AI-powered contract management platform Malbek lands $15.3M

Malbek

Contract lifecycle management startup Malbek today announced it has raised $15.3 million in a series A funding round led by Noro-Moseley Partners, with participation from TDF Ventures and Osage Venture Partners. The funding, which brings the company’s total raised to over $20 million, will be used to support product development and expansion, according to CEO Hemanth Puttaswamy.

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CRM marketing startup Optimove raises $75M

Optimove

Optimove, a customer relationship management (CRM) software provider, today announced that it raised $75 million in a funding round led by Summit Partners with participation from existing investors. The company says the capital will be put toward supporting strategic mergers and acquisitions, product R&D, and hiring, with the goal of doubling the company’s 180-person headcount over the next two years.

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Kawaii Islands Secures $2.4M via Private Token Sale for Its Anime Play-to-Earn Metaverse

Surf shack

Following a $2.4M private token sale round, the NFT-enabled blockchain or DLT-based game will debut in September 2021. As an “enchanting” fantasy game in the Cloud, players are able to  “simultaneously experience simulation gaming, including building, crafting, farming, and social networking.”

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“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 9/24/2021

Above the Trend Line

Variety of short time-critical news items grouped by category such as M&A activity, people movements, funding news, industry partnerships, customer wins, rumors and general scuttlebutt floating around the big data, data science and machine learning industries including behind-the-scenes anecdotes and curious buzz.

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Operations observability platform Avenue launches with $4M

Avenue

Avenue launched Friday to give operations their own tools to monitor teams, and is building a “command center” for this area of business that is often forgotten, co-founder and CEO Justin Bleuel told TechCrunch.
In addition to the launch the company is announcing $4 million in seed funding, led by Accel, with participation from Flexport and a group of individual investors from companies like Coinbase, Uber, Stripe and Thumbtack.
Bleuel and his co-founder, Jeff Barg, grew up building iOS apps together and then went their separate ways, Bleuel to Uber and Barg to Amazon. While at Uber, Bleuel was working on observability — passive or proactive monitoring — building a lot of the tools in-house to monitor the marketplace for data like rider experience.
Both saw an opening to build these tools themselves for operations teams, and Avenue was born. The technology enables business teams to set up alerts to observe when there is a problem with data, act on it correctly and improve how the overall team functions, think “Datadog or PagerDuty for operations teams,” Bleuel said.
“Data is now all centralized in data warehouses, so you can build on top of them in a way you could not before, like Fivetran, and activate off of it,” he added. “You used to have to build one-to-one alerts for each tool, but now we can actively direct them from the warehouse.”
Avenue dashboard. Image Credits: Avenue
The company, founded in 2020, came out of the Y Combinator winter 2021 cohort, and one of its early customers is food pickup service Snackpass, which is using Avenue to monitor uptime and receive notifications when restaurant partners, for example, have an ordering tablet battery die or lose Wi-Fi. Snackpass is able to contact the location and help them figure out why they went offline. As a result, the company was able to cut the percentage of offline stores in half, Bleuel said.
Avenue’s customer sweet spot is marketplace companies or warehouses for monitoring stock. However, the co-founders are also seeing their technology being used by other companies, like furniture delivery companies, to monitor for reliability or know their inventory levels. Customers are also packaging up reports and sharing them with other internal teams on how to improve operations.
The company intends to use the funding to build on its small team of three, especially in engineering to be able to go to market with new products, Barg said.
Avenue is working with more than 50 companies and since April has sent out over 200,000 alerts. The company’s model bills customers per alert per month, and the team is looking at a freemium model as well as enterprise levels.
Meanwhile, Amit Kumar, partner at Accel, said via email the firm is “very thesis-driven,” one of them being the modern data stack. Accel made early investments into companies like Airbyte, Monte Carlo and Privacer, and saw opportunity for new downstream applications based on the innovation, of which Avenue stood out.
The combination of Bleuel and Barg was “particularly compelling because of their fluency with the problem space” due to their backgrounds at Uber and Amazon and experiencing firsthand how “poorly served” operations teams are and how that can affect the overall business.
He believes the current approach of ops teams in the market today relies heavily on dashboarding, periodic sweeps and color-coded Excel sheets — a process that is “often inaccurate and disorganized.” At the same time, product engineers were flush with well-established tools around observability and incident response.
“Given the rise of ‘atoms’ startups powered by a cohort of ex-Uber and ex-Amazon operators, Justin and Jeff were uniquely positioned to find early design partners and customers among their peer networks,” Kumar added. “As ops teams become both increasingly commonplace and essential to business outcomes, I expect their processes to mature and benefit from similar tooling. This is the thesis behind Avenue, and early traction indicates that next-gen leading ops-heavy companies agree.”

