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Jina.ai raises $30M for its neural search platform

Berlin-based Jina.ai, an open-source startup that uses neural search to help its users find information in their unstructured data (including videos and images), today announced that it has raised a $30 million Series A funding round led by Canaan Partners. New investor Mango Capital, as well as existing investors GGV Capital, SAP.iO and Yunqi Partners also participated in this round, which brings the company’s total funding to $39 million to date.

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BigID Ranked Number 27th Fastest-Growing Company in North America on the 2021 Deloitte Technology Fast 500™

BigID announced it ranked #27 on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500™, a ranking of the 500 fastest-growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences, fintech, and energy tech companies in North America, now in its 27th year.

BigID’s chief executive officer, Dimitri Sirota, says, “This recognition of our growth reflects the critical importance for companies to reimagine data management everywhere for data privacy, security, and governance across their entire data landscape.”

“Each year the Technology Fast 500 shines a light on leading innovators in technology and this year is no exception,” said Paul Silverglate, vice chair, Deloitte LLP and U.S. technology sector leader. “In the face of innumerable challenges resulting from the pandemic, the best and brightest were able to pivot, reinvent and transform and grow. We celebrate the winning organizations and especially the talented employees driving their success.”

“The pandemic has underscored the urgent need for tech solutions in a variety of areas across health care, fintech, energy tech, entertainment, to name a few, so reliance on innovators like the winners of the Technology Fast 500 is more important than ever,” said Christie Simons, partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP and industry leader for technology, media and telecommunications within Deloitte’s audit & assurance practice. “These companies are not only at the cutting edge, transforming the way we do business, but most importantly, recognize the strategic importance of ongoing innovation, especially in the ever-changing world of technology.”

Overall, 2021 Technology Fast 500™ companies achieved revenue growth ranging from 212% to 87,037% from 2017 to 2020, with median growth of 521%.

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A third Of CMOs Don’t Trust Their Marketing Data According To Adverity Research

Over one-third of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) don’t trust their marketing data according to the latest research from leading marketing data analytics platform Adverity. What’s more, there is a growing divide between data analysts and marketers when it comes to trusting their data.

A third (34%) of marketers don’t trust the data they are given to inform campaigns. A number that rises to 41% among their data analyst colleagues—posing a new challenge for the C-suite charged with driving marketing results. Yet, the very same divide deepens at the leadership level—with 51% of Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) & Chief Data Officers (CDOs) lacking trust in the data compared to 34% of CMOs.

The new “Marketing Analytics State of Play 2022: Challenges and Priorities” research commissioned by Adverity surveyed 964 marketers and data analysts across the U.S., U.K., and Germany, identifying the key strategic challenges faced by marketers and data analysts as well as their priorities for 2022.

For businesses, such a trust divide that becomes greater the more senior you go should cause significant alarm. Teams are failing to communicate mistrust, which results in key strategic decisions regarding spending, budget allocation, and campaign optimization being made without accuracy or confidence, potentially resulting in huge amounts of the marketing budget being misused or ultimately wasted.

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MANTA Recognized in 2021 Gartner® Market Guide for Active Metadata Management

Data lineage platform MANTA today announced its inclusion as a “Representative Vendor” in 2021 Gartner Market Guide for Active Metadata Management.

The report found that organizations are increasingly turning to metadata management solutions to address emerging data management challenges. While metadata management has been used in one form or another for decades, it is becoming more important as enterprises become more data-intensive. “Active metadata management is seen as a set of capabilities that enable continuous access and processing of metadata that support ongoing analysis over a different spectrum of maturity, use cases and vendor solutions.” The report identified that “increased demand for orchestrating exiting and new systems has rendered traditional metadata practices insufficient”, and that “organizations are demanding “active metadata” to assure augmented data management capabilities”.1

MANTA is a world-class data lineage platform that automatically scans your data environment to build a powerful map of all data flows and deliver it through a native UI and other channels to both technical and non-technical users. With MANTA, everyone—from data science teams, cloud architects, and compliance teams to business leaders at the highest level—gets full visibility and control of their data pipeline. MANTA’s extensive lineage capabilities, unique features, and advanced filtering options make the platform an unbeatable solution that allows users to finally understand how their data enters and flows across systems to make data a truly enterprise-wide asset.

