Shippeo Secures $32M Investment From Battery Ventures and Existing Investors, Bringing Total Funds Raised to $71M Since Launch

Shippeo, the European leader in real-time transportation visibility (RTTV), today announces a $32 million investment. This new round is co-led by Battery Ventures, a global, technology focused investment firm and existing investors (NGP Capital, ETF Partners, Partech and Bpifrance Digital Venture). Shippeo will use the investment to strengthen its market-leading position and continue delivering on product innovation.

The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the need for supply-chain visibility, with major shippers across industries needing enhanced transparency more than ever before. With many countries in lockdown and with unpredictable border closures, companies with advanced visibility solutions managed to mitigate transport delays and the associated operational inefficiencies. Beyond tracking shipments, visibility platforms now give supply chains the data-driven transparency to meet varying customer demands in uncertain and challenging market conditions.

Despite the unprecedented global economic impact of Covid-19, Shippeo has more than doubled its subscription revenues year on year, while successfully increasing its customer base in 2020 with major industrial brands and fourth-party logistics providers such as Kuehne+Nagel, Total, Hager or Krone. Last October, Shippeo acquired the French company oPhone, bringing major customers in the retail and manufacturing sectors into its community. Finally, Shippeo’s total workforce has more than doubled in the last 12 months, now totaling 160 employees, of which 45% work in R&D.

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AI for Leaders: A Look at SAP.iO Grad Cultivate’s Leadership AI Coaching

Cultivate was initially founded through Samsung NEXT’s ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’ accelerator program. In 2019, SAP’s early-stage venture arm, SAP.iO, participated in the AI company’s Series A funding where it raised $8 million to grow its go-to-market team and product offerings. Since then, Cultivate has accumulated a total of $10 million in venture capital and partnered with multiple leading academic institutions to further its mission of a digital leadership platform.

Leveraging AI for Leaders and the New Digital Workforce

Cultivate was founded with the vision of empowering next-generation leaders through an AI-based leadership development platform that supports them in improving their teams’ employee experience. The platform uses the latest techniques in Machine Learning (ML) and Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) to derive social insights from digital channels to help leaders realise their full potential.

According to Joe Freed, co-founder and CEO of Cultivate, the company aims to address a leadership development gap to help managers self-evaluate their digital communications with insights on their own behaviours. He comments:

“Managers are overloaded with email and chat, but they still have to be managers of people. When it comes to things like well-being, burnout, inclusion, and engagement, a lot of how you can influence your team can be through digital communication. But we don’t have a lot of tools to help us with this.”

Enterprise leaders who opt-in to the AI coaching platform get access to a digital coach that scans and analyses the words and the metadata collected from various digital communication channels such as Office 365Google SuiteTeams and Slack. The Cultivate AI for leaders then delivers personalised, continuous and easy-to-execute actionable leadership insights to managers themselves, helping them strengthen their workplace relationships and ultimately improve the employee experience.

According to Cultivate, a manager using the digital leadership coaching platform can also give feedback to the Cultivate AI to adjust the feedbacks being generated based on the context of their relationships with their team members.

Companies using the Cultivate AI for leaders include:

  • SAP
  • Qualtrics, an SAP-owned company and leader in XM technology
  • McKesson Corporation, a global leader in pharmaceuticals and health information technology
  • BASF, the largest chemical producer in the world
  • PwC, considered one of the Big Four accounting firms
  • SamsungNEXT, a ventures and innovation group within Samsung

At SAP, the Cultivate platform was deployed at an initial small pilot. After confirming that the AI’s feedbacks were highly beneficial, the SAP team did a larger roll-out to approximately 250 sales managers, where 79% of those eligible to participate chose to do so.

Today, SAP has deployed Cultivate to over 500 managers. The German multinational company reports that 96% of managers have remained engaged with Cultivate since the initial roll-out.

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Adverity Is Number One in 2021 g2 Winter Report for Big Data Integration Platform

Adverity, a leading marketing data intelligence platform, has ranked number one in the Momentum Grid Report for Big Data Integration in the G2 Winter 2021 Report. It also continues to be recognised as a momentum leader across four other categories – Marketing Analytics Software, Data Visualization Software, E-commerce Data Integration and ETL Tools.

