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Solar-tech developer BladeRanger acquires Raycatch assets

BladeRanger, the developer of an autonomous solar panel cleaning robot, has acquired the assets, operations and 400,000 shares of climate tech company Raycatch Ltd. for approximately $1.5 million.

The acquisition will allow BladeRanger to expand its footprint in the Israeli and global renewable energy markets. It will supply a holistic solution to solar fields and sites, enhancing efficiency and profit and delivering significant savings in operating costs in the energy generation process.

Raycatch is responsible for the development and sale of Deep Solar: a solar field management platform that performs advanced automatic analysis and monitoring in order to streamline and maximize renewable electricity generation efficiency.

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Inspectorio Selected as a 2022 Red Herring Top 100 Global Company

Inspectorio, the leading cloud-based, AI-powered SaaS solution for supply chain organizations, today announced that it has been named a Top 100 Global Company on the Red Herring 2022 Top 100 Global list. Inspectorio was the only supply chain organization selected from a pool of the leading private companies from North AmericaEurope, and Asia.

Red Herring’s Top 100 Global list has become a mark of distinction for identifying promising companies and outstanding entrepreneurs. Red Herring editors were among the first to recognize that companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Skype, Salesforce.com, YouTube, and eBay would change the way we live and work. Thousands of the most interesting and innovative companies have graced the Top 100 list over the years.

“Choosing the companies with the strongest potential was by no means a small feat this year,” said Alex Vieux, publisher and CEO of Red Herring. “After rigorous contemplation and discussion, we narrowed our list down from hundreds of candidates from across the globe to the Top 100 Winners. We believe Inspectorio embodies the vision, drive and innovation that define a successful entrepreneurial venture. Inspectorio should be proud of its accomplishment as the competition was very strong.”

Red Herring’s editorial staff evaluated the companies on both quantitative and qualitative criteria, such as financial performance, technology innovation, management quality, strategy, and market penetration. This assessment of potential is complemented by a review of the track records and standing of startups relative to their peers, allowing Red Herring to see past the “hype” and make the list a valuable instrument of discovery and advocacy for the most promising new business models from around the world. Red Herring is dedicated to following Inspectorio’s path to further success and innovation.

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Inspiring Innovators: Neha Singh Founder and CEO of Obsess, On Listening to Your Gut

At SAP.iO, we work with innovative people and new technologies that positively impact our world every day, and we think it’s time to share their stories with you! In our series, “Inspiring Innovators,” we get to hear how leaders of cutting-edge startup technologies overcame, thrived, and pursued their goals. SAP.iO’s Alexa Gorman sat down to discuss the road to success and lessons learned with some of our most inspiring startup founders.

Meet Neha Singh

Her unique path to entrepreneurship included combining her experiences with her ability to listen to her instincts and trust herself to know what to do. Neha Singh combined her love of fashion with her knowledge of technology to create something entirely new for the market, finding her right fit as the Founder and CEO of Obsess.

Neha studied computer science during undergrad and then attended MIT for her masters. Her appreciation for computer science gave her a way to build the things she imagined, prizing the logical aspect of how inputting a set of instructions can result in predictable outcomes. Her accomplishments are many; for Google, she was on the team that created the first dashboard for Google Ad Words. She then spent time on Google News which she described as an amazing learning experience. At this point, she realized she liked the product side, specifically figuring out how to build something and defining it based on how users interact with it.

Neha took fashion design classes discovering she would excel on the technology side of fashion. When she joined an eCommerce marketplace startup, she realized that all eCommerce sites look the same and have a grid-of-thumbnails database interface. This was because that’s the template the eCommerce platforms provide brands and retailers to showcase their products.

After that experience, Neha was the Head of Product at Vogue and worked on projects for launching the Vogue digital properties, including Vogue.com and Vogue Runway. She saw how much luxury brands were struggling with their online eCommerce experience and especially their mobile experience.

