Surveillance companies are showing an increasing interest in hacking into IoT devices like the Amazon Echo. With an impressive seed raise of $12.5 million and ex-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak as co-founder, alongside an "all-star" leadership team, Tel Aviv-based Toka Cyber can certainly claim to have nailed the definition of an auspicious beginning. But, as it comes out of stealth Monday, Toka is revealing itself as an atypical force in the digital security sphere, acting as a one-stop hacking shop for intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Whatever spy tool they need, Toka will try to craft it for them. Privacy activists are hoping the company follows through on its promise to operate ethically.
ThetaRay, a big data analytics company based in Hod HaSharon, Israel, today announced that it raised more than $30 million in a funding round led by Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), GE, Bank Hapoalim, OurCrowd, SVB Investments, and others. That puts its fundraising total to date at about $60 million. "In this era when criminal activity and money laundering are increasing and becoming more sophisticated and also regulation is on the rise, there is a greater demand for our solutions," Mark Gazit, CEO of ThetaRay, said in a statement. "As the amount of digital information grows, you just can't protect it without artificial intelligence systems. ThetaRay offers the most advanced and mature solutions to detect threats before they happen."
By now, Machine Learning is soundly in the public domain as its wide impact is being felt across many industries around the world as they go through digital transformations. Although the spearheading ML applications have come from the usual suspects such as Internet companies and software firms, the waves of automation and data-driven decision making have been recently crushing on the shores of the Legal Services industry (article in Spanish). A typical law firm in the Western world employs tens or even hundreds of attorneys specializing in different practice areas e.g., intellectual property, corporate, civil, criminal, constitutional law. The business of legal services remains perhaps the very definition of a human-driven industry essentially relying on increasing the employee count to be able to scale to higher revenues. Such growth no doubt may present some efficiencies, but there's no evidence of strong network effects letting few players dominate the market.
French startup Doctrine is raising a $11.6 million funding round (€10 million) from existing investors Otium Venture and Xavier Niel. Doctrine is building a search engine for court decisions and other legal texts. This is a key tool if you're a lawyer or you're working in the legal industry in general. There are now a thousand companies using the service. It currently costs around €129 per user per month.
Certain statements in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements," within the meaning of federal securities laws, including statements related to ICP technology, including financial projections related thereto and potential market opportunity, plans and prospects and other statements containing the words "anticipate," "intend," "may," "plan," "predict," "will," "would," "could," "should," and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company's actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors. Factors that could cause future results to materially differ from the recent results or those projected in forward-looking statements include the known risks, uncertainties and other factors described in the Company's definitive proxy statement filed on May 29, 2018, the Company's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2018 and on the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017 as well as the Company's prior filings and from time to time in the Company's subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any change in such factors, risks and uncertainties may cause the actual results, events and performance to differ materially from those referred to in such statements. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release and the Company does not undertake any duty to update this information, including any forward-looking statements, unless required by law.
The AML/KYC regulatory landscape continues to impose greater costs to financial institutions as they begin to collect, refresh, and analyze more and more customer data. New Customer Due Diligence (CDD) requirements set forth by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) include the Final Rule for beneficial ownership and control, and with effect from May 11, 2018, and the EU 5th AML Directive, which also mandates beneficial ownership collection for legal entity customers. Fines for AML and KYC deficiencies have topped billions of USD for both US and EU banks for lack of sufficient AML/KYC programs, failure to file Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs), CDD deficiencies, and other violations. The implications for financial institutions go well beyond additional documentation for customers to complete. The current AML/KYC regulatory framework calls for the implementation of a substantial framework to collect and analyze customer data on both a retroactive and ongoing basis.
Sorcero, a Washington DC-based AI learning solutions startup, has announced that its co-founder, Dr. Ken Haase has been invited to give the keynote address at the Automation & AI for Good forum on June 12 in San Francisco. Sorcero was one of ten early-stage AI companies selected to participate in the forum. The forum, sponsored by Village Capital and Autodesk Foundation, is showcasing the leading startups using AI, automation, or robotics to benefit society and create new jobs in emerging industries. "Usually, when we hear about automation and artificial intelligence (AI) in the workforce, it's in negative terms: robots coming for our jobs, millions of displaced workers, and so on," said Ken Haase, Ph.D., Sorcero co-founder and Chief AI Officer. "At Sorcero, we approach AI very differently," said Dr. Haase."Our goal is not to replace people but to empower them for new and emerging opportunities."
In order to drive awareness of the benefits and understand the challenges of AI (such as on ethics and legal issues), IMDA is engaging key stakeholders including government, industry, consumers and academia to collaboratively shape the Government's plans for the AI ecosystem. Such discourse will inform the Government's ongoing plans to support Singapore as a hub for AI development and innovation, and help Singapore to effectively respond to global developments. These initiatives complement IMDA's current suite of business and talent programmes to develop a vibrant AI ecosystem and position Singapore as a leading hub for AI. An Advisory Council on the Ethical Use of AI and Data will be appointed by the Minister for Communications and Information to advise and work with IMDA in the areas of responsible development and deployment of AI. The Advisory Council will assist the Government to develop ethics standards and reference governance frameworks and publish advisory guidelines, practical guidance, and/or codes of practice for the voluntary adoption by the industry.
CHENNAI: Drafting legal contracts -- be it employment documents or the highly complex merger agreements -- has been a constant pain for larger corporates. For smaller enterprises that may not be able to hire legal organisations to vet such documents in detail, it is even harder to manage and map laws to particular contracts. With the development of Artificial Intelligence, legal contract mapping and management has been automated to a large extent and is turning out to be an area of growth for technology start-ups such as SpotDraft, which makes about $5 million in revenue every month. Amid Indian players like VakilSearch, Legal Desk and Near Law, SpotDraft is one of the first few to provide contract management services using Artificial Intelligence. The legal tech start-up, founded by Harvard Law School graduate Shashank Bijapur, along with Madhav Bhagat, a former software developer at Google, looks to expand its operations from its home base in India to European countries, Singapore and Hong Kong, among others, this year to cash in on the rapid growth in the $80 billion contract automation market.