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SoftBank Invests in Marketing Startup Targeting Post-Cookie Data

Vienna-based marketing analytics startup Adverity has raised $120 million in an equity funding round led by SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund 2, helping it to tap growing demand for consumer data. The startup sees an opportunity in allowing sellers to improve their marketing as Apple Inc. and Google make it harder for brands to track consumers, increasing the value of other sources of information.

“It’s a great opportunity for marketing teams to get ahead again because it’s leveling the field for everybody,” Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Alexander Igelsbock said in an interview.

Established in 2015, Adverity says it pulls in data from more than 500 sources to offer analysis and insights on a brand’s marketing efforts across platforms such as Amazon.com Inc. and ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok.

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Investors, Innovators, Influencers – Kange Kaneene, Vice President, SAP.iO Foundries North America – SAP

Tell us about the professional journey that took you where you are today. What major lessons did you learn along the way?

In high school before I went to college, I did not know what to study, so my dad suggested computer science. He made that suggestion because in high school I would spend a lot of time at the house talking to my friends on AOL instant messenger and he assumed I had a love for computers. I don’t think he knew I was actually just chatting with friends. I had never heard of computer science before, so I was willing to enroll in the introductory computer science class during the first semester freshman year at university. What I liked about the class was it helped me lean into my creativity side. Back then we would literally start with a black screen and then type sophisticated text and generate a computer program. I loved how programming allowed us to create something from nothing. The course also helped me learn how to have a very structured way of thinking. In programming, one needs to consider all details for any computer program to be successful. After surviving the introductory class, I decided to major in computer science. To be honest it was an extremely challenging journey. First of all, my academic advisor literally told me he didn’t think computer science was a good fit for me. I remember being so angry he would make such a statement without even knowing me and that frustration fueled my motivation to graduate with a computer science degree. Each course was harder than the previous and sometimes I would work on computer programs for 12 hours straight. I think that is how I developed a work hard, play hard personality. Many weekends I would literally be at the library all day and then come back in the evening and take shots with my roommates before going out only to wake up in the morning and study some more.

Close to graduation I was interviewing for typical software engineering roles at companies like Microsoft, Merrill Lynch and Cerner. One day I saw a poster for a corporate presentation for Bain and Company serving free catering from Panera Bread. Back then most corporate presentations served pizza, so I was over the moon for an opportunity for Panera and registered for the presentation. Before then I had never heard of consulting. However, the presenter explained opportunities to work on distinct projects for several industries, travel and interact with external clients. I realized a consulting job was a better fit for my personality than the software engineering roles I was applying for. However, after such a challenging college experience with computer science I was not comfortable completely throwing away my computer science knowledge. Therefore, I targeted tech consulting firms and ending up at a supply chain tech consulting firm called Manhattan Associate in Atlanta.

I had never lived in a proper city before and I did not know anyone in Atlanta so I was extremely scared. However, I reached out to my network to introduce me to people they knew in Atlanta, signed up for networking events etc. and before I knew it Atlanta was my home. That was the first time I was truly independent financially and socially and it was an amazing feeling. I had to reinvent myself several more times in my career as I moved around to new places such as New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia and Singapore.

Consulting taught me how to quickly get up to speed as I started new projects and ask the right questions to understand different management styles for each project manager I had to work with.

After a few years I wanted to try a new professional challenge, but I did not know what I wanted to do. I learned about leadership development rotational problems and figured those programs were good ways to quickly learn about different roles within a company to later decide which roles are the most interesting. After more research I understood most leadership development rotational programs recruit from full time MBA programs, so I decided to apply and ended up quitting my job and moved to NYC for school full time.

Deciding to go so business school was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I met the most interesting and diverse group of people I have ever known, I acquired essential business acumen and I went on 7 international trips that helped to broaden my perspective. I also learned to make my goals as specific as possible so that they are easy to achieve. For example, in my application I said I wanted to intern at Citibank between years 1 and 2, do a pro-bono consulting project for Alvin Ailey and join the leadership team for the Association for Hispanic and Black Business students. I am so proud to say I was able to accomplish all those goals.

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C-Suite Leaders from Hulu, Snap and Harry’s Join Season 2 of The Business of Marketing

Earlier this year, Adweek and SAP.iO debuted The Business of Marketing podcast, a new series where listeners learned from company leaders and innovators on how CMOs work collaboratively with their C-suite partners to drive business transformation.

Over the course of the first season, we sat down with 17 executives from across the marketing landscape and covered topics such as responding to a global pandemic and using data to scale your business featuring leaders from brands like Walmart, Unilever, Mastercard, Square, Rolling Stone and NBCUniversal.

