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DataRobot’s Zepl acquisition bridges the AI divide

DataRobot revealed yesterday during an online AI Experience Worldwide conference that it has acquired Zepl as part of a larger effort to enable data scientists to customize AI models developed on its platform. Zepl created an open source Apache Zepyl notebook that enables data scientists to collaboratively develop and analyze code written in Python, R, or Scala.

DataRobot also unveiled a slew of updates, including an ability to clone, edit, and reconfigure machine learning blueprints created using the AutoML framework at the core of its platform for constructing AI models. That Composable ML feature enables organizations to integrate their own custom training code with the AutoML framework employed by DataRobot, senior VP Nenshad Bardoliwalla said. “Data scientists can now tweak our AI models,” he added.

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VNTANA Launches 3D Digital Showroom to help Fashion Brands Sell Online to Retailers

VNTANA, the industry leader in 3D Content Management Software (CMS),  announced the launch of VNTANA’s new 3D Digital Showroom, which allows brands to instantly and easily create secure, shareable 3D digital showrooms with their existing designs. The 3D Digital Showroom looks like a traditional line sheet with interactive 3D versions of products.

By using 3D versions of products, brands can showcase products even before samples have been produced saving thousands of dollars and providing a differentiated experience for their customers.

The VNTANA platform has patented algorithms to ensure 3D models load fast with the highest quality images. The platform generates a sharable link and QR code to make sharing easy. Each file holds metadata, so all product information, such as fabric and style number is tied to the 3D file. A 3D digital showroom can be created in minutes instead of weeks by following a simple set of steps.

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AI-Driven Dispatch & Routing Software from Wise Systems Now Available on SAP® Store

Wise Systems today announced that its AI-Driven Dispatch & Routing software is now available on SAP® Store, the digital marketplace for SAP and partner offerings. Wise Systems’ software integrates with SAP S/4HANA® and delivers dynamic AI solutions for last-mile operations.

“In today’s fast-moving transportation industry, dynamic solutions that enable fleets to maximize fleet efficiency, reduce carbon footprint, and improve customer experience are needed now more than ever,” said Chazz Sims, CEO and co-founder of Wise Systems. “Integration with SAP S/4HANA and availability on SAP Store extends the reach of our powerful AI platform to the extensive network of companies that use SAP technologies and equips them with a competitive edge in last-mile operations.”

Wise Systems brings a relentless focus on optimizing the delivery experience and outcomes with its extensive suite of AI-driven routing and dispatching capabilities for delivery recipients, drivers, dispatchers, and managers. The company’s real-time, fully automated system is already powering delivery and service operations for a wide variety of customers ranging from multi-billion dollar global enterprises, including Anheuser-Busch and Lyft, to market leaders across food, beverage, parcel, courier, field service, and other industries.

Wise Systems’ platform combines a powerful, AI-driven optimization engine with intuitive user experiences for delivery recipients, drivers, dispatchers and managers. With integration to SAP S/4HANA, Wise Systems pulls orders from the SAP system into the platform, creates optimal routes, and then synchronizes the routing data back to SAP S/4HANA to improve the efficiency and service of last-mile operations.

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Roambee Recognized In Magic Quadrant For Real-Time Transportation Visibility Platforms’

Roambee is identified as one of the 9 global supply chain technology companies in ‘2021 Gartner Tracking and Monitoring Business Process Context: Magic Quadrant for Real-Time Transportation Visibility Platforms.’ According to the report, “In real-time transportation visibility platforms (RTTVPs), the data is collected from the carrier rather than from an independent IoT devices as in the case of tracking and monitoring solutions.” The report further states, “It can also extend the visibility beyond the delivery of the product and is often used to track the location and condition of the product in the yard or the warehouse.”

Roambee delivers dedicated monitoring solutions built on real-time location, temperature, spoilage, damage, and tamper signals. It combines such first-hand sensor inputs with non-sensor intelligence to offer trusted insights and foresights that drive logistics automation.