Top for product satisfaction in the Big Data Integration category with a score of 96%, Adverity also holds second place in the ETL Tools category; boasting a higher product satisfaction score than the category leader. 

It maintains third position in the E-commerce Data Integration category, while solidifying its status in the top five Data Visualizations products and remaining in the top ten Marketing Analytics Software products.

G2 rankings are based on data provided by verified users that share their experiences and feedback on software. The platform has more than one million independent user reviews and is read by over four million users each month. Every quarter, G2 Crowd publishes its Grid report, ranking software by extracting data from multiple online sources to determine market presence, satisfaction scores from customers, and market leadership.

The latest recognition follows a positive year for Adverity where it was previously named a Momentum Leader for ETL tools in the G2 Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 reports respectively. During this period it also moved into, and remained, in the Grid Report for Marketing Analytics top ten.

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OKR-focused Gtmhub raises $30M Series B after growing 3x in 2020

 Gtmhub, a multinational startup that builds software to help other companies manage their corporate planning, announced that it has raised a $30 million Series B. The round was led by Insight, and included both participation from new investor Singular and prior investors LauncHub and CRV.

Gtmhub raised capital around 13 months ago, a $9 million Series A. At the time, the new capital was larger than the aggregate of its preceding funding efforts. The startup’s new funding round, like its 2019 Series A, towers above its prior fundraising totals in a similar manner.

How has Gtmhub managed to raise so much money? In a word, growth.

TechCrunch reported at the time of its Series A that Gtmhub had managed 400% growth in annual recurring revenue (ARR) heading into the round, on a year-over-year basis. Similar levels of topline expansion have continued, with Gtmhub COO Seth Elliott telling TechCrunch that the company grew its ARR by a multiple of three last year (measured December 2019 through December 2020).

Around the time Gtmhub raised in 2019, a number of other startups focused on the same software market raised as well, leading to TechCrunch asking “why is everyone making OKR software?

The acronym OKR translates to “objectives and key results,” a planning method that has become popular among American technology firms, and, according to Elliott, is becoming more popular internationally and among non-technology companies.

The startup executive also told TechCrunch that he sees Gtmhub growing alongside two business trends. The first, the rise of OKRs themselves, is a wave that his company is riding, he told TechCrunch. The second, one that he thinks his startup is leading, deals with large companies pursuing corporate transformations to boost their agility; those firms are adopting Gtmhub, he said, which can help them execute their digital transformation, or similar efforts, successfully.

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Paradox Acquires Israeli Chatbot Spetz.io To Accelerate Innovation And Expand Global Client Service Capabilities

Paradox, the leading conversational AI platform helping global talent acquisition teams automate recruiting tasks like screening, interview scheduling, and candidate communications, announced today the acquisition of Spetz.io, an Israeli startup helping clients like EY and Sodastream modernize candidate communications.

Founded in Tel Aviv in 2017, Spetz has quickly developed a reputation as a product-led, client-centric startup in Israel — a country with a rich history of building world-class AI and machine learning technologies.

The acquisition highlights Paradox’s strategic investment in global innovation and world-class client services, said Paradox founder and CEO Aaron Matos. But it wasn’t just about creating another R&D center. Just as important, Matos said the Spetz team’s vision, mission, and values closely aligned with Paradox.

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Q&A With Cogniac | SAP.iO Interview Series

Rheaply’s VP of External Affairs, Tom Fecarotta, met with Vahan Tchakerian of Cogniac to discuss their organization’s mission and involvement in the SAP.iO Foundry Cohort.

This is Part 1 of 3 in Rheaply’s discussions with other SAP.iO cohort members. Stay tuned for future Q&A’s with Wise Systems and Ivaldi.

Cogniac Q&A

Tom: I’m going to steal this first question from an investor who asked us this. Give me the high school version of the boilerplate and the version for a college student who maybe knows a little bit about AI.