Today, we are excited to announce the release date for Season 2 of The Business of Marketing and the initial lineup of guests.

Season 2 will kick off July 29 with guest Alexa Gorman, svp and global head of foundries and intrapreneurship at SAP.iO, sitting down with Adweek’s chief innovation officer and host of The Business of Marketing, Toby Daniels, for a conversation about how to drive business transformation through startup acceleration.

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Pexapark launches first renewable PPA pricing tool to account for technology and local weather conditions

Provider of software and advisory services for post-subsidy renewable energy sales, Pexapark, has announced it has added a new pioneering feature which accounts for site- and technology-specific production to its renewable energy pricing system, PexaQuote.

PexaQuote currently supports developers and investors managing over 250 GW of global renewable energy investments as the industry pushes further into a subsidy-free future. The renewable energy PPA market is expected to exceed 10 GW this year, with over 5.5 GW already signed across 68 deals since the start of 2021. According to Pexapark’s ‘PPA Times’ report, this rapid growth is being driven by the entry of large corporate buyers, which are setting new records for volume of PPAs across Europe.

However, as the market is becoming more mature and offerings more structured, many renewable energy companies must now deal with increased analytics demands to master the complexity of PPAs, and thereby reduce structuring and execution losses amidst heavy competition for limited liquidity. Renewable energy companies have also continued to battle against opacity around price data in the market, limiting their ability to accurately value potential PPAs for new assets. Among others, site- and technology-specific characteristics are key price determinants when assessing the correct market value in any PPA transaction.

PexaQuote accounts for and adjusts prices in line with all relevant factors such as a given site’s local weather properties and production profile based on type of renewable energy technology in line with the chosen PPA structure.

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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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DataRobot Acquires Zepl to Enhance Enterprise AI Platform Capabilities for Advanced Data Scientists

DataRobot, the leader in enterprise AI, today announced the acquisition of Zepl, a cloud data science and analytics platform. The acquisition — unveiled today at DataRobot’s virtual conference, AI Experience Worldwide — will unlock new capabilities within DataRobot’s enterprise AI platform for the world’s most advanced data scientists.

“We have always known that to lead the AI market, we must embrace all creators of AI systems, from analysts and citizen data scientists who prefer using a GUI to advanced data scientists who love to code,” said Dan Wright, CEO of DataRobot. “Through the addition of Zepl, we now give advanced data scientists more flexibility to use our enterprise AI platform within their existing workflows, including the ability to use their own code. By incorporating Zepl into the DataRobot platform, we plan to further democratize data science across every enterprise and significantly accelerate our code-centric roadmap.”

Zepl was founded by the creators of Apache Zeppelin, an open source notebook for data and analytics that has been downloaded more than 500,000 times by data scientists from some of the biggest brands in the world. Zepl provides a self-service data science notebook solution for advanced data scientists to do exploratory, code-centric work in Python, R, and Scala with enterprise-ready features such as collaboration, versioning, and security.

DataRobot will incorporate Zepl as a cloud-native, self-service notebook in its enterprise AI platform to drive productivity, efficiency, and collaboration for multiple personas. This will unlock additional flexibility for data scientists who prefer to code by allowing them to write their own tasks and custom models extending the out-of-the-box capabilities provided by DataRobot. With the integration of Zepl, business analysts will be able to build models using the power of DataRobot’s automation and then collaborate with their advanced data science colleagues for additional customization if desired, all on the same platform. It will also provide a more transparent view of the code behind DataRobot blueprints, further enhancing trust and explainability within the platform.

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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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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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Accenture/SAP to accelerate sustainable transformation

Decades long, Accenture and SAP have been collaborating for many years to help companies to embed sustainability across their entire business operations to unlock new value in their supply chains.

Breaking down Accenture and SAP’s latest partnership

By combining SAP’s technology with Accenture’s Sustainability Services and broad industry knowledge, the two are expanding their current partnership to create new solutions that empower companies to accelerate full decarbonisation in the supply chain, and capture their share of economic growth that a circular economy could bring. 

The new solution

Co-innovating and co-developing, SAP and Accenture plans to create a new solution for responsible production, manufacturing and design. Its capabilities will help companies to embed sustainability metrics across their value chain and supply chains. 

How does it work?

The solution harnesses integrated data from multiple operations, allowing companies to better design and produce products with less waste, better recyclability, and more recycled content. 

By providing this solution, SAP and Accenture hope to help to reduce the growing cost of compliance which has been driven by new regulations. 