Roambee’s recent award-winning sensor, the BeeSense Air, is an example of dedicated monitoring of multimodal shipments, making it possible for any actor in the air cargo supply chain to get firsthand visibility at a package level. Roambee’s Honeycomb – an immersive location-aware platform coupled with its suite of sensors is purpose-built for applications like capturing demand signals at point of sale, optimizing returnable packaging inventory, monitoring ocean cargo from the first to the last mile, and more.

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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Too Good To Go Expands Its Food Waste App Nationally Across the U.S.

Not so very long ago, the United States lagged far behind Europe in terms of the widespread availability of food rescue apps. Fortunately, a heightened awareness of the world’s food waste problem has changed this and created opportunities for food rescue companies in the U.S.

Case in point: Too Good To Go’s recent expansion westward. The company, originally started in Denmark, today announced its plans to expand across the United States, following a successful program in select East Coast states. The first stop is San Francisco, with 200-plus food businesses participating, including Mission Chinese, La Boulangerie, and Indie Superette.

Via the Too Good To Go app, users can browse surplus food options from participating restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores at the end of every day. They can then sign up for a “surprise bag” which includes surplus items from these businesses. Depending on the business from which it’s ordered, that bag could include pastries, extra sushi rolls, surplus produce, and many other items.

Too Good to Go brought its app Stateside in 2020, starting in New York City. The company followed that move with a $31 million fundraise at the start of this year, specifically meant to enable a wider expansion around the U.S.

And while the concept of food rescue might be more commonplace Stateside compared to a couple years ago, it’s still unusual in the restaurant biz. Grocery delivery services like Misfits Market and Imperfect Foods address the grocery sector. Canada’s Flashfood app, based in Toronto, Ontario, similarly addresses surplus food in the grocery store via its U.S. partnership with Meijer.

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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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Timeshifter selected as one of Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas

Timeshifter is recognized by Fast Company for its accomplishments in translating sleep and circadian neuroscience into real-world tools with the potential to improve the lives of billions of people.

NEW YORK, NY (May 4, 2021) — Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards were announced today from a pool of more than 4,000 entries, honoring the businesses, policies, projects, and concepts that are actively engaged and deeply committed to pursuing innovation for the good of society and the planet.

Timeshifter, the creator of the world’s first technology platform for circadian timing, received an honorable mention. Timeshifter enables people to proactively “shift” their circadian clock quickly or “shift” the timing of an activity to the optimal circadian time. This gives Timeshifter the unique and patent pending ability to solve several universal and multi-billion-dollar problems.

Timeshifter has already solved jet lag with an app it launched in 2018 — now the most-downloaded and highest-rated jet lag app in the world. Later in 2021, Timeshifter will launch a new app to help shift workers optimize their sleep, alertness, health, and quality of life. At least 20% of the global labor force are shift workers, changing to a new schedule soon after they adapted to the previous one, or never adapting at all. Timeshifter has also begun strategic work in the field of peak performance and chronotherapeutics that aims to treat illnesses according to circadian rhythms.

Our circadian clock controls almost every biological system in our bodies — from our sleep-wake cycle and mood and performance patterns to our metabolic, immune, and reproductive systems, and even many of our genes: By including Timeshifter as an honoree, Fast Company highlights the growing consensus that circadian science is the new frontier in human performance and personalized medicine.

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GoFundMe and Perksy Release New Data Revealing the Kindness of New Yorkers

GoFundMe, the world’s leading fundraising platform, today released new data about the state of giving in New York City. The findings, which combine new internal GoFundMe data with the results of a survey* conducted by Perksy among 1,000 New Yorkers in April 2021, demonstrate the kindness and resilience of the nation’s largest city.

While only 1% of New Yorkers described themselves as kind in the Perksy survey, data from GoFundMe between January 2020 and March 2021 indicates otherwise. In that period of time, GoFundMe found that:

  • Approximately $150 million was raised on GoFundMe by New Yorkers for people, causes, and organizations in need.
  • A New Yorker donated to a fundraiser every 30 seconds.
  • Over half of donors in New York City were first time donors.
  • Over 40% of donations made by New Yorkers were anonymous, a signal of the city’s understated generosity.
  • Over one-third of the fundraisers started by New Yorkers were for someone else.

