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How to better negotiate convertible loans—an entrepreneur’s perspective

An entrepreneur, an investor, and a lawyer participate in an interview series… What sounds like the setup for a joke is serious business: In a new series, we present three different perspectives on convertible loans, term sheets, and shareholders’ agreements so that you can gain new insights to negotiate with more confidence. We start the series with the entrepreneur’s perspective on convertible loans: PXL Vision founders Michael Born and Karim Nemr share their experiences with this financing method.

In the first part of a new series, we look at convertible loans. Convertible loans are a financing method that is becoming increasingly popular in Switzerland: Startups receive a loan that will be converted into equity (common stock or equity shares) at the next qualified financing round. Investors who provide convertible loans can receive interest payments and a discount on the stock price they pay compared to the price incoming investors have to pay in the financing round. Convertible loans often come with a cap—a maximum valuation at which the loan can be turned into equity.

This financing method has the advantage that the loans can usually be executed quickly and without too much administrative effort. The startup may postpone the valuation discussion until it has reached additional milestones with the help of the loan.

To learn more about an entrepreneur’s perspective on convertible loans, we asked not one but two experts: Michael Born and Karim Nemr, two PXL Vision founders, share their thoughts on this specific financing method for startups. Michael and Karim are both serial entrepreneurs: The two founded software company Dacuda, which Magic Leap acquired in 2017. After the successful exit, Michael, Karim, and fellow Dacuda team members founded PXL Vision, a Venture Leaders Mobile 2021 that provides fully automated digital identity verification.

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SAP Works with Hanko to Develop Passwordless Logon for SAP Universal ID

Enterprises face an explosion of cyberattacks and data breaches, many of them enabled by weak passwords. Once attackers compromise an employee’s account, they can gain access to sensitive corporate data as well as the internal network.

Data breaches can cost companies millions of dollars in direct and indirect costs. According to the Cost of a Data Breach Report 2020, the average cost of a data breach was $3.86 million last year. Calculation of the cost includes value of lost data, remediation and response effort, ransom payments, regulatory fines, lawsuits, lost customers, and brand damage.

At the same time, imposing robust security restrictions on employees to avoid account compromise could create barriers to usability and productivity.

To address these dual risks, SAP decided to team with German startup Hanko to add biometrics-based passwordless security protection to its recently launched SAP Universal ID, which provides SAP users with a unified account that enables access to all SAP products and services in one place.

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MANTA Launches Latest Version of its Data Lineage Platform with Industry-First Active Tags Feature

Data lineage platform MANTA today announced a list of enhancements to its platform that provides customers with deeper visibility into their complex data environments. Among these updates includes an industry-first active tags feature, which allows users to easily highlight any asset in the context of their data pipelines. By attributing fully customized icons to individual nodes, teams working on data privacy and data quality issues will significantly improve collaboration and accelerate issue resolution.

“Organizations are increasingly becoming aware of data quality and privacy issues but cannot see how these issues are affecting their data pipeline,” said Ernie Ostic, SVP of products at MANTA. “Without this context, it’s impossible to know how critical an issue is or what else within the business it might be disrupting. With active tags, users will now be able to flag, identify and draw attention to these issues within the data pipeline, enabling them to better visualize the issues and prioritize which need to be addressed first.”

In addition to active tags, the latest version of MANTA’s data lineage platform boasts various new features for the platform’s available scanners, including improvements to StreamSets, Google BigQuery, Talend, and Snowflake, as well as an expanded PostgreSQL portfolio with Yellowbrick and Amazon Relational Database Services now accounted for. This version of MANTA also includes a simpler configuration of MANTA Perspectives, that allows users to organize their lineage metadata into their own folders and hierarchies faster and easier.

Further, users leveraging MANTA in hybrid environments will benefit from updates to Open MANTA—the solution that allows users to build their own metadata ingestion process for MANTA flow without a formal scanner. The platform brings independent inclusion of Dictionary metadata for Open MANTA Integration Export, and in addition to supporting Docker container technology, now supports container orchestration system Kubernetes.

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Meet PXL Vision founder Michael Born and find out how he helps customers build trust in digital onboarding

Michael Born founded PXL Vision, a Venture Leader Mobile that provides fully automated AI-based identity verification technology. The Zurich-based startup helps companies simplify and optimize customer onboarding and reliably verify identities to increase conversion rates, reduce costs and effort, and create trust in online services. Learn more about Michael’s expectations for the Venture Leaders Mobile experience, and find out what advice he would give to his teenage self.