Vahan: I always try to simplify things down. So we know our business, right, but when we introduce it to a new set of people, it’s always like, “what is AI?” Because AI is so universally used — everything is about AI today. For our purposes, we offer an AI platform — a software platform — where we’re working with a combination of neural networks and a deep learning component to automate visual inspection tasks. So anybody doing any sort of inspection is a candidate to use our solution. What’s really beneficial about what we do and how we do it is we’re offering a superhuman level of accuracy in work. In today’s world, inspections and products are super complex — at this rate, humans are missing stuff. We’re not only able to catch these things but catch them quickly, so we are really preventing any sort of downstream failures, etc. — that’s one of the benefits, along with more efficiency.

Tom: James, anything to add to that?

James: No, as Vahan mentioned, it’s going above and beyond what a human is currently capable of — that superhuman aspect is one that we tend to focus on. It’s a game-changer in the visual inspection world because it’s doing so much more at such a high level and operating at such a high degree of accuracy that it’s going to fundamentally change visual inspection and the AI industry within the manufacturing verticals we work in.

Tom: Yeah, that’s really interesting. Talk to me a little more about the application itself. Walk me through the use case for an end user and what that experience looks like.
Vahan: Sure. What we’ve tried to do is make the engagement super simple, to the point that there are no data scientists required — it’s literally technician-level work. Let’s say I’m talking to a potential customer — they have a subject matter expert on a given use case, and what the subject matter expert would need to do is label a few images. In traditional machine vision, somebody would be required to label tens of thousands of images, if not hundreds of thousands; in our case, it’s a few hundred images in what we call established ground truth. Everything we do is teaching with examples, right, in the simplest form. 

Let’s say we’re looking at a cast part — there’s a good part and a bad part. We have to have enough examples of a good part and a few more of a bad part to establish the ground truth of what that looks like. Then we upload that in our platform and the platform starts to make predictions against that data. So consistent labeling is key, and also key is having enough of a dataset of images where you establish ground truth to get the engine running through what we call AI creating AI. So then we look at these predictions, and the subject matter expert says, “You know what, this is kind of close, this is not close,” and so forth. Then there’s some fine-tuning back and forth between the subject matter expert and our platform, and within a couple weeks you’re looking at 95, 98, 100% model accuracy. So that’s the benefit of getting there really quickly, and if you’ve gone down the wrong path, it’s really easy to re-establish yourself and how you do your labeling.

Tom: Is this set into a maintenance system or some kind of internal system that can tell users about the health of item within a warehouse? What does the integration set look like?

Vahan: When we find something that is outside of the norm or there’s an issue, we would send an alert in any way the customer would want to see. Our platform is cloud-based or can be on-prem. Most of our customers are in the cloud. With a cloud solution in a manufacturing environment where someone needs super fast response, alerts — under a second, for example — then you would incorporate what we call an edge appliance. This edge appliance is basically doing the processing of the application at the edge — and if it finds something that’s outside the norm, it can send an alert to any user in any form that’s needed.

Tom: Wow, that’s really cool. I think we’re similar in the respect of wanting to make the process of finding things and understanding their utility easier, and in your case, you’re also working to determine what is potentially needed to improve a particular asset for people. And I think that’s really interesting.

This is a perfect segue into sustainability. Read More….

How to Avoid Paying the Price for Uncertainty in 2021

An explosion of data should not scare us. It is an explosion of data processing that might be our doom. MANTA’s CEO Tomas Kratky explains how to deal with growing complexity of our data pipelines in 2021.

Not Knowing Costs Lives and Money

But that somehow seems irrelevant when we look back at 2020. It was definitely not an easy year for anyone. We, both as a community and as individuals, were tested in many different and challenging ways. Many lives were lost and even more lives were drastically impacted by COVID-19. We had to live (and we still live) with a lot of uncertainty all around us. We did not know how dangerous the virus would be, if there would be any long-term effects on our health, if / how easily we could get sick multiple times, and the list goes on. And that kind of “not knowing” sucks. Many of us decided to stay at home, limit our social interactions, and have our groceries delivered for many months to protect ourselves and the ones we love.

