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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SAP Among the World’s Top 25 Startup-Friendly Companies and Winner of Corporate Startup Accelerator Award

WALLDORF — SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) today announced it has been recognized with a Corporate Startup Stars Award as one of the Top 25 most active companies to encourage open innovation with startups.

SAP also received a Corporate Startup Accelerator Award for its acceleration efforts and identifying worldwide best practices in corporate-startup collaboration. The announcement was made at the digital award ceremony hosted by open innovation advisory firm Mind the Bridge and the International Chamber of Commerce, on December 15.

Engaging with early stage startups is an important aspect of SAP’s holistic open innovation approach to remain agile and resilient in today’s global marketplace. This includes dedicated programs within SAP’s early stage venture arm SAP.iO to scout and accelerate new ideas and talent inside and outside of the company.

“At SAP, we know that we can mutually benefit from outside-in perspectives to inspire innovation and drive business impact for our customers,” said Juergen Mueller, chief technology officer and member of the Executive Board of SAP SE. “Since 2017, we have helped scale more than 270 promising startups across all lines of business and industries in nine locations across the globe. Providing them with the access and resources they need to build on SAP solutions complements our portfolio and internal innovation efforts, which enables our customers to gain even more value from their SAP investments.”

For the fifth year, startups have been asked to nominate the companies that are most active and friendly in working with small businesses. Started in 2016 under the European Commission’s Startup Europe Partnership initiative, the Corporate Startup Stars Awards have been scaled to include corporations and startups worldwide through the partnership between Mind the Bridge and the International Chamber of Commerce.

“SAP has consistently proven to be one of the most startup-friendly corporations worldwide by engaging with startups in multiple modes, ranging from acceleration and partnerships to investments and acquisitions,” said Alberto Onetti, chairman, Mind the Bridge. “We appreciate the approach SAP.iO has taken and its recent evolution. The combination of startup and employee-driven innovation and the renewed focus on scaling companies makes SAP.iO a benchmark globally for rethinking and optimizing the corporate accelerator model.”

To learn more about how SAP is helping innovators inside and outside of SAP build products, find customers and change industries, please visit SAP.iO.

Visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @SAPNews.

Media Contact:
Lesa Beber, +1 (650) 390-1629, lesa.beber@sap.com, ET
SAP Press Roompress@sap.com

What the Rockefeller Center Tree Means for Last-Mile Deliveries

The celebrated Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree arrived in New York recently, ready to take its place as the epicenter of the 2020 holidays. This perennial centerpiece of millions of photos and family memories is a sparkly, over-the-top reminder that while many aspects of our lives are different this year, certain institutions and traditions will not be disrupted. But, where many look at the arrival of the tree and reflect on the pandemic’s impact on beloved holiday traditions, the last-mile delivery industry has a different view.

Last-mile professionals—networks of dispatchers and drivers that get goods and parcels from warehouses and distribution centers to retailers, businesses, and residential doorsteps—make it possible for so many people to stay safely home and receive the goods they need. But, even before the pandemic and the 2020 holiday season, the industry was already struggling to meet its efficiency and customer service goals while using legacy technologies.

Then, virtually overnight, COVID-19 accelerated customers’ willingness to shop online, adding volume to already stressed systems—e-commerce surpassed expectations and grew by over 30% this year. So instead of a measured, steady progression that last-mile teams could gradually absorb, the long-promised changes in customer behavior arrived at lightspeed. This condensed adaptation offered last-mile operations precious little time to match customer behavior or implement more modern, dynamic infrastructure.

Customer behavior has been massively influenced by the pandemic, reducing overall spending and changing purchasing plans. The Deloitte State of the Consumer survey offers a fascinating window into current consumer attitudes and concerns, including shopping intent, with grim implications for the retail sector, which has already seen several notable brands declare bankruptcy. For this year’s holiday shopping, many are expected to forgo Black Friday and crowded malls for the safety and efficiency of their nearest screen. They’ll rely on complex-yet-invisible processes to get purchases from their digital shopping basket to their doorsteps. And retailers are bracing for an expected surge to already high online sales. But exactly how do items get to the customer?