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IoT device security startup Sternum nabs $27M

Sternum

Internet of things (IoT) security and observability startup Sternum today announced that it raised $27 million in series B financing led by Spark Capital, with participation from Square Peg Capital, the Hinrich Foundation, Btov, and others. The round, which brings the company’s total raised to $37 million, will be put toward R&D as well as go-to-market efforts and geographic expansion, Sternum says.

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SaaS platform Plannuh, which focuses on Financial Management, Business Optimization, secures $4.1 million

Plannuh

Plannuh, a software-as-a-service or SaaS firm automating core marketing leadership processes such as planning, financial management, and optimization of business outcomes, reveals that it has finalized a $4.1 million equity round that was led by Ripple Ventures.

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Osano, a data compliance platform, raises $11M

Osano

Osano, a data privacy platform that helps websites become compliant with international regulations, today announced that it closed a $11 million funding round led by Jump Capital, bringing its total raised to $22.3 million. The company says that the money will be used to support international expansion as well as hire additional sales, marketing, and engineering staff.

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Workflow automation startup Daylight lands $12.3M

Daylight

Toronto, Canada-based Daylight, formerly FormHero, today announced it has raised $12.3 million in a series A round led by RTP Global, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Golden Ventures, with participation from Golden Ventures. The company says the funds, which bring its total raised to $14.56 million, will be used to support go-to-market activities and expand the capabilities of its automation platform.

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Project44 acquires last-mile delivery startup Convey for $255M

Project44 - Convey

Project44, a Chicago, Illinois-based supply chain visibility solutions provider, today announced that it acquired last-mile delivery startup Convey for $255 million. Together, Project44 says that it and Convey will serve the global supply chain end-to-end, offering insights to help brands deliver new direct-to-consumer and ecommerce experiences.

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App observability platform DeepFactor raises $15M

Deepfactor

DeepFactor, a code observability startup based in San Jose, California, today announced that it raised $15 million in series A financing led by Insight Partners with participation from Emergent Ventures, Security Leadership Capital, and Tricentis. The funding brings the company’s total raised to $18.4 million to date, and it’ll be put toward supporting existing product development and the launch of a software-as-a-service offering, according to cofounder and CEO Kiran Kamity.

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Software supply chain management company Cloudsmith raises $15M

Cloudsmith

Belfast, Northern Ireland-based software supply chain management startup Cloudsmith today announced that it closed a $15 million series A funding round led by Tiger Global, with participation from Shasta, Amaranthine, Sorenson, Leadout Capital, Frontline, MMC, and Techstart. The infusion brings the company’s total raised to over $17 million and will be used to expand Cloudsmith’s workforce from 17 employees to 60 in the next year, particularly its U.S.-based sales and data engineering teams.

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AI-powered disinformation detection platform Blackbird nabs $10M

Blackbird AI

Blackbird.AI, an AI-powered platform designed to combat disinformation, today announced that it closed a $10 million series A funding round led by Dorilton Ventures with participation from NetX, Generation Ventures, Trousdale Ventures, StartFast Ventures, and individual angel investors. The proceeds, which bring the company’s total raised to $11.87 million, will be used to support ramp-ups in hiring and product lines and launch new features and capabilities for corporate and national security customers, according to cofounder and CEO Wasim Khaled.

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AI-powered supply chain visibility platform Altana nabs $15M

Altana

Altana AI, a startup building a database for global supply chain networks, today announced that it raised $15 million in a series A funding round led by GV with participation from Floating Point, Ridgeline Partners, Amadeus Capital Partners, and Schematic Ventures.

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Computer vision dev platform Roboflow raises $20M

Roboflow

Roboflow, a Des Moines, Iowa-based startup developing tools for building computer vision models, today announced that it raised $20 million in a series A round led by Craft Ventures. It brings the company’s total raised to $22.2 million to date, and CEO Joseph Nelson says it’ll be put toward ongoing product development and hiring efforts.

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Salesforce announces new Mulesoft RPA tool based on Servicetrace acquisition

Salesforce RPA tool

When Salesforce announced it was buying German RPA vendor Servicetrace last month, it seemed that it might match up well with Mulesoft, the company the CRM giant bought in 2018 for $6.5 billion. Mulesoft, among other