The Venture Leaders Mobile 2021 will accelerate their expansion into the global market and strengthen their business network by attending the Mobile World Congress 2021 in Barcelona, Spain, to meet with top-notch investors and industry leaders. To introduce you to the members of the Swiss National Startup Team, we asked each entrepreneur to complete a short profile and choose six questions from a questionnaire about their personal and professional life.

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EY Announces Dimitri Sirota Of BigID As An Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 New York Award Finalist

Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) today announced that Dimitri Sirota, CEO and Co-Founder of BigID was named an Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 New York Award finalist. Now in its 35th year, the Entrepreneur Of The Year program honors unstoppable business leaders whose ambition, ingenuity and courage in the face of adversity help catapult us from the now to next and beyond.

Award winners will be announced during a special virtual celebration on August 3rd and will become lifetime members of an esteemed community of Entrepreneur Of The Year alumni from around the world.

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BigID Is A Finalist Of The Ventana Research 14th Digital Innovations Awards

BigID, a leader in data discovery and intelligence for privacy, protection and perspective, today announced it is a finalist in the Data category for this year’s annual Ventana Research Digital Innovation Awards.

The annual Ventana Research Digital Innovation Awards recognize vendors that have introduced noteworthy innovations in technology that advance business and IT. The Digital Innovation Awards showcase advances in the productivity and potential of business applications as well as technology that contributes significantly to improved efficiency, productivity and the performance of an organization.

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Breeze Technologies Wins 2021 Future Hamburg Award

Today the 2021 Future Hamburg Award was presented as part of a digital awards ceremony at the International Innovation Day by Plug and Play Hamburg.

The winners of this year’s award are the high-impact startups Breeze Technologies, traceless materials, and Infinite Mobility. Based in Norway and Germany, these three startups convinced the Future Hamburg Award’s expert jury with their smart solutions for sustainable cities of the future.

Up-and-coming businesses from 15 countries had applied for the award. Bonus prizes by homePORT, a partner of the award, were also bestowed on the teams of Blue Atlas Robotics from Denmark and KONVOI from Germany.

The three winning teams will be invited to join a tailor-made programme by the Hamburg Startup Unit and will be able to take their business model or products to the next level as part of the Reallabor Hamburg mobility project. Moreover, they will be supported in building a high-quality industry network and establishing contacts with investors. The first-place startup, Breeze Technologies from Germany, will also be able to take part in an international four-week accelerator programme hosted by Plug and Play in Silicon Valley.

In addition, the homePORT innovation campus of the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) is contributing attractive bonus prizes: Blue Atlas Robotics from Denmark and KONVOI from Germany will have the opportunity to develop their products and solutions in the fields of logistics and maritime technologies at the HPA test field in Hamburg.

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New SetSail Analysis Shows Micro-Incentives Combined With Actionable Data Are Key to Successful B2B Sales Cycle

SetSail, the Revenue Execution platform for sales, releases new data on the anatomy of a successful B2B sales deal, derived from its analysis of deals at six large enterprises, including one of the Fortune 10, over the past two months. SetSail found sales reps are most effective when given data on the next best action in tandem with a micro-incentive (points that lead to prizes and rewards) to act. On average, if a sales rep takes action on five or more success indicators the deal win rate increases by 62%.

“Reps must be aware of the path to success and motivated to execute on multiple recommendations, focusing on the small wins that lead to big deals,” said Haggai Levi, SetSail CEO. “Micro-incentives accomplish this – they lay out success indicators and prompt reps to take action, making the difference between a deal closing and an indefinite sales cycle.”

As part of its analysis, SetSail broke down the three most important elements of a B2B deal: Buyer Persona (who the rep is contacting), Buyer Engagement (contact type and frequency) and Deal Progression Keywords (keywords discussed throughout the deal cycle) and the impact that micro-incentives play within them.

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Breinify announces $11M seed to bring data science to the marketing team

Breinify is a startup working to apply data science to personalization, and do it in a way that makes it accessible to nontechnical marketing employees to build more meaningful customer experiences. The company announced a funding round totaling $11 million.

The investment was led by Gutbrain Ventures and PBJ Capital with participation from Streamlined Ventures, CXO Fund, Amino Capital, Startup Capital Ventures and Sterling Road.