As more brands move online and look to differentiate their experience to engage consumers, Neha knew things had to change. To spearhead this effort, Neha launched Obsess in 2017, creating the next-generation eCommerce interface for today’s consumers. Obsess is a Metaverse Shopping Platform that enables brands and retailers to create highly interactive, visual, and branded Virtual Stores on their websites and metaverse platforms. The Obsess platform creates HD-quality, beautiful, photorealistic 3D 360 experiences that increase awareness, engagement, and conversion. Her team combines expertise in platform engineering, consumer web, mobile tech, fashion, e-commerce, gaming, and 3D. Obsess customers include Coach, Ralph Lauren, Charlotte Tilbury, Mattel, General Mills, and NBC Universal among others.

“When your entire brand gets reduced to four to six thumbnails on a mobile screen, you cannot translate the brand experience you are creating in retail stores, fashion shows, and events, into a digital shopping format. That’s when I understood the need in the market for a better digital shopping experience.”

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World Food Day 2022: Agritech Serves Up Farm To Fork Revolution

World Food Day on October 16 this year presents an urgent roll-up-your-sleeves challenge as we face a global food crisis as never before. The United Nations estimates there will be 9.8 billion people on this planet by 2050. Meantime crop yields have plummeted to record lows and food prices are hitting record highs, while fallout from the pandemic, extreme weather, and geopolitical conflicts continue disrupting supply chains worldwide. Nevertheless, a committed nucleus of agribusiness startups and established leaders are innovating to feed the planet’s growing population in a healthy, sustainable manner.

Data intelligence is rock against food insecurity

Companies across the value chain in the agricultural industry are turning to data in their quest for predictability. Some food processing companies are working closely with farmers to improve operations that meet regulatory emission targets and corporate sustainability KPIs, while gaining efficiencies and increasing crop yields. Climate change imperatives are only increasing the urgency to take action.

“Traditional, experienced-based farming is not viable in today’s highly dynamic world,” said Andreas Heckmann, executive vice president and head of customer solution support and innovation at SAP. “Food processing organizations need intelligence from integrated data to increase farming efficiencies. One example is SAP Intelligent Agriculture, where agribusiness organizations including farmers and other partners, share and interpret real-time data from sensors, weather stations, and satellite imagery to better understand when to plant, irrigate, grow, and harvest crops for higher yields, cost-savings, and sustainability.”

Climate intelligence boost crop yields

Real and near real-time intelligence is fast becoming a bulwark against climate change threats. One SAP partner, a Chilean-based startup called Agranimo, collects and analyzes data from climate and soil sensors and satellite images. This intelligence is designed to help growers better forecast and increase farm yields, reduce water and fertilizer consumption, and assess climate risks. With consolidated climate and soil information, growers can improve crop management strategies, including pest and disease management, for more accurate yield forecasts, as well as environmental sustainability. For example, commercial farmers can adapt irrigation to plant needs and use less water, or act quickly to protect plants from extreme weather. Agranimo participated in the Industry 4.0 cohort of SAP.iO Foundry Berlin, the company’s global B2B accelerator.

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Global accelerators boost Swiss startups’ growth

From America to Europe: Five Swiss startups have been selected to join global acceleration programs to pursue their growth ambitions. Plug and Play has selected two startups for its food and its insurtech acceleration program. In Europe, ScanTrust, CollectID and Foodetective will get support from European Innovation Council and SAP program respectively.

The global plug and Play Accelerator provides selected startups worldwide with access to leading corporates to help catalyse their innovation, and give them access to financing and its network. The upcoming Plug and Play Silicon Valley Summit from November 15-17 will feature over 250 startups across 17 verticals. Batch 12 of the Food and Beverages vertical includes Cultivated Biosciences, the startup specialising in alternative dairy fat. The company is developing a fermented creamy ingredient from GMO-free yeast which offers the creaminess needed for plant-based dairies such as cheese, milk or ice cream.