“Our work together will enable SAP’s customers, which include 92% of the Forbes Global 2000, to use their core systems to help drive their sustainability agenda, optimize their ESG performance and achieve their goals. This expanded collaboration builds on our long history with SAP — including our joint partnership with the United Nations Global Compact and 3M — and our shared commitment to drive adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Julie Sweet, chief executive officer at Accenture.

SAP’s Climate 21 initiative

In addition to partnering with SAP on this new solution, Accenture supports SAP’s Climate 21 initiative. Climate 21 allows companies to use analytics to measure and minimise their CO2 emissions as well as lower their carbon footprint across a products lifecycle. 

In doing so, sustainability metrics harnessed across the end-to-end supply chain allows for an integrated view of environmental savings and cost impacts, as well as the ability to more easily optimise operations.

“To successfully tackle the greatest threat to our world today, we need to collaborate at every level of business and society. Building on our long-standing and trusted partnership, SAP and Accenture are joining forces to help our customers realize long-term growth in a sustainable way. We’re creating visibility into the environmental impact across the entire value chain, providing enterprises with the insights they need to take the right action and accelerate their transition to the circular economy,” said Christian Klein, chief executive officer at SAP.

SAP.iO a global accelerator

Furthering their efforts to accelerate sustainable transformation, SAP and Accenture began a global sustainability focused accelerator program at SAP.iO

As part of the SAP.iO, the ‘Sustainability Future’ program – the latest cohort to date – aims to help B2B startups in their early stages drive digital transformation and innovation in four target areas: carbon tracking and trading, resource efficiency, climate risk tracking and mitigation, and circular economy.  

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Sustainable Business Is Better Business for All

Sustainability is the business challenge of our lifetimes.

Customers are increasingly educated and demand products and services that minimize negative environmental impact. Investors are integrating climate risk in their portfolio strategies. Government regulation is on the rise around the world, affecting carbon emissions, waste management, product design, and producer responsibility. Employees are increasingly vocal about their employer’s environmental policies and actions, making it challenging for businesses to recruit top talent without a genuine environmental vision and track record.

Based on Accenture research*, enterprises with high ratings for environmental and social governance (ESG) performance attained operating margins nearly four-times higher than those with low ESG ratings and generated annual total returns to shareholders that were double their peers. According Accenture and United Nations (UN) Global Compact research, 54% of CEOs agree sustainability is critical to the future success of their organizations, and 71% of investors believe the pandemic will accentuate global policies to tackle risks related to climate change.

From Periphery to Core

Enterprises must show accountability through ESG performance and manage end-to-end operations responsibly. By reimagining its business model, any company can operate in an intelligent way, minimize negative environmental impact, and unleash a new dimension of enterprise resource planning (ERP). Decision-makers can use this intelligence to design better products, create engaging experiences, and equip employees to do their best work by eliminating busywork. They can create an efficient, ethical, and adaptable supply chain, reaching beyond organizations and first-tier suppliers to proactively manage performance and risks with trading partners around the world.

Just like any other core business function, sustainability performance must also be managed in real time and integrated into wider business decision making. True, integrated reporting will go hand-in-hand with ESG management, and information transparency will provide a solid foundation to optimize financial results and sustainability performance together.

Most companies have a long way to go before they move beyond the basics of simply reporting ESG performance to actively steering their business operations toward ambitious sustainability goals. While the UN Global Compact’s SDG Ambition program has challenged companies to enhance their commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), only 25% have set goals aligned to societal or environmental needs. Although CEOs acknowledge the universal call-to-action to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all, less than 50% have implemented sustainability into their operations.

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SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv announced 7 startups to joint its next program with Publicis Sapient

SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv launched yesterday its startup accelerator program focused on consumer engagement, together with the digital business transformation company Publicis Sapient. Seven startups have been selected to join the program, all are focused on developing advanced marketing and commerce solutions to help brands improve their consumer engagement.

“Recent year events and new market challenges in the Consumer Industries, emphasized the importance of expanding our partner portfolio in the e-commerce and marketing domains, and led us to launch a dedicated program with that focus.” says Lior Weizman, Director of SAP.iO Foundry Tel Aviv. “After screening startups from more than 30 countries, 7 startups originating from Israel, US, Poland and UK were selected. The selected startups present advanced capabilities in their fields and have a strong track record of success, will enable SAP’s clients to engage in new ways with their customers.”

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Cardano Foundation Announces Partnership With Supply Chain Traceability Solution Scantrust

The Cardano foundation has announced a partnership with Scantrust, a supply chain traceability solution, in order to streamline the supply chain management process, as well as optimising security.  

Scantrust is a company that uses QR codes to bring products online, and aims to turn products and packaging into a “direct connection with consumers”. The company provides protection from counterfeiting, supply chain awareness, and consumer engagement, using blockchain technology to secure, track, and create consumer interactivity with a QR code.