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BigID Raises $70M to Become New York’s Newest Unicorn

’s estimated that the total amount of data is expected to reach 59 zettabytes this year with 90% of that data created in the last two years alone. With such an exponential increase in data, companies are racing to protect the data they maintain and regulatory initiatives like GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act are formalizing standards.  BigID is the data intelligence platform that leverages advanced machine learning and automation to allow customers to seamlessly protect sensitive data, be compliant will data privacy laws, and ensure compliance with data sharing requirements.   The company offers a foundation product that provides companies with visibility of all their data across the data landscape and additional apps provide added intelligence and specialized insight into privacy, protection, and perspective.

AlleyWatch caught up with Cofounder and CEO Dimitri Sirota to learn more about the data protection ecosystem the company has built, its future plans, and recent round of funding, which comes at a $1B valuation and brings the total funding raised to $216.1M for the company founded in 2016.

Who were your investors and how much did you raise?

This was our Series D round. Salesforce Ventures and Tiger Global co-led the round with participation from Glynn Capital and existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Scale Venture Partners, and Boldstart Ventures.

Tell us about the product or service that BigID offers.

BigID’s data intelligence platform enables organizations to know their enterprise data and take action for privacy, protection, and perspective.  Customers deploy our product to proactively discover, manage, protect, and get more value from their regulated, sensitive, and personal data across their data landscape. Our ML-based data discovery foundation helps organizations know their data across their entire data landscape (from mainframe to cloud to on-prem), and our app framework lets you action that data – we have apps for privacy, security, and governance that range from a data risk app to a data retention app to a data remediation app and more.

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Fresh from Demo Day: the technology that wants to overpower your air conditioner and the system that will connect to almost any drone

The most interesting graduate from the latest cycle of SAP.io – the accelerator from SAP Global – is Trendemon. At Trendemon they have created a platform for companies designed to improve their ability to understand and accelerate the impact of their marketing efforts on sales. Trendemon has developed a platform that maps the customer’s journeys, ranks the impact of the company’s various content on business goals and personalizes the content on the site.

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How VNTANA Is Helping Save Retail With Augmented Reality

In mere months, COVID-19 propelled us five years into the future when it comes to digital adoption, according to global consulting firm McKinsey.

You can see this playing out across industries. Restaurants are improving online ordering and delivery capabilities. Telehealth is increasingly available for patients who need it. Online learning has become a mandatory option for students of all ages. On and on and on.

“Digital trends were already picking up steam,” said Ashley Crowder, CEO and cofounder of VNTANA. “But COVID-19 has brought everything to the fore now. What used to be a nice-to-have is now a must-have.”

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Paradox Takes Home Gold and Silver in Brandon Hall Group’s 2020 Excellence in Technology Awards

Paradox, the leading Assistive Intelligence platform for talent experience, announced today that it was recognized with two Brandon Hall Group Excellence in Technology awards, including the Gold award for Best Advance in AI for Business Impact — a new award introduced for 2020 in the Future of Work category. Paradox also won Silver in Best Advancement in Talent Acquisition Technology for the second consecutive year.

“With the help of our clients, Paradox has been fortunate to create new opportunities and accelerate innovative solutions to allow these organizations to stay agile during some of the most challenging times most of us have ever experienced,” said Aaron Matos, Paradox’s founder and CEO. “It’s always been our mission to make best-in-class products that solve real problems for our clients, and we’re grateful to have been able to deliver on those promises and help them adapt to 2020’s many obstacles.”

Brandon Hall Group is a globally renowned research and analyst firm with more than 10,000 clients and 25 years experience delivering research-based solutions. The Excellence Awards recognize the best organizations that have successfully deployed programs, strategies, processes, systems, and tools that have achieved measurable results. The program attracts entrants from leading companies around the world, as well as mid-market and smaller firms.

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Video-Powered Virtual Storefronts Fuel Next E-Commerce Boom

According to Gartner researchers, live commerce is one of the hottest digital selling trends as retailers and even business-to-business (B2B) companies engage customers with personalized sales through streaming video.

To be clear, these are not yesterday’s social brand ambassadors. TVPage has pioneered this latest trend, offering an artificial intelligence (AI)-based cloud platform that brings together store associates, approved influencers, and products for the most dynamic online e-commerce machine to date.