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BigID Announces SAP Endorsed Apps Certification for its Discovery-in-Depth Data Insight Platform

BigID, a leader in data management for privacy, security, and governance, today announced that the Discovery-in-Depth Data Insight Platform, a cloud native solution, is a certified SAP endorsed app available on SAP® Store, the online marketplace for SAP and partner offerings.

SAP Endorsed Apps are developed by independent software vendors that have been endorsed to support and complete SAP’s vision to help customers become best-run intelligent enterprises. Solutions awarded with this premium certification go through in-depth technical testing, measurements against benchmarks results, and due diligence that meets stringent requirements in a customer environment.

“We’re thrilled to expand our relationship with SAP to include our subscription-based, cloud-native solution as a premium certified SAP endorsed app,” said Dimitri Sirota, CEO and Co-Founder of BigID. “BigID and SAP serve some of the largest and most global organizations in the market today. These companies have hundreds, if not thousands, of data sources across the enterprise, and BigID helps SAP offer businesses a solution to manage data for privacy, security, and governance.”

The Discovery-in-Depth Data Insight Platform provides additional access to various BigID Apps for Privacy, Security and Data Governance, available upon request, as well as provides extended  data source coverage to include SAP® SuccessFactors®. BigID also offers an on-premise solution, called SAP Data Mapping and Protection by BigID

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Shippeo Tops 103% Annual Growth, Becomes World’s Most Recommended Real-time Transportation Visibility Provider

Shippeo, a global leader and European specialist in real-time transportation visibility, announced today 103% year-on-year growth in subscription revenues and 181% net retention rate. The visibility solutions provider maintains the fastest growing customer base in Europe, having expanded its presence globally with the acquisition of several new high-profile customers currently being deployed in North America, Latin America, and APAC.

Since January, Shippeo has welcomed several new large international brands, including Coca-Cola HBC, one of the largest strategic bottling partners of The Coca-Cola Company; Nexans, a global player in energy transition; XPO Logistics, an American freight transportation company; and Woco Group, a global automotive component specialist, who supplies major OEMs.

A number of other category-leading brands have also chosen Shippeo’s real-time visibility solution, including Sappi, a leading producer of coated graphic paper, packaging and specialty papers; Conad, an Italian retail brand operating one of the largest supermarket chains in Italy; Fnac Darty Group, a French multinational electrical retailing company; Studio Moderna, an e-commerce company primarily operating across Central and Eastern Europe; and IDS, a Dutch 4PL logistics control tower specialist.

“Our very high net retention rate is a direct result of customers choosing to take fuller advantage of our expanding product portfolio, which now includes dock visibility and paperless visibility. Our ocean visibility has also become particularly popular as factors including Covid, the Suez blockage, and a global shortage of containers only intensifies the focus on the performance of this critical transport mode,” says Lucien Besse, COO of Shippeo.

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Most freelancers don’t make 6 figures, Wethos raised $8m to change that

In Q2 of this year, 11.5 million people answered this question by quitting their jobs. Next to retail, business services saw the biggest exodus of talent to freelancing, which is projected to be over half of the workforce by 2030. Today, leaving a corporate job means leaving your corporate paycheck and benefits, a risky move when only 5% of freelancers make over $100k a year. Freelance as a viable and lucrative career has been out of reach for most, but in the words of Vice President Harris: “I often say that the ability we should all have is to see what can be, unburdened by what has been.”

Today, we’re thrilled to announce Wethos’ new $8M round of funding led by Third Prime with participation from new investors Javelin, Full Circle, F7 Ventures, Clocktower, and Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, as well as continued support from Laconia, Valuestream, and many others. We’re also excited to add Wes Barton from Third Prime and Vivian Cheng from Javelin to our board alongside existing board member Dion Ridley, Engineering Leader at Netflix Studios. This fresh injection of capital follows 100x growth since we launched with just 100 studios less than a year ago. We proudly power nearly 10,000 virtual studios, which have won over $54M in projects by leveraging Wethos’ tools.