Current Scantrust partners include HP Indigo, Hyperledger, and SAP, and the company has worked with Fortune 500 companies and SMEs across 168 countries. 

One of the areas that blockchain technology has revolutionised is the supply chain. Blockchain solutions have allowed companies to trace, track, and empower the producer and consumer. A number of traceability companies have emerged in recent years, covering industries from food, textiles and high-end consumer products. What they share in common is the ability to create true transparency from the start of the supply chain all the way through to the consumer. 

Advancing innovation in blockchain technology has allowed companies to promote their ethical approach to consumer goods, increase transparency, and secure against counterfeiting. Frederik Gregaard, CEO of the Cardano Foundation, commented on the partnership with Scantrust: 

“Empowering trust and transparency across all industries and digital agreements is at the heart of the Cardano Foundation’s missions. I am proud of our Integrations team, who have worked tirelessly with Scantrust to deliver the first solution of its kind to leverage metadata on the Cardano blockchain. Together with Scantrust, we are helping brands to reconnect with their consumers, increase transparency in their supply chain, and fight counterfeit activity.”

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Ynni Energy Engagement & Personalised Services from NET2GRID Now Available on SAP® Store

NET2GRID announced that its Ynni Energy Engagement & Personalised Services solution is now available on SAP® Store. Built on SAP Business Technology Platform, the solution delivers energy insight and user engagement services to utility customers.

“We are proud to be an SAP partner and we are excited that our Ynni Energy Engagement & Personalised Services solution is now available on SAP Store,” says Bert Lutje Berenbroek, NET2GRID’s founder and CEO. “We have a vision of creating an intelligent, transparent, and cleaner energy value chain by translating energy consumption data into smart, personalized services. With our solution now available on SAP Store, we can benefit from SAP’s global reach, enabling the solution to be readily available for businesses that use SAP technologies with only minimal set-up efforts. Take the billing service, as an example. With Time of Use (ToU) tariffs becoming more and more available, NET2GRID can offer a bill split per activity, aggregated over different ToU tariffs and periods in a very cost-effective way.”

The core functionality of Ynni Energy Engagement & Personalised Services include:

  • Energy bill transparency: The solution disaggregates total energy consumption into a daily and personal list of itemized household events and activities, allowing the end-user to see how much energy is consumed in each category. Our clients have seen Net Promoter Score increase from -13 all the way up to 65, on average, due to increased user engagement and financial benefits for end-users.
  • Cost-saving on energy: Total household energy consumption insights are broken down per appliance type and event category, providing personal, relevant, and actionable energy-saving tips to help reduce costs.
  • Energy load forecasting: For energy retailers and utilities, NET2GRID’s solution offers a highly accurate, Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) load forecasting service with a less than a 2% error margin. The solution reaches these high-quality forecasting results for day-ahead forecasts to year-ahead, long-term aggregated load predictions.
  • Engage customers in Electric Vehicle (EV) rate plans or virtual power plant schemes: NET2GRID identifies EV owners and clusters them in a target group for campaigns so that energy suppliers can offer EV rate plans and integration with demand response controls to upsell to virtual power plant schemes and earn money with their investments. For example, users can have EV car chargers upgraded to smart charging devices at low tariffs. The leads generated for EV can also be generated for renewables and energy savings solutions like heat pumps and insulation.
  • Homeowner property investment recommendations: With the actionable energy insights from Ynni Energy Engagement & Personalised Services, a utility or energy supplier can upsell to energy-saving solutions like insulation, heat pumps or renewables, as an output of NET2GRID’s “Next Best Actions” AI engine.

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SetSail Debuts New AI-powered Solutions to Help Sales Teams Unlock More Revenue

SetSail, the AI-powered micro-incentives platform for sales, will unveiled multiple new product features on at the company’s first annual SetSail Voyage virtual conference. New SetSail features include a signal-based coaching app; smart milestone signals to help reps accelerate revenue; and data automation tailored to the way reps use their CRM.

The world of work has changed in the past year, and the ‘new normal’ requires a new way of selling,” said Haggai Levi, CEO of SetSail. “To be successful today, sales teams must embrace data, signals and storytelling. This is where SetSail comes in – providing sales teams with the information they need to take the small steps that lead to closing big deals.”

Founded in 2018 by former Google machine learning experts, SetSail uses AI to identify the buying signals needed to close a deal. The platform then converts these signals into recommendations for sales reps and presents them with micro-rewards (e.g. monetary rewards and recognitions) for following the best path of action and building good selling habits.

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