Henkel hosts ideation hackathon for female entrepreneurs

Henkel’s open innovation and collaboration platform, Henkel dx Ventures, will host its second Xathon, a female ideation hackathon. This year’s main partner is “Global Digital Women”. The hackathon aims to empower female tech talents to develop and shape their entrepreneurial mindset and ideas. It will take place on November 20-22, 2020. The application period is now open and closes on October 30. Interested participants can apply at www.henkel.com/digital-business/xathon-2020.

With the Xathon, Henkel wants to advocate female entrepreneurship, promote innovative ideas and drive gender diversity in the start-up and tech scene. In total, 60 female talents will get the chance to participate in this year’s event. Further partners of the Xathon 2020 are accelerateHer, SAP’s early stage venture arm SAP.iO and MVP Factory.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Xathon is going to take place as a virtual event.

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SAP.iO Fund Invests in Neural-Based Search Company Jina AI

SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced that its investment arm, SAP.iO Fund, has backed Jina AI, a Berlin-based company providing an open source neural search solution.

Jina AI combines recent advances in machine learning for computer vision, speech recognition and natural language processing into a new search platform to provide greater accuracy, flexibility and adaptivity to search inputs.

The core project of Jina AI is called Jina on GitHub, allowing users to create a cloud-native search solution powered by deep learning in just minutes. Jina slashes from months to minutes the time it takes to build a production-ready neural search system well suited to business environments that require a fast and lightweight development cycle. Since its release on GitHub in May 2020, this project already has attracted more than 2,000 commits from 48 contributors worldwide. As of now, Jina supports searching text, image, video, audio and cross-modality data, with support for more data types coming in the future.

“As companies accelerate their digital transformations, a clear need has emerged for better, more accurate enterprise search,” said Ram Jambunathan, SAP senior vice president and managing director of SAP.iO.  “We are excited by Jina AI’s potential to provide a highly accurate search solution for SAP customers.”

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BigID named to Forbes Cloud 100


Once an outsider category, cloud computing now powers every industry. Look no further than this year’s Forbes Cloud 100 list, the annual ranking of the world’s top private cloud companies, where this year’s standouts are keeping businesses surviving—and thriving—from real estate to retail, data to design.

SAP.iO’s startup, BigID, was named to the Forbes Cloud 100 list, the annual ranking of the world’s top private cloud companies. Congratulations!

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Hasura Raises $25M in Series B Funding

Hasura, a San Francisco, CA-based data access infrastructure company, raised $25m in series B funding.

The round, which brought the total raised to $36.5m, was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners with participation from existing investors Vertex Ventures US, Nexus Venture Partners, Strive VC and SAP.iO Fund and new angel investors including John Thomspon, the current chairman of Microsoft.

The company is using the funding to accelerate its hiring and investment in its open source and commercial product development to support its millions of users.

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Crosschq Announces New Round of Investment from Tiger Global and Rocketship.vc

 Crosschq, pioneers of a new software category for the recruiting industry called Human Intelligence Hiring™, announced today a new round of financing that includes investment from Tiger Global Management and Rocketship.vc. This latest round comes immediately following a strategic financing from Slack and SAP.iO in June which also included re-investment from GGV Capital and Bessemer Ventures.

“We are proud to be partnering with these two great firms as we enter the next phase of our growth,” said Mike Fitzsimmons, CEO of Crosschq. “If we have learned anything from the last several months, it is that the future of work is ripe for disruption. Our use of human intelligence is becoming a foundational element of modern company building.”

Crosschq brings speed, efficiency, accuracy, transparency and accountability to the obsolete, manual process of vetting new job candidates. The new investment comes as Crosschq crosses the 100 customer milestone with customers including Dish, NBA, Upwork, Snowflake, NerdWallet and Glassdoor using the platform to enhance recruiting and make better hires.

“SAP strongly believes that the future of work is inclusive and diverse, and that starts with removing biases in the candidate experience,” said Ram Jambunathan, SAP senior vice president at and managing director of SAP.iO. “Crosschq will bring increased objectivity and consistency to the candidate reference checking process, thereby improving outcomes for both candidates and SAP customers.”

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SAP.iO Supports Employee Experience Management Tech Solutions

SAP.iO recently announced its investment in workforce optimization software company Andjaro. The company, based in Paris and founded in 2015, provides a unique marketplace dedicated to helping organizations post staffing needs directly on its real-time workforce optimization platform. The solution—available for purchase at the SAP App Center—allows businesses to reallocate available and voluntary internal staff from other locations within the organization. This not only minimizes HR costs but more importantly, improves the employee experience by offering them the chance to work at other parts of the organization and get compensated for a temporary relocation resulting in a more interconnected and happy workforce.

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Investing in Female Founders — Lessons from Behavioral Finance, Gender Research and Real Life Experiences

A story of a conversation between an academic researcher, VC investor, CVC investor and an entrepreneur

2019 brought more female-founded unicorns than ever before, and more new female partners at VC firms. Despite this progress, VC remains one of the most gender-skewed industries in the US. Last year, approx. 87.8% of the VC funding was raised by all male founder teams. We also see an emerging evidence that the disruption caused by COVID-19 is bound to disproportionately affect women. As reported by Pitchbook, Q1 2020 already showed a decline in share of deals with startups founded by women.

Wait… but why?

