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CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 30 January 2020

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Customer experience automation vendor, ActiveCampaign, has secured US$100 million in its latest series B investment round. Key investors this time include Susquehanna and Silversmith Capital Partners, which was the sole sponsor in the series A funding round in 2016. ActiveCampaign said it will use the funding to develop its CXA category through product innovations to advance beyond legacy marketing automation, traditional CRM and service technology, while continuing international expansion and building on its customer success team and partner ecosystem. ActiveCampaign is pitching its platform across the spectrum of small, midsize, and enterprise businesses and has 90,000 customers spanning 161 countries. Since its last funding round, the company said it had increased annual recurring revenue six-fold to more than $90 million, opened new offices in several locations including Sydney, and grown its employee base to 550 staff.


Top 25 Machine Learning Startups To Watch In 2020

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AI.Reverie - AI.Reverie is a simulation platform that trains AI to understand the world. They offer a suite of synthetic data and vision APIs to help businesses across different industries train their machine learning algorithms and improve their AI accuracy and repeatability. Key industries AI.Reverie has solutions for including Agriculture, Industrial, including managing construction sites, Smart Cities, and Smart Homes. AI.Reverie has raised a total of $5.6M in funding over three rounds. Their latest funding was raised on Apr 14, 2020.


AI Under the Hood: Kaskada, Inc. - insideBIGDATA

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In this regular insideBIGDATA feature we highlight our industry's movers and shakers, companies that are pushing technology forward, and setting trends for innovation. We look at companies with a focus on big data, data science, machine learning, AI and deep learning – some new, some old, always leading, always dynamic. We also take deep dives into new technology promoted (or hyped) as "AI" or my favorite "AI-powered" to provide transparency for what's really going on under the hood. In this installment of "AI Under the Hood" I introduce Kasakda, Inc., a Seattle-based early stage company founded in January 2018. Kaskada is a machine learning platform for feature engineering using event-based data.


Investors See Promise in Use of AI to Secure Endpoint Devices

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Endpoint specialist Cybereason Inc., which incorporates AI into its platform, also raised $200 million in Series E funding in August, and has discussed plans for an initial public offering in the near future. A smaller, but still significant, deal this year includes $6.4 million in seed funding for Senseon Tech Ltd. The vast amounts of data that laptops, smartphones and other endpoint devices create, and the need for fast identification of any anomalies in network traffic, mean that machine learning and deep learning are particularly well suited for threat detection, similar to how AI has been deployed on stock markets to detect aberrant trading patterns. Studies conducted in 2019 by the Sans Institute, a computer-security training organization, found that laptops and desktop computers were by far the most commonly breached endpoints. Endpoint security is one of the largest and most mature segments of the cybersecurity market.


Top 10 Artificial Intelligence Investments/Funding in February 2020

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Today a number of Artificial Intelligence startups are gaining momentum with significant funding and investments. These startups are not only coming up with great platforms and technologies but mastering the art of innovation. Innovation is at the core of such startups which serve the industry with something that was never explored before. Utilizing hefty amounts of investment from notable investors every now and then, they are marking the commencement of a new era of innovation with several investors coming forward to contribute to the transformative journey of emerging innovators. Here is the list of top 10 artificial intelligence investments/funding that made the headlines in February 2020.


FlixStock Raises $2.5 Mn To Simplify Ecommerce Photography For Sellers, Brands

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Gurugram-based deeptech startup FlixStock has raised $2.5 Mn in a funding round led by early-stage venture capital firm Wavemaker Partners. Singapore-based Seeds Capital and Leo Capital also participated in the funding round. With the recently raised funds, FlixStock is planning to open a research centre in Singapore which will enhance its artificial intelligence (AI) based image creating platform. FlixStock, which also has an office in Los Angeles, is also planning to ramp up its presence in the US as well. Founded by Harindar Keer, FlixStock helps its clients create catalogue images based on their products.