Two Swiss startups made it into SAP’s new start-up equity-free accelerator program focused on the “Future of Retail and Consumer Products” at the SAP.iO Foundry Paris, which has already supported 65 companies in developing their solution. Over the next five months, the cohort of 12 international start-ups will get access to personalised mentoring from SAP France executives, exposure to SAP technology and application programming interfaces (APIs), as well as opportunities to collaborate with SAP customers around the world. St.Gallen-based CollectID is dedicated to fighting counterfeits through its encrypted NFC tags, which are embedded in products to guarantee authenticity, improve the phygital experience and establish a direct communication channel between brands. Foodetective is a management platform and infrastructure (API) for the F&B industry. Companies use Foodetective to automate operations, simplify administration, increase online revenues and accelerate new business opportunities.

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NavVis & Wandelbots Named Top Innovative Artificial Intelligence (AI) Powered Startups Based in Germany

AI startups are one of the most popular and influential upcoming sectors in the market nowadays. From sales to software development to the medical sector, artificial intelligence has the power to revolutionize a wide range of businesses. Two of SAP.iO’s startups have been named most innovative AI startups  based in Germany.

NavVis enables service providers and businesses to record and share the built environment as photorealistic digital twins by bridging the physical and digital worlds. Their SLAM-based mobile mapping systems produce high-quality data at scale and speed with survey-grade accuracy. Users can make better operational decisions, increase productivity, optimize business processes, and increase profitability through digital industrial solutions. It serves the needs of the manufacturing, AEC, retail, real estate, and facility management sectors.

Wandelbots’ user-friendly software democratizes robotics. Wandelbots provides a straightforward approach to robot programming and a single platform for developers to produce more user-friendly robot software. Through the use of demonstration-based training, it creates solutions that allow the integration of robots driven by AI. Its main product is a pen with sensors that can track human movement in real time and send that information to a robot so it can duplicate it.

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Astraea and NaVis Identified as Leaders in Location and Geospatial Intelligence by IDC

Astraea and NaVis were identified as innovative solutions for location and geospatial intelligence in a recent IDC Market Glance report. Creating intelligence is only possible when an enterprise combines data (internal or external) with analytics and has the underlying tools and structures to store, organize, and maintain the data. Therefore, examining the location and geospatial intelligence market requires considering data, analytics and visualization, and location-enabled tools.

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Oslo-based foodtech company TotalCtrl receives investment from Newday

TotalCtrl, an Oslo-based food waste prevention software company, announced recently that it has received a significant investment from Norwegian investment company Newday.. Besides Newday, existing investors, including Loyal. VC, also invested. The company says it will use the funds to accelerate its growth nationally and internationally.

TotalCtrl is a foodtech company that leverages its Inventory Management System to help the food industry optimise the planning, purchasing, and use of food inventory by providing data-driven insights and decision support to make fact-based and sustainable choices.

The company works with Halden municipality, Nordic Choice, and Bergstadens hotel – which can show good results in food waste reduction and improved profitability.

Further, TotalCtrl is a certified B corp company, which means it maintains the highest standards in social and environmental impact globally.

“Today is a big day for us at TotalCtrl. The fact that Newday, through a comprehensive process, has chosen to invest significant amounts and not least to contribute important experience, expertise, and passion – means that we can now take the company to a new level. Moreover, Newday’s investment means that TotalCtrl now has the muscle to grow”, says Charlotte Aschim, CEO of TotalCtrl.

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Kargo Acquires Ziggeo to Expand Footprint Into Online Video

Kargo is acquiring video software-as-a-service company Ziggeo to create a bespoke online video offering.

Kargo, best known as an ad-tech firm that offers software to connect publishers and advertisers, is more specialized than a typical supply-side or demand-side platform, with a focus on unique ad units and advanced features, a space known in the industry as “rich media.” This is where Ziggeo comes in.