Breinify co-founder and CEO Diane Keng says that she and co-founder and CTO Philipp Meisen started the company to bring predictive personalization based on data science to marketers with the goal of helping them improve a customer’s experience by personalizing messages tailored to individual tastes.

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Pecan AI Raises $35M To Accelerate AI Adoption In Predictive Analytics

Israeli startup Pecan AI, the business-ready predictive analytics company announced on Wednesday it raised $35 million in new funding to “equip both commercial analysts and business stakeholders with the power of predictive AI,” the company said in a statement.

The round was led by global investor GGV Capital with participation from Vintage as well as existing investors Dell Technologies Capital, S-Capital, and Mindset.

This round brings the company’s total financing to more than $50 million.

This Series B will allow Pecan to expand its operations globally and continue to help organizations accelerate the adoption of AI and advanced analytics.

“Pecan was designed to drive business value from AI. In one intuitive platform, analysts and business stakeholders can obtain actionable insights and see outputs in a matter of days after adding their raw data — helping companies evolve from BI to AI,” said Zohar Bronfman, CEO and co-founder at Pecan, “We have seen tremendous uptake from organizations of all sizes, and are looking forward to expanding globally and bringing real business value to our customers.”

The business world knows that AI will somehow power the next revolution in analytics. But rollouts of AI have been slow, and there is a gap estimated in the dozens of billions of dollars between the potential of AI and businesses’ ability to implement and deploy complex models. Pecan “democratizes data science and AI” by putting the power of predictive modeling in the hands of business analysts with a platform that models its straightforwardness after classic BI.

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BigID: $30 Million Funding And $1.25 Billion Valuation

BigID — a leader in data discovery and intelligence for privacy, protection and perspective — announced a $30 million investment from Advent International, extending the company’s $70 million Series D financing raised in December 2020. And BigID has raised $200 million over 4 rounds since September 2019. This latest funding round brings BigID’s valuation to $1.25 billion.

The pandemic accelerated all automation and digital transformation programs by several years as companies recognize the importance of innovating, placing increased pressure on IT leaders to deliver digital initiatives and overcome issues such as data silos. And BigID’s platform reimagines data management for enterprises, combining machine learning-based classification, cataloging, correlation, and cluster analysis to help companies better understand, protect, and derive value from their data. This funding will help BigID expand globally, boost its go-to-market efforts and advance product development in the areas of data privacy, security, and governance.

Advent International is joining BigID’s existing investors including Salesforce Ventures, Tiger Global Management, Glynn Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, Scale Venture Partners, and Boldstart Ventures.

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Astraea announces partnership with Cuebiq

Astraea, developer of the EarthAI geospatial analytics platform, has announced a partnership with Cuebiq, a leader in mobility intelligence and offline consumer insights. Fusing geospatial and mobility datasets give organizations a comprehensive understanding of the Earth’s surface and those who live on it. By combining Cuebiq’s innovative, flexible tools and vast mobility data catalog with Astraea’s end-to-end AIOps platform, the partnership brings together two important and growing data sets, giving consumers secure, accurate intelligence.

“As a Benefit Corporation, we see incredible value in partnering with Cuebiq and their multiple Data for Good initiatives,” said Brendan Richardson, Astraea CEO. “As the Earth changes, we need a new data infrastructure to unlock GeoAI, and partnering with Cuebiq allows us to do just that.”

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Now Tech Report Lists Adverity Among Marketing Measurement and Optimization Solutions

Adverity, the intelligent marketing analytics platform, has been listed in Now Tech: Marketing Measurement and Optimization Solutions Q2 2021. The report, published by independent advisory firm Forrester, provides an overview of 35 selected measurement and optimization solutions for marketers.

According to the report, 23% of B2C marketing decision-makers believe that measuring marketing results will be a great challenge in the next two years. As a solution that specifically addresses this challenge, Adverity was listed in the marketing performance monitors functionality segment.

“The Forrester Now Tech report reflects how important tools like Adverity have become for modern-day marketing,” said Alexander Igelsböck, CEO and Founder of Adverity, “Marketers are expected to face major changes in the future, not least when it comes to the death of third-party cookies, and our platform is ideally placed to help businesses become more data-driven in their decisions and achieve much greater ROI from their marketing spend.”