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Customer Experience Is Key As Consumers Share More Online Reviews

While many things changed in 2020, in the e-commerce industry things may have shifted particularly drastically, with an impressive spike in online shopping on a global scale. Pandemic lockdowns catalyzed a process that was already underway in pre-Covid times — the transition from in-store to online shopping.

As consumers get increasingly more comfortable with researching and purchasing products online, they are also becoming more used to expressing their feedback through online product reviews and social media. Recent research indicates that in 2020 there was a surge in product reviews in multiple markets; more on that to follow.

What does this change mean for e-commerce companies? How can businesses leverage this change? In this article, I’ll share a bit about what our company noticed while doing research on the beauty industry and what I think e-commerce executives can do to make sure their brands stay relevant.

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Sedna banks $34M for a platform that parses large volumes of email and chat to automatically action items within them

Many have tried to do away with it, but email refuses to die … although in the process it might be (figuratively speaking) killing some of us with the workload it brings on to triage and use it. A startup called Sedna has built a system to help with that — specifically for enterprise and other business customers — by “reading” the text of emails and chats, and automatically actioning items within them so that you don’t have to. Today, it’s announcing funding of $34 million to expand its work.

The funding, a Series B, is being led by Insight Partners, with Stride.VC, Chalfen Ventures and the SAP.iO fund (part of SAP) also participating. The funding will be used to continue building out more data science around Sedna’s core functionality, with the aim of moving into a wider set of verticals over time. Currently its main business is in the area of supply chain players, with Glencore, Norden and Bunge among its customers. Other customers in areas like finance include the neobank Starling. London-based Sedna is not disclosing valuation.

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Omnichannel Insights for Marketing Decision Support

An old adage goes like this: 50% of the money spent on marketing programs is wasted. But which 50%?

That question can finally be answered in the new era of advanced analytics – and by Adverity Marketing Data Analytics Platform. No more tedious number crunching on spreadsheets for marketing teams, thanks to this popular solution on SAP Store. Now, data-driven marketers can take advantage of fully automated data integration for a single source of truth on the performance of their programs and move past “point-in-time” performance monitoring toward insights that lead to tangible actions.

I spoke with Sven Woeltjen, partner manager with Adverity GmbH, to find out more about the solution’s impact on the life of a marketer.

“From every source – paid search, social media, direct demand-generation campaigns, events – you get different data in different formats,” Woeltjen said. “Everyone is asking for ROI, and no one has the answer. Many marketing teams work in silos. Harmonizing and cleansing the data from all the different sources is a labor-intensive process that’s prone to mistakes, and typically takes many days. As a result, marketers spend more time wrangling data than they do interpreting it, meaning they miss out on opportunities to optimize performance and improve ROI. They don’t have current info and can’t produce timely reports. Those are the problems Adverity solves.”

Reporting in Near Real Time

With the Adverity solution, marketers can create omnichannel overviews in near real time. Integration with SAP ERP and SAP Marketing Cloud allows them to enrich their insights by pulling in data from finance or HR or whatever interests them, Woeltjen continued. The ability to build ad-hoc reports on their own enables them to explain to the business the impact of what they’re doing whenever they’re asked. Report templates and data visualization tools make that even easier. “With tangible results based on real data, they can turn their attention to the next program or campaign rather than the next report,” he added. “By better understanding what works and what doesn’t, they can make decisions from a strategic standpoint.”

In fact, Woeltjen speaks from experience after spending his career in marketing, including tenure with an agency where he was using the Adverity solution himself. He ended up approaching the company about potential partner opportunities and, not long after, joined the firm and worked with its most important partner, SAP.

Understanding Marketing Challenges – as Marketers

I asked Woeltjen to tell me more about the company, which was established in 2015. Like him, the founders themselves were working in the marketing field, experiencing the data challenges , and saw an opportunity. The company has grown steadily since then, largely by building relationships, understanding customers’ needs, and building new features accordingly – as all good marketers do. For example, an augmented analytics module uses machine learning to analyze large amounts of data, identify trends and anomalies, and deliver suggestions for improvements that enable marketers to proactively address issues affecting performance.