The video platform’s customizability makes it ideal for Kargo’s vision of creating bespoke online video ad units, said Ziggeo founder Oliver Friedmann. The SAAS platform is not in the advertising business. In fact, its use cases include proctoring online tests and tracking systems for job applicants.

Kargo will maintain Ziggeo’s software-as-a-service business while focusing new technological advancements of the underlying Ziggeo software toward ad tech, said Kargo CEO Harry Kargman.

The Ziggeo acquisition is the latest in a string of deals and new business lines for Kargo. In August, 2020, Kargo acquired Rhombus, which focuses on targeting social embeds within articles. In March, 2021, the company unveiled Fabrik, a content management system for publishers. Later that year, Kargo acquired StitcherAds, which specializes in ecommerce-focused ads on social platforms and in March 2022, the company bought attention-focused mobile ad-tech business Parsec.

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SAP Acquires Search-Driven Analytics Company Askdata

SAP today announced that it has acquired Askdata, a startup focused on search-driven analytics. Askdata participated in SAP.iO’s Foundry San Francisco Cohort in 2019.

With the acquisition of Askdata, SAP strengthens its ability to help organizations take better-informed decisions by leveraging AI-driven natural language searches. Users are empowered to search, interact and collaborate on live data to maximize business insights.

Available in multiple languages, Askdata’s personalized experience connects live to source applications without moving data, while retaining the complete business context to return meaningful answers and proactive insights.

“The data and analytics market is evolving, and it is imperative that we provide simpler user experiences that will empower casual users to be able to make data-driven decisions independently,” said Irfan Khan, president and Chief Product Officer, SAP HANA Database & Analytics, SAP. “The ability to cater to a wide range of user profiles will be the primary driver of data and analytics adoption. Askdata provides SAP with a path to lead this transition to the benefit of our customers.”

Askdata applies cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology to natural language processing, which gives users the ability to answer any data question with a simple search. Users can interact with data in a simpler way, without having to learn a self-service analytics product, enabling them to extract maximum value from data quickly.

Askdata’s IP will become part of SAP Business Technology Platform and contribute to a next-generation lightweight analytics experience for SAP Analytics Cloud solution customers and to line-of-business applications.

SAP and Askdata have agreed not to disclose the purchase price or other financial details of the transaction.

Milk Moovement Raises $20 Million USD To Transform the Dairy Industry’s Supply Chain

Milk Moovement, a leading cloud-based dairy supply chain software company, today announced the closing of a $20 million USD Series A round led by VMG Catalyst, the venture capital firm that invests in technology powering the next generation of retail and consumer businesses. The new funding will help accelerate product development and adoption of Milk Moovement among leading dairy businesses in North America.

The over $600 billion global dairy industry has yet to experience a major digital transformation, and the finite delivery windows of a perishable product and constantly shifting consumer preferences make the industry ripe for disruption. Milk Moovement’s technology platform brings the industry from pen-to-paper and legacy systems to the cloud – creating full supply chain visibility for dairy farmers and their distribution partners to track and route shipments in real-time, optimize delivery schedules, and ultimately create a significant decrease in food waste and loss of profits.

“We constantly seek out the best and brightest talent to join us as we build market-leading products and partner with dairy industry leaders,” said CEO and Co-Founder Robert Forsythe. “This latest round of funding is a major win for our employees and investors, but most importantly it allows us to support our incredible partners in getting the right milk to the right place at the right time.”

“VMG Catalyst immediately saw the value Milk Moovement brings to the dairy industry, in particular given a heightened focus on the fragility of global supply chains and the corresponding impact on consumer goods,” said Carle Stenmark, General Partner at VMG Catalyst. “Real-time data transparency is critical for managing perishables and provides tremendous benefit to all the constituents in the dairy value chain. We’re looking forward to seeing even broader adoption of the company’s innovative software platform, and the positive change it creates for the industry.”

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NWO.ai Helps Companies Get in Front of Consumer Sentiment, Demand

The founders of NWO.ai observed that consumer packaged goods and other industries encountered major blindspots during the Covid-19 pandemic: Rapidly shifting consumer sentiment made it difficult, if not impossible, to plan for demand.