As a Marketing Measurement and Optimization (MMO) solution, the Adverity platform enables marketers to monitor the performance of their marketing spend across multiple channels, as well as derive intelligent insights from the data using advanced, AI-powered analytics.

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With Data And Analytics, Consumer Products Companies Seize New ‘Moment Of Opportunity’

Since 2015 and the rise of e-commerce hyper scalers,  we have witnessed a fundamental shift in consumer behavior, one that has dramatically accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Bain & Company. Consumers today are increasingly making buying decisions on the values that they hold dear– health and wellness, sustainability, safety, ethically sourced materials – instead of factors like price and convenience.

As businesses look for new ways to reach, engage and serve consumers, the delivery of timely, tailored and relevant experiences have become key. While this shift represents significant transformation challenges for companies, it also represents an enormous opportunity to drive the next wave of growth in consumer industries.

For over 75 years, industries have organized themselves around the concept of the “two moments of truth” – get a consumer into a store to purchase a product, and influence them to use the product. And hopefully, the cycle repeats. In this linear path to purchase with touchpoints that focused on getting consumers to complete transactions in a store, the retailers, consumer products companies and wholesalers in the value chain had well-defined and complementary roles, and all stakeholders favored economies of scale.

This is no longer the case. Today, companies are reaching consumers directly in “moments of opportunity”, requiring them to have a more holistic understanding of consumer desires. This model favors economies of speed – companies that can spot moments of consumer opportunity and organize themselves the fastest to orchestrate the delivery of experiences and products, will win.

To respond effectively to these behavior shifts, consumer products companies need to differentiate themselves as a ‘category of one’, where their business is so unique that there are no direct competitors, and these companies need to make innovative and data-centric decisions.

One example that illustrates this dramatic shift comes from a Google study.  One participant spent 73 days and made 250 touchpoints (several  blogs, merchant websites, local retailers, product reviews on YouTube) before buying a single pair of jeans. Indicative of today’s consumers, this consumer is engaged with and desires to be inspired by brands through viewing multiple options before making a selection.       

This example demonstrates the changes businesses have to make to succeed going forward. We expect that soon, 50% of consumer products industry growth will occur through a direct business model. Consumer-facing companies will need to build compelling consumer experiences based on:

  1. Consistent master and consumer data across all channels to enable a consistent and meaningful experience
  2.  Full visibility of the entire value network, from sourcing and partner networks to all consumer touchpoints, both physical and virtual, and actual consumption
  3. Live access to, and use of, both structured and unstructured data to assess demand drivers and market dynamics in real time
  4. Scaled, quantitative and qualitative analysis of consumer perception, sentiment and feedback to deliver a unified, personalized user experience

Key Technologies & Innovations

So how can companies transform and adapt quickly to meet these new expectations and needs while reaping benefits in productivity, efficiency, personalization, and profitability. With intelligent technologies that can quickly increase consumer-centricity.

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Adverity continues to dominate as momentum leader in G2 Spring 2021 Report

Adverity, a leading marketing data intelligence platform, has once again been named as a top-five category leader in ETL Tools and Data Visualization Software in the G2 Spring 2021 Report.

It has also received recognition as a leader in two new categories; Small-Business for Business Intelligence Software – where it scored a superior Satisfaction Rating than the Grid category leader – and in Mid-Market ETL Tools; in both instances being ranked in the top five Grid Scores.

Continuing its success in the Grid Report for Business Intelligence, Adverity has progressed from a high performer in the G2 Summer 2020 report to a leader, and again, boasting a higher Satisfaction Rating than the category leader.

It maintains its top five rankings as a high performer in both the Grid Reports for E-Commerce Data Integration Software and Big Data Integration Platform – and in the latter is rated above the category leader for product satisfaction.

The latest report also sees Adverity move into the top ten Grid Report for Mid-Market for Data Visualization Software and acknowledged as a high performer in the Grid Score for Mid-Market for Business Intelligence Software.

Alexander Igelsböck, CEO and Co-Founder of Adverity, comments: “It’s a privilege to continue to be recognized as a leader in the G2 reports as it is a direct reflection of our platform helping enterprises of all sizes become more insight-driven – which is crucial in today’s business environment. The rankings represent the voice of real users and further validates our commitment to customer satisfaction with our platforms. Many enterprises are prioritizing their data capabilities and we want to continue to help them on their data maturity journey.”

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