Once an order is complete, items are picked and packed at the local retailer or retailer’s warehouse. From there, packages are sent to a regional distribution center where they’re sorted, routed, and delivered by a driver. That last leg of the relay from the distribution center to the customer’s doorstep—the “last mile”—is an incredibly challenging and fast-moving industry. The logistics industry estimates the last-mile can account for up to 40% of total transportation cost. It’s where things can come together beautifully to deliver on a brand’s promise, or fall apart spectacularly, tarnishing reputations and customers’ goodwill.

So why is last-mile delivery so complicated? Mathematically, it’s one of the most complex problems to solve—how to efficiently route many vehicles with multiple stops and numerous other variables and constraints. In academic circles, it’s known as the Traveling Salesman Problem or TSP. It has applications ranging from logistics to DNA sequencing to chip design. In the real world, it’s a mix of mathematical and human factors.

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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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Exploring AI in Logistics and Last Mile Delivery, Innovation in Customer Experience, and A Rebel’s Story of Normalizing Hijabi for Women in Stem w/ Layla Shaikley of Wise Systems

This is a story that is unique and one that needs to be evangelized. Layla Shaikley, co-founder of a tech start-up that has seen explosive growth in logistics tech and AI-driven optimization within last mile stumbled into supply chain. She actually has a background in architecture and design. As an Iraqi woman, she wanted to make mobility safe during the most recent Iraqi war. It was during an elective class in the media lab at MIT (while she was getting her 2nd masters degree) that a seemingly small class project – “how to change 1 billion lives with technology” – would change the course of her life forever.

Besides from being absolutely brilliant and an advocate for women in STEM, Layla is passionate about normalizing Hijabi in our domain and helping college graduates and millennials land the job of their dreams. She has a massive TikTok and Instagram following with millions of views (username @laylool). Layla believes that drivers have a really HARD job and so many focus on the last mile, but what about the last 100 feet?

Layla believes that the future of work is still human and the driver’s experience IS the customer experience in many ways. In Episode 48, you’ll learn about Layla’s passion in customer service and solving wicked problems in logistics, problems that are relevant when we imagine the future of work, autonomous supply chains, drones, and autonomous delivery. She shares outcomes from customer stories of dramatic effects realized in CO2 reduction when using Wise Systems’ AI-enabled optimization.

The expectation for enterprise applications is that they are as seamless like in the consumer world. Layla unpacks Dominos and Zappos examples where customer loyalty comes from good customer experience. She also describes diversity as a business imperative and insights as an SAP.iO foundry superstar (shout out to John Licata)! We have a huge industry with rapidly evolving needs. Where do you stand on innovation and embracing diversity for better product design and customer outcomes.

Listen Here…

Moments of Opportunity and Innovation in the Consumer Products Industry

With the support of the latest startup innovations, consumer products companies are thriving and exceeding consumer expectations in moments of opportunity, now detailed in a new report by SAP.

The consumer products industry has had to move quickly to respond to the various implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. The digital transformation of all industries has been accelerated due to challenges such as radical demand shifts, supply chain reconfiguration, seasonal workforce interruptions, and the repurposing of manufacturing capacity.

The cascade of new trends from within the consumer products industry, coupled with the need to rethink consumer engagement, strengthens the need for consumer products companies to cultivate innovation coming from startups and new technologies.

New Wave in Consumer Products

Five key trends are fueling a new wave of innovation in the consumer products industry.

  1. There has been an increase in venture capital funding for consumer products companies, where disruptive companies are entering the market at a rapid pace, leading established players to question old operating models.
  2. More and more consumers – specifically Millennials and Generation Z – are emphasizing the importance of reducing the environmental impact of their consumption habits and are willing to pay more for organic and all-natural products.
  3. There has been a shift in which types of companies are dominating the market. Whereas previous industry leaders were companies with the most resources and highest manufacturing capacity, today the companies with the most innovative ideas and talent are entering and leading the market at an unprecedented pace.
  4. There has been a sharp decline in the cost of resources in various categories, eliminating the cost-based barriers to market entry and allowing companies to scale like never before.
  5. Consumer products companies no longer think in terms of “moments of truth,” where there is a linear path to purchase with well-defined touch points to influence a purchase. Rather, in order to succeed, consumer products companies need to meet consumers in moments of opportunity, in which they can orchestrate an ecosystem to deliver personalized and unique experiences in service of achieving an outcome.