“The data speaks volumes about the resilience and strong sense of community New Yorkers demonstrated over the past year,” said Emily Wolverton, Head of Analytics at GoFundMe. “With New York City often considered a microcosm of the United States, we’re inspired by the city’s generosity and commitment to uplifting one another that our research uncovered. From helping a friend in need to supporting a local coffee shop, we see the kindness of New Yorkers everyday on GoFundMe.”

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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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Sustainable Waste Management Platform Goodr Exceeds Goal By $500K In Pre-Series A Funding Round

Goodr, a Black-owned and Atlanta-based sustainable waste management platform, has just announced that they’ve exceeded their own expectations.

In a press release announcement, it was revealed that the company raised $1.5 million in their recent Bridge to Series A funding round, which exceeded their initial goal by $500,000. Capital One Ventures were joined in this round by Backstage Capital, Unreasonable Ventures, and the Laurene Powell Jobs-helmed Emerson Collective.

“It is an extremely exciting time here at Goodr,” CEO Jasmine Crowe said in the press release announcement. “We are expanding our team, our market reach, and solving two critical problems at the same time. I welcome our new investors as part of the team as we continue to strive towards ending hunger.”

The company has already announced that they are on the hunt for a Lead Engineer, and are actively filling roles for other key executive positions. The supplemental funds will also allow them to improve their product and service offerings, increase marketing initiatives, and activate new markets.

The concept of Goodr doesn’t just cut down on food waste. Rather, it helps businesses save money on taxes, feed more people, and reduce food waste by rerouting surplus food from cafeterias and restaurants to people in need. Their food distribution services include grocery delivery, popup grocery stores, and food delivery to support food insecure communities around the United States. The company’s philosophy is simple: food insecurity is not an issue of scarcity, but of logistics.

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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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SAP.iO Startups Deliver Personalized and Holistic Experiences for Consumers on SAP Store

Shifting consumer values are driving new innovations to market at a speed like never before. Consumer products companies must be able to serve consumers by orchestrating an ecosystem that delivers personalized experiences in the service of achieving an outcome, all at the most favorable cost.

To help drive their own innovation efforts, consumer products companies are increasingly looking to startups and new technologies to fuel future growth. By collaborating with startups to address the industry’s most pressing challenges with innovative solutions through SAP.iO, SAP is dedicated to empowering its customers to continue to thrive as prominent industry leaders. The seven startups that participated in SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv’s consumer products cohort last year are now all available on SAP Store in the latest set of solutions for SAP customers.“

We chose these seven companies to join SAP’s partner ecosystem as a result of due diligence and close collaboration with the industry and product teams at SAP. These startup offerings that are available on SAP Store provide critical solutions to the biggest challenges in the consumer products industry, helping SAP customers best utilize their existing data in order to improve the consumer experience,” said Inbar Yacoby, Program Manager, SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv.

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Future Grid: Why Australia Is Proving Grounds For Renewable Energy

Australia is among the most advanced countries worldwide when it comes to renewable energy, making it the ideal proving grounds for Future Grid. This Australian-based startup has developed a SaaS-based solution to help electric utilities manage the vast amounts of new data coming from electric vehicles, solar panels, and other renewable energy technologies.   

“We designed Future Grid to fill the visibility gap, bringing together real-time data and insights from smart meters so electric utilities can better manage the accelerated transition to renewable energy,” said Chris Law, co-founder and CEO at Future Grid. “This will help utilities continue to provide safe, reliable electricity services in regulatory compliance as renewable energy emerges.”

Law, who has extensive experience in the energy industry, co-founded Future Grid to meet the unique demands of utilities that weren’t fully utilizing all the data from their smart meters.

“We wanted to help utilities quickly manage data for their industry-specific outcomes,” he recalled. “Now as utilities have been increasingly challenged by the transition to renewable energy, our service is becoming even more important.”

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