution by developing apps in Indian languages that operate through voice-based commands to remove the sore points of the consumers.”

The Niki app will help the users for services like online recharge, bill payments of various utilities like power, phone or gas and also facilitate in booking travel tickets by just issuing commands through voice especially in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.

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Governance Risk and Compliance: 6 Startup Game-changers

With ongoing financial transformation, increased regulations and growing complexity, there is huge potential in working with early-stage start-ups that help bring financial process innovation to SAP S/4HANA® customers. For this cohort, the SAP.iO Foundry Berlin Program teamed up with the S/4HANA® team to work with startups focused on GRC and FinTech innovations.

AIVIDENS: Predictive cash and risk management

WHAT THEY DO

On average, losses due to unpaid invoices represent 0.3 to 1% of companies’ annual revenue. Collection processes often start too late leading to cash or P&L issues, that is why we designed our Predictive Risk Management solution (PRIM). PRIM is designed to anticipate payment issues and calculate various financial and risk indicators. It can also prioritize cash collection processes and propose specific actions. PRIM can be applied on any debt portfolio.

UNIQUE APPROACH

By using AI and applying a proprietary risk model on customers’ financial and operational data, PRIM first predicts whether an invoice will be paid and when. PRIM then segments the debt portfolio according to payment profiles and risk levels. With this combination, PRIM helps increase cash accuracy and understand the risk breakdown. It also helps identify events requiring immediate actions, concentrate efforts where required and ease the collection strategy decision process.

TEAM: Edouard Beauvois — Co-Founder, Nicolas Mertens — Co-Founder

HANKO: FIDO-based Identity- and Authentication-as-a-Service

WHAT THEY DO

Hanko offers a passwordless multi-factor identity and authentication Cloud service for convenient and secure user authentication, enabling its customers to eliminate fraud, phishing, and credential reuse while offering a cutting-edge UX.

UNIQUE APPROACH

With Hanko, businesses can quickly integrate the most advanced authentication methods into their web portals and applications. The service is developer-friendly, supporting open Web standards and open-source SDKs. They also offer a white-label authenticator app as an option. Hanko is GDPR and PSD2 compliant.

TEAM: Felix Magedanz — Founder & CEO, Felix Dubrownik — Technical Lead, Daniel Faulhaber — Product Manager

IRISTRACE: Transforming the management of Business Risk into Value

WHAT THEY DO

Iristrace enables enterprises to better manage their business risks using control frames for their operations that can easily be changed as processes evolve.

UNIQUE APPROACH

Business experts without IT knowledge can easily design and roll out their own controls across their organisation in a record time, ensuring that the strategy reaches the front-line employees, contractors, suppliers and partners. Controls and follow-up action plans are distributed via mobile application, web or messenger. They can be rule based and scheduled automatically, triggered by events or used in self-service. The benefits include a faster implementation of strategy, better staff and supplier engagement on the company’s objectives, improved compliance, proof of execution, shorter learning cycles, lower costs and a far superior customer experience as a result.

TEAM: André Kingham — Chairman, César Mariel Alberto — CEO

PXL VISION: The secure gateway to digital identity

WHAT THEY DO

PXL Vision provides leading solutions for the automation and enhancement of digital identity verification and customer onboarding through tailored and off-the-shelf software solutions powered by the latest developments in Computer Vision and Machine Learning.

UNIQUE APPROACH

PXL Vision’s identity verification solutions deliver both seamless UX and high security through proprietary methodologies, within a fully automated software platform. Offered as both SaaS and custom hosted or on-premise solutions, PXL’s powerful technology stack is available how and where you need it.

TEAM: Michael Born — Founder & CEO, Karim Nemr — Founder & CBO, Nevena Shamoska — Founder & CTO, Roxana Porada — Founder & CPO

SPHERITY: Bridging the physical, biological and digital spheres

WHAT THEY DO

Spherity is building decentralized identity management solutions to power the 4th industrial revolution, bringing secure identities (“Digital Twins”) to machines, algorithms, and other non- human entities. Digital twins enables transactions with the following features: verifiable digital identities, P2P trust with credential-based verification, verifiable business transactions & payments, verifiable data chains (audit trails) and data provenance.

UNIQUE APPROACH

Spherity is providing the “missing puzzle piece” in solving with blockchain technologies and “Self- Sovereign Identity” design principles the challenge of data integrity in the industrial IoT applications. Their digital twins enable tamper-proof data exchange within customer journeys across mobility, supply chain and other business processes.

TEAM: Carsten Stöcker — Founder & CEO, Michael Rüther — Founder & COO

TROY: Reinvents debt collection, reduces clients’ write-offs AND preserves their customers

WHAT THEY DO

Troy is a full-service debt collection agency that builds THE platform for customer experience in debt collection. Their platform drives troy’s debt collection services which have repeatedly proven to outclass traditional providers. Their solution can be used as white-label and also supports financial BPO of receivables management.

UNIQUE APPROACH

Troy is a digital, data-driven, automated and cloud-only solution which incorporates best practices from marketing and CRM to improve the debt collection experience. And the friendliness works. Customers pay more, faster, and happily — proven by clients’ feedback and customer surveys after payment.

TEAM: Philip Rürup — Founder & MD, Till Völzke — Founder & MD, Gunnar Zarncke — CTO

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SAP to Resell BigID data discovery and privacy products as solution extensions

BigID, a leader in data-centric personal data discovery and privacy, announced a global reseller agreement with SAP. Through this agreement, SAP can sell two BigID powered products under the names SAP Privacy Management application by BigID and SAP Data Mapping and Protection application by BigID. The agreement will enable businesses that use SAP solutions to more readily meet the challenges of data-centric data discovery and privacy by harnessing BigID’s advanced Machine Learning-based discovery and intelligence technology.

BigID is one of the industry’s first data privacy and intelligence platforms that allows customers to rely on actual data discovered across the enterprise and cloud rather than surveys and interviews to ensure privacy compliance.

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HEINEKEN announces winners of its HR-tech competition

The Dutch brewing company HEINEKEN concluded its first-ever HR tech-focused competition called HEINEKEN HR Brewhouse last Friday.

The winner of the Recruitment category was SAP, a team consisting of platforms Eightfold.ai, Sonru, and Plum. The final winner for the Wild Card category was Pulsifi, a Singapore-based company that uses data analytics for HR management. Pulsifi’s platform combines organizational psychology and artificial intelligence to help companies hire, retain, and develop talents.

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