That effect is still being felt today, more than two years after Covid-19 began, as many companies struggle to fulfill customer demand as well as understand and meet shifting preferences.

That lack of visibility led to the formation of NWO.ai, which develops an artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) platform that gathers and crunches vast quantities of data from publicly available sources, enabling customers to query that data for visibility into current and future customer trends.

“This is the reason we started the company during Covid,” says Miroslav Dimitrov, chief operating officer of NWO.ai, based in New York. “We saw massive, super volatile changes from one day to the next and we saw that traditional demand planning and market analysis methods didn’t cut it. They involve massive studies for 6 months, but by the time you implement, you have a year lag. As we saw during the pandemic, this doesn’t make any sense.”

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Deep Learning Basics: Learn How to “Unlock” Your Data

Industry leaders estimate that nearly 80 percent of organizational data is dark – siloed in individual storage locations and buried under outdated or redundant content. As a result, teams often miss critical information needed to drive innovation, improve services and stay ahead of the competition.

This scenario has caused organizations across industries to struggle to make use of their rapidly growing data sets. For example, a hospital creates an average of 50 petabytes of data a year. Of that data, nearly 97 percent of it goes unused. Yet, these organizations still invest significantly in storage and analytics that only get to a fraction of their data. For example, cloud storage spending alone is expected to reach 137.3B by 2025.

When considering deep learning and artificial intelligence, most think of future-looking capabilities like fully autonomous “hands-off” operations. While these capabilities show promise, they are often only implementable for organizations with a very mature machine learning department. However, there are semi-autonomous solutions available where deep learning is making an impact for companies of all stages – particularly in enabling individuals and organizations to unlock and operationalize challenging data sets.

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RealWear Raises $23.5 Million to Turn Successful Industrial Wearable into High Growth Assisted Intelligence Platform Business

RealWear, the world’s leading provider of assisted reality solutions for frontline industrial workers, announced that it closed its Series C for $23.5 Million. Led by Foundry Group, the new raise enables RealWear to shift and expand from a hardware-centric to a platform-centric company, creating even deeper connections to, and value for, its global customers.

“The funding marks the next stage of growth for the business, as we provide technology for frontline workers toward a vision of assisted intelligence where contextual data for the frontline leads to better decisions, ultimately improving operational productivity and safety,” said Andrew Chrostowski, Chairman and CEO, RealWear.  “In addition to building new hardware, we will use these new funds to grow a unified software and services platform across our human-centric wearable products.  Expect more game-changing tech to come.”

Currently, 41 of Fortune 100 companies are using RealWear devices for business resiliency, productivity, training and employee engagement including Mars Petcare, Goodyear, Colgate-Palmolive and ExxonMobil. RealWear partners will be able to tie into our cloud systems to improve their understanding of app performance and aggregate device utilization.

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Data lineage platform Manta raises $35M to help companies map data flows

Manta, a data lineage platform that helps enterprises understand and visualize the flow of information through the organization, has raised $35 million in a series B round of funding.

The raise comes as companies across the industrial spectrum struggle under a growing deluge of data, with countless siloed systems from SaaS applications to data lakes making it difficult to derive any kind of meaningful insights. Manta, for its part, tracks data from its origin through its entire flow to consumption, bringing visibility to the “where,” “how” and “what” of their data assets.

“Data management has undergone a massive transformation in the past decade, with data infrastructure growing in complexity, evolving into data ecosystems with thousands of components aimed at one goal — derive the most value from your data to inform critical business decisions,” Manta founder and CEO Tomas Kratky told VentureBeat.

Manta sits in the middle of every application in an organization’s tech stack, automatically scanning and mapping all data pipelines and data transformations — this will include data sources such as SaaS apps, data warehouses, data integration tools (i.e., ETL and ELT), APIs, Excel documents, databases and more.

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