Teamwork is a crucial factor for Adverity. The implementation team sits next to the developers to promote collaboration. Even as they have transitioned to working from home, the relationships are in place. Now with about 250 employees, based largely in Austria, the U.S., and the UK, the company plans to double in size this year. With offices in London and New York City already, Adverity plans to establish a presence on the West Coast of the U.S. and in the Asia-Pacific-Japan region. As a digital company with most employees working remotely, not just during the pandemic, he commented, “We can hire the best people.”

And speaking of the pandemic, Adverity has been in the position to cushion some of the fallout for customers suddenly making the transition to online marketing. “Here in Germany, for example, many stores have been closed for a full year,” Woeltjen remarked. “People have had to get used to buying more online, causing many smaller businesses – distilleries, for example – to sell directly to consumers and use their marketing budgets to acquire customers online. We can help them with our tool.”

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ClearMetal Recognized as One of the Four Notable Vendors in 2021 Gartner International Visibility Business Process Context

ClearMetal, the leading SaaS platform for international freight visibility, dynamic transport planning and customer experience, today announced it has been recognized by Gartner as one of the four vendors in the 2021 Gartner “International Visibility Business Process Context: ‘Magic Quadrant for Real-Time Transportation Visibility Platforms’” report.1

According to this Gartner report, “While many real-time transportation visibility platforms (RTTVPs) have expanded capabilities beyond core domestic road transport and now include pieces of, or all, international visibility as well, this research is focused on internationally focused vendors that are not included in the Magic Quadrant for Real-Time Transportation Visibility Platforms.”1

“ClearMetal is excited to be named one of the four solution providers recognized in the International Visibility Business Process Context of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for RTTVPs. We believe this recognition validates ClearMetal’s position as a leader in door-to-door international freight visibility. The world’s largest shippers trust the quality and accuracy of our data and rely on our platform to provide insights about their freight in real time,” said Adam Compain, CEO of ClearMetal. “We congratulate E2open, TransVoyant and Infor for being named alongside ClearMetal in the International Visibility Business Process Context of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for RTTVPs, as well as the over-the-road vendors featured in the Magic Quadrant.”

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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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Mind the Chat with Alexa Gorman – SAP, SAP.iO

Mind the Bridge and the International Chamber of Commerce recently awarded SAP as a TOP 25 Corporate Startup Stars last December. Indeed, with a hundred thousand employees, the B2B SaaS technology giant outperforms the majority of Fortune 500 corporations on the implementation of their Open Innovation programs and creates win-win-win relationships with startups, SAP’s clients and of course SAP.

In this Mind the Chat, we had the joy to sit down with Alexa Gorman, SVP and head of SAP.iO foundries in EMEA. Alexa joined SAP in 1999 in the retail space and led various teams and initiatives from marketing to strategy in both New York and Paris before finally joining SAP.io in Berlin, in 2017.

During the conversation, we covered the multiple areas of activities that SAP undertakes in the world of startups, namely SAP.iO, Sapphire Ventures, SAP’s Intrapreneurship program – SAP.iO Venture Studio, and the University Alliances. We took a deep dive into the structure of the SAP.iO, its Foundries, and the growing number of SAP’s innovation outposts around the world.

SAP.iO

SAP.iO is part of the New Ventures and Technology group that reports directly to the CTO office. The role of SAP.iO is to manage both startup-driven innovation and acceleration, as well as employee-driven innovation and acceleration.

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Deepgram raises $25 million to build custom enterprise speech recognition models

Deepgram, a Y Combinator graduate building custom speech recognition models, today announced that it raised $25 million in series B funding led by Tiger Global. CEO and cofounder Scott Stephenson says the proceeds will bolster the development of Deepgram’s platform, which enables enterprises to process meetings, calls, and presentations in real time.

The voice and speech recognition tech market is anticipated to be worth $31.82 billion by 2025, driven by new applications in the banking, health care, and automotive industries. In fact, it’s estimated that one in five people in the U.S. interact with a smart speaker on a daily basis and that the share of Google searches conducted by voice in the country recently surpassed 30%.

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