I am a nerd. I studied Finance & Accounting, I studied Psychology, and then I got an MBA. I have always been fascinated by behavioral economics and academic research proving that we are irrational in a systematic way when making decisions under uncertainty. If you haven’t read yet — Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman is a good place to start. Yes, he is that psychologist who was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

Now, why it matters in VC. Mixed gender or women-led startups are not performing worse than male-led — actually it’s quite the opposite. So isn’t it rational to invest in them? From behavioral economics, we know that decisions under uncertainty are influenced by the actual framing and context. Biases and heuristics come into play when it comes to VC investing — it is no different than thinking about weighing potential gains and losses under uncertainty. So what can we actually do to help scale investments in female founders if we can’t change how we’re all wired? Let’s look at it from three different perspectives represented by (#1) a researcher, (#2) two investors, and (#3) an entrepreneur.

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Le fonds de SAP investit dans Andjaro

La filiale d’investissement de SAP dans les startups, SAP.iO Fund, a investi dans la seconde phase de financement d’Andjaro.

SAP.io a mis au pot pour un tour B d’Andjaro, une société basée à Paris qui permet l’optimisation des effectifs en temps réel et aide les entreprises à assurer la gestion et le recrutement des collaborateurs à distance.

La série B de 13,4 millions d’euros a été menée par Idinvest Partners et comprend l’investisseur actuel, Balderton Capital. Andjaro s’intègre aux solutions cloud de gestion de ressources humains SAP SuccessFactors. SAP collabore avec Andjaro pour fournir à ses clients une vue d’ensemble en temps réel des besoins en personnel, des compétences disponibles à proximité afin de proposer un redéploiement volontaire sur une courte période. SAP.iO Fund avait déjà investi, en 2018, dans la série A, menée par Balderton.

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SAP.iO Fund Invests in Andjaro, an Internal HR Staffing Marketplace Connected to SAP SuccessFactors Solutions

SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced that its investment arm, SAP.iO Fund, has invested in second round funding of Andjaro, a Paris-based company that provides real-time workforce optimization and helps manage and staff remote workers. The €13.4 million Series B round was led by Idinvest Partners and includes existing investor Balderton Capital.

Andjaro helps companies redeploy employees internally and works with SAP SuccessFactors solutions. SAP works with Andjaro to provide SAP customers with a real-time overview on staffing gaps, employee skills, availability and proximity to propose voluntary redeployment for a short period of time. SAP.iO Fund previously invested in the Balderton-led 2018 Series A round.

“SAP customers are continually exploring how to best allocate their most valuable resource — their talent — especially in the current environment,” said Ram Jambunathan, SAP senior vice president and managing director of SAP.iO. “Andjaro’s platform can provide enterprises with new opportunities to redeploy existing human resources efficiently.”

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How AI And “Gaze Control” Will Help Businesses Reopen Safely

Recent projections by the US federal government estimate that there will be 200,000 new coronavirus cases in the US  by June 1. At the same time, governments around the world are grappling with the complexities of safely reopening businesses, schools and other public institutions.

Technology companies are rushing into that gap with software aimed at keeping people safe, while citizens navigate a patchwork approach to easing shelter-in-place orders. One well-known approach is the use of contact-tracing apps on smart phones created by tech and telecom companies. These apps alert people if they’ve been in close proximity to an infected person.

But other technologies can help. When businesses and other institutions open up, they will need to do a lot of things differently. A new technology called “gaze control” allows people to avoid touching surfaces, like ATM display screens or subway-fare vending machine, that may be potentially contaminated with the virus. Stephan Odörfer is founder and managing director of Munich-based 4tiitoo (pronounced “42”), a startup that creates gaze control technology. Put simply, this technology lets people use their eyes to interact with computers, replacing the need to touch a keyboard, mouse or screen.

Moreover, 4tiitoo has combined gaze control with AI to analyze patterns in users’ eye movement and predict what people want to do next within a particular computer screen or application. “Gaze control allows you to do two things. It controls the computer and we can use it to get an understanding of what the user actually wants to do, “said Odörfer. “By understanding intention, we can proactively support him.”

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Marketing data platform Adverity raises $30M Series C led by Sapphire Ventures

In the time many of us live in now, we all know our online media consumption is — to state the obvious — going through the roof. Subsequently, the amount of data pertaining to online marketing is, equally, reaching stratospheric heights and in recent years tech companies like Datorama and Funnel.io, SuperMetrics and Adverity have appeared to give marketeers a data intelligence platform to deal with the welter of spreadsheets and reports necessary to track everything.

Last year, Vienna HQ’d Adverity closed an €11 million Series B funding round for its AI-driven platform to produce actionable insights in real-time for marketers.

Today it’s announcing a Series C financing round of $30 million, bringing the total amount it has raised to $50 million. The latest funding round is led by Valley-based Sapphire Ventures . Also participating is Mangrove Capital Partners, Felix Capital, SAP.iO and aws Gründerfonds who have all re-invested in this latest round. 

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Adverity raises $30 million to collect, prep, and analyze marketing data

Adverity, a data analytics startup targeting applications in media, marketing, and ecommerce, today announced that it raised $30 million in equity financing, bringing its total raised to $50 million.

By accelerating R&D and growth within Adverity’s offices domestic and abroad, the fresh capital could help the company’s customers — among them Ikea, Red Bull, Unilever, MediaCom, and IPG Mediabrands — address the challenges AI and machine learning present with respect to productization. According to Algorithmia, 50% of companies spend between 8 and 90 days deploying a single AI model, with 18% taking longer than 90 days

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SAP.iO Fund Invests in Deepgram for Gleaning New Insights from Speech

SAP.iO Fund, the startup investment arm of SAP SE (NYSE: SAP), has taken a stake in in Deepgram, provider of a high-accuracy automatic speech recognition solution that can be easily trained to understand new language models, accents and speech patterns.

With a new approach to speech recognition, Deepgram’s flexible API architecture enables real-time transcription for customer support, sales engagement and video/phone interviews and makes them searchable. Wing Ventures led the Series A round, which included existing investors Nvidia, Y Combinator and Compound.

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