“We are at the forefront of social e-commerce, using video to put virtual yet personalized salespeople directly in the online store,” said Allon Caidar, co-founder and CEO at TVPage. “It’s a full-cycle marketing engine for customer engagement and online shopping, turning companies into their own social media destination that pops up as people search for products.”

Bustling Virtual Storefronts

Large retailers and other companies worldwide are using TVPage to replicate the kind of expert selling consumers crave. For example, when a retailer signs up, it gains a virtual storefront for its own sales associates – as well as independent influencers – all of whom serve as social brand ambassadors. Using a mobile app or web browser, these ambassadors keep consumers engaged by uploading videos, photos, and other information about products on the retailer’s website. They use social media to share their content, answer customer questions, and invite interested consumers to special online events.

“Consumers can chat with social brand ambassadors anytime to find out if a product comes in a different color or size,” Caidar said. “Ambassadors might decide to schedule beauty makeovers based on the questions they’ve received or spotlight gaming releases that reflect breaking trends. Customers can purchase products directly from their videos.”

Companies can set and monitor social ambassador metrics from one dashboard, paying their own employees based on individual performance goals. TVPage also helps its customers find and manage independent influencers, including sourcing and paying freelance social ambassadors.

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Agile working has been ‘a turnaround’ for MediaCom, says CTO Nadine Thomson

Digitisation of the media has made advertising a highly data-intensive industry. This has pushed media agencies, which advise businesses on which advertising channels to use and execute their campaigns, to the forefront of data analytics. MediaCom, the UK’s largest media agency is no exception, with CTO Nadine Thomson overseeing an agile working transformation to help the agency deliver insight to its clients faster and more effectively.

The most valuable data for MediaCom and its clients is anything that describes the reach and impact of an advertising campaign. “For example, if the advert is a video: is it getting watched to the end? If the ad is a call to action: is it getting clicks to the advertiser’s website? We basically measure if people are engaging with the ad,” explains Thomson.

However, every campaign includes a unique mix of channels, from outdoor advertising to social media. And clients all have their own “business logic”, Thomson says, meaning they each have particular objectives and metrics for tracking them.

This means the agency’s business intelligence (BI) team contends with a wide range of data sources and reporting requirements. Every instance of a digital advert carries its own string of metadata that allows its individual performance to be monitored. A typical campaign report combines at least 12 data sources (such as ad performance data from Google, Twitter or Instagram) – some have up to 50.

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The end of email?: The startup developing an alternative

“The way we manage work, principally through email, needs to change,” says Bill Dobie, the founder of workplace communications startup and Slack-rival Sedna. “We allow really complicated parts of the global economy to be run over email and it’s not fit for purpose.”

In Sedna, Dobie has developed an alternative — one which promises to reduce inbound messages by up to 95% —  and the startup has just secured a $10m Series A round, led by Chalfen Ventures and Stride VC, to expand the model. 

Founded in 2017 and based in London, there are currently 2,000 teams across 80 countries using Sedna, including large-scale commodity and shipping companies like Glencore, Bunge and Norden. 

The company is one of several pitting themselves against conventional email — namely messaging app Slack. It just got bought by Salesforce for a mega $27.7bn and markets itself as the antithesis to email: “You could get buried in emails. Or you could get real work done in Slack.”

How it works

Unlike Slack, Sedna’s team believes that email is so ubiquitously used that any new service needs to be able to engage with the old one. 

Sedna works, then, by putting all of a company’s emails into one stream and then using an API to channel them to the exact right people. 

“The problem Sedna tries to solve,” Dobie explains, “is that information about transactions a company makes is rooted in emails. People want to move more quickly and be certain about the information they use, but the information is in individual email accounts.”

“Our thesis is that the content of a company related to its work should be available to everyone in the business who’s entitled to see it,” he says, “so Sedna works by taking emails and connecting them into a single datastream, so there’s one timeline for a transaction that everyone can access.”

One of Sedna’s clients is a large food company, for example, where inbound transactions emails used to come to 200 email addresses across different people in different areas of the company — but now Sedna sorts incoming information and directs it only to the relevant people.

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