50 AI & Machine Learning startups to watch in Finland

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Recently, I've curated a list of 50 Finnish startups in the field of AI & Machine Learning for those who are looking for business partners or companies to invest in. If you are an international investor who wants to connect with one of the startups, feel free to drop me a message. I can make the intro and provide the companies' investor pitch deck to you if it is available. You can also use Finder.fi to check the company's revenue development. If you are an ambitious entrepreneur (based in Finland) who is working on the next world-changing idea and is looking for funding, let's meet! I'll be happy to discuss how we can help you with the fundraising process (for free). Most of the following information is from the company website. But if you've spotted an error, please let me know and I will revise accordingly. "AISpotter has developed a time-saving, fast service for coaches all around the world. Our goal is to combine high-end technology and sports of any kind. With real-time analysis, coaches and teams are given the power to be one step ahead in team development." "We've taken over 30 years of recognized University of Oulu Machine Vision Group technology and adapted it to improve your sports game. By combining state-of-the-art machine learning and computer vision in our unique way, we provide automatic and fast analysis service for your game."


Top Artificial Intelligence Funding in December 2019

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The companies that are out there in the market, in order to serve their objectives better, need significant funding. In particular, for startups, fundraising is crucial to harness their rich potential to contribute to the growth of their respective industry and market. Without a funding source, a business, specially technology-business will flounder under the weight of its own debt. With the advancements in technology, the requirements, assets, and liabilities of such firms have grown exponentially in recent years. Amid this, funding works as a fuel on which a business runs and excels. When it comes to technologies like omnipresent AI or artificial intelligence, the pressure naturally increases to thrive in the market where big techs like Google, Microsoft, and significant others are operating.


Top 25 AI Startups Who Raised The Most Money In 2019

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These and many other fascinating insights are from an analysis of AI startups' funding rounds in 2019 using Crunchbase Pro research. AI startups who have had seed, early-stage venture or late-stage venture funding since December 31, 2018, and are U.S.-based are included in the analysis which is provided here. Crunchbase Pro found 499 startups meeting the search criteria as of today. Their AI strategies include improve every aspect of the customer's lifecycle from pricing through scheduling post-stay cleans. The company manages a growing portfolio of more than 14,000 vacation homes in the U.S, Europe, Central, and South America, and South Africa.


Intel acquires Israeli chipmaker Habana Labs for $2 billion

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American technology giant Intel Corp. has acquired Israeli AI processor developer Habana Labs in a deal worth approximately $2 billion, the companies announced on Monday.Founded by David Dahan and Ran Halutz in 2016, Tel Aviv-headquartered Habana Labs is the developer of powerful artificial intelligence processors, optimized for training deep neural networks and artificial intelligence systems, and for deployment in production environments.Intel said the acquisition, the company's second largest in Israel to date, will strengthen its artificial intelligence portfolio and accelerate its efforts in the fast-growing AI silicon market, expected to be worth more than $25b. Chairman Avigdor Willenz will serve as a senior advisor to both the business unit and to Intel.The company currently employs 150 people worldwide at its offices in Tel Aviv, Caesarea, California, Beijing and Gdańsk."We We are excited to partner with Intel to accelerate and scale our business. Together, we will deliver our customers more AI innovation, faster."Prior to the acquisition, in November 2018, Intel Capital - the strategic investment arm of the Santa Clara-headquartered chipmaker - led a $75 million Series B round of fundraising for Habana.The purchase of Habana represents Intel's second largest in Israel to date and the latest in a long line of investments in the country. In August 2017, Intel purchased Jerusalem-based vision technology company Mobileye for a record $15.3b., the largest sale or "exit" of an Israeli company yet.Intel, which has been active in Israel since 1974, employs nearly 13,000 workers in the country, exporting products worth $3.9b. in 2018 and procuring local materials and services worth $1.7b., primarily from peripheral areas.In January, Intel announced plans to invest approximately $10.9b. in the company's Israel-based operations to construct a vast production facility in Kiryat Gat.