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Blaize raises $71M for AI edge hardware


All the sessions from Transform 2021 are available on-demand now. Blaize, a company developing AI edge computing platforms for automotive, enterprise, and computer vision markets, today announced that it raised $71 million in series D funding led by Franklin Templeton and Temasek, with participation from Denso and other new and existing backers. The company says that the funds will be used to support its go-to-market and R&D efforts. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of edge computing, or computation and data storage that's located close to where it's needed. According to the Linux Foundation's State of the Edge report, digital health care, manufacturing, and retail businesses are particularly likely to expand their use of edge computing by 2028.

Orum raises $25M to automate outbound sales workflows


All the sessions from Transform 2021 are available on-demand now. Sales support platform Orum today announced that it closed a $25 million series A funding round led by Craft Ventures, with participation from several existing backers. The funding brings the company's total raised to $29 million at a $125 million valuation, and cofounder and CEO Jason Dorfman says the round will be put toward general expansion, mostly focused on product, customer service, and international market expansion. Live conversation is arguably the cornerstone of sales development. According to a HubSpot survey, 20% of customers want to talk during the decision stage, once they've chosen a product to buy.

VERB to Introduce A I Capability to its Line-Up of Sales Tools


New feature comes on the heels of VERB's Attribution feature announced in May 2021 for the verbLIVE livestream ecommerce platform NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. and SALT LAKE CITY, July 26, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Verb Technology Company, Inc. (Nasdaq: VERB) ("VERB" or the "Company"), a leader in interactive video-based sales enablement applications, including interactive livestream ecommerce, webinar, CRM and marketing applications for entrepreneurs and enterprises, today announced that it is introducing A I capabilities to its sales enablement platform. The new feature set called "Pulse" is the first iteration of VERB's artificial intelligence initiatives designed to make it easy for anyone to sell, giving pros and newbies alike a real competitive advantage. The new feature will be available in August 2021. Designed by sales people for sales people, Pulse helps automate management of their customer relationships and interactions. Based on prior activities and behavior, Pulse guides users through behavior-driven prompts, reminders, and suggested actions for specific customers.

Qualcomm beefs up artificial intelligence team with purchase of Twenty Billion Neurons


Qualcomm said Monday that it recently acquired the assets of Twenty Billion Neurons, a Microsoft-backed artificial intelligence/computer vision startup that develops avatars that can see and interact with people in a human-like way. The San Diego mobile technology company declined to say how much it paid for TwentyBN, which has locations in Berlin and Toronto. But it is likely a relatively small deal. Qualcomm said the company has under 20 employees. It raised about $10 million in venture capital from M12 -- Microsoft's venture capital fund-- and others since it was founded in 2015 by Chief Executive Roland Memisevic. Memisevic was the co-head of MILA, a well-respected AI research institute in Montreal.

How AI is powering the future of financial services


Financial institutions are using AI-powered solutions to unlock revenue growth opportunities, minimise operating expenses, and automate manually intensive processes. Many in the financial services industry believe strongly in the potential of AI. A recent survey by NVIDIA of financial services professionals showed 83% of respondents agreeing that AI is important to their company's future success. The survey, titled'State of AI in Financial Services', also showed a substantial financial impact of AI for enterprises with 34% of those who replied agreeing that AI will increase their company's annual revenue by at least 20%. The approach to using AI differed based on the type of financial firm.

Contentsquare acquires Upstride to speed up AI innovation for digital business


Contentsquare, which has developed a digital experience analytics platform that enables businesses to track online customer behavior, has acquired Upstride, a French startup specializing in improving machine-learning performance. Terms of the deal were not released. With the acquisition, Contentsquare gains Upstride's deep-learning experts to help it further drive innovation in ML and artificial intelligence. Fourteen Upstride engineers will join Contentsquare, bringing their experience of working for leading tech companies such as Facebook, Samsung, GoPro, and Nvidia. Meanwhile, Upstride CEO Gary Roth will fill a strategic role on Contentsquare's operations team.

Daily AI Roundup: The 5 Coolest Things on Earth Today


Netcracker Technology announced that GlobalData has named Netcracker as the sole leader in its first competitive landscape assessment of the network service orchestration market. The analyst firm evaluated 11 companies on a wide range of criteria, including portfolio scope, third-party solution integration, lifecycle management and real-world deployments. Comm100, a global provider of omnichannel customer engagement solutions that connect brands with their customers, announced an integration with Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM that will allow users to see and update customer information directly inside the Comm100 agent console – giving them the tools to deliver personalized and contextualized customer experiences. This integration makes it easy for agents to tailor their live chat conversations based on current customer data without needing to toggle between multiple applications while chatting. LivePerson, Inc., a global leader in conversational AI, announced the acquisition of German conversational AI company e-bot7.

Tailor Brands raises $50M, aims to be one-stop shop for small businesses to launch – TechCrunch


Tailor Brands, a startup that automates parts of the branding and marketing process for small businesses, announced Thursday it has raised $50 million in Series C funding. GoDaddy led the round as a strategic partner and was joined by OurCrowd and existing investors Pitango Growth, Mangrove Capital Partners, Armat Group, Disruptive VC and Whip Media founder Richard Rosenblatt. Tailor Brands has now raised a total of $70 million since its inception in 2015. "GoDaddy is empowering everyday entrepreneurs around the world by providing all of the help and tools to succeed online," said Andrew Morbitzer, vice president of corporate development at GoDaddy, in a written statement. "We are excited to invest in Tailor Brands -- and its team -- as we believe in their vision. Their platform truly helps entrepreneurs start their business quickly and easily with AI-powered logo design and branding services."

Altoida Raises $6.3M Series A to Predict Alzheimer's Disease Risk Using Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Augmented Reality


Altoida Inc. today announced a $6.3 million round of venture capital financing to bring its FDA-cleared and CE Mark-approved medical device and brain health data platform to patients, physicians and researchers around the globe. Led by a team of esteemed neuroscientists, physicians and computer scientists, Altoida uses digital biomarkers to drive better clinical outcomes for brain disease. The Series A round was led by M Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of the science and technology company Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, with participation from Grey Sky Venture Partners, VI Partners AG, Alpana Ventures, and FYRFLY Venture Partners. The new capital will be used to further expand Altoida's global presence with an immediate focus on commercialization activities in the US and EU markets. "Altoida is at the forefront of a new era to leverage Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to assess brain health," said Alexander Hoffmann, Principal, New Businesses at M Ventures.

Neurala Raises $12 Million to Scale Artificial Intelligence for Industrial Manufacturing


BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Neurala, the leader in vision AI software, announced that it has raised $12 million in funding to advance the development of vision AI for manufacturing. The round, led by Zebra Ventures and Pelion Venture Partners, with participation from Draper Associates, Friulia, AddValue, 360 Capital Partners, Idinvest Partners, Cougar Capital, and industrial investors IMA and Antares Vision, brings the total invested in Neurala to $26 million. The funding will enable Neurala to evolve and accelerate adoption of its vision AI in the industrial and manufacturing sectors on a global scale, as manufacturers increasingly prioritize automation as part of Industry 4.0 initiatives. Neurala is a pioneer in vision AI for manufacturing. Built on the company's deep AI expertise, Neurala's VIA software delivers an integrated solution designed to help manufacturers improve quality inspection on the production line.