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Inspiring FinTech Females 2020: the Top 50 Women Transforming Financial Technology

NYC FinTech Women, an organization created to connect, empower and promote women to advance their careers in financial technology (FinTech), continues to celebrate and recognize women who are driving innovation, leading through difficult times and inspiring the community. In its second year, the Inspiring FinTech Females award recognizes 50 leaders who epitomize the organization’s mission to strengthen the ecosystem across five categories: Founders, Leaders, Money Movers, Network Builders and Product Builders.

“Women are often the ones fighting for equality and this list not only highlights the incredible talents but also celebrates the change agents working within the industry for us all to someday realize equality,” said Edwina Johnson, COO of Alloy & NYC FinTech Women Steering Committee Member. “These are not empty words or hollow pledges for change, these are the people making change happen and innovating the finance industry from a technology point of view and demographic point of view.”

“So many women are doing impactful work behind the scenes, it is time for a list like ours to celebrate them and bring them to the forefront,” added Larissa Carrera, Associate Director of LeFrak Investment Holdings & NYC FinTech Marketing Committee.

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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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The Circularity Gap: 630 billion reasons the U.S. should implement a circular economy

For 200+ years, our planet has accepted a linear economic model, where we harvest and extract materials, use them to manufacture some sort of product, and then either our employees or consumers elect to get rid of these items.

It’s easy to understand why this happens. We live in an age of constant innovation within our daily lives. Updates come out daily, apps are launched every week, and new products and technologies are being introduced at an alarming pace. These changes have created a culture in which valuable and accessible assets are often underutilized and consistently replaced with a modified newer version. This leads to the extensive storage of gently used items and assets, or, even worse, their direct disposal to a landfill, resulting in a massive environmental impact. In fact, of all the materials harvested from the Earth every year, we cycle back just 8.6%. Just two years ago, this was a shade over 9%.

According to Forbes, the United States could realize up to $630 billion in savings per year by implementing a circular economy if we could recover these resources.

$630 billion. In savings. Per year.

The Circularity Gap Shift

“The circular economy is based on three principles: designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use at the highest possible value, and regenerating natural systems.”

– Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Circular Procurement

To rise up and overcome the dangers and challenges of climate change and its ripple effect on communities, businesses need to shift their procurement decisions so that the material outputs of unwanted or idle resources become the inputs in new or repurposed products – by implementing the Circular Economy.

This shift to the circular economy is more than environmental impact. It’s about eliminating waste, but also it’s about maximizing the life-span of materials through innovation and creating the conditions necessary to foster innovation, creativity, and – ultimately – address societal needs.

It’s about creating a sustainable economic model that’s better for the globe and all of its inhabitants.

If we realize what is possible with $630 billion in savings per year, the redistribution of those savings can be directed to the people and places that need it the most. They can be used to incentivize organizations to continuously work to create a better home for our future generations.

And if the best results of our current linear economic model are: hemorrhaging savings each year, negatively impacting our climate, and pushing equitable practices out of reach, perhaps instead of asking ourselves, “Is shifting our procurement model worth it?”, we need to ask ourselves: “Can we afford not to modernize and evolve procurement and shift to a circular model?”

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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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E-commerce Made Human Through Virtual Shopping and Brand Experience Innovation w/ Natasha Franzen of HERO

Experts predict that retail ecommerce sales will reach $4.13 trillion in 2020 and it is expected that mobile commerce will take a market share of e-commerce of 72.9% by 2021. As we enter the holiday season navigating COVID, retailers face unprecedented opportunities to reimagine brand experiences and bridge the storefront’s physical to digital continuum. While adapting an agile supply chain, increasing conversion rates, reducing wastes, including decreasing returns are front of mind, 1 company is transforming virtual shopping, where the online shopping experience is made human, again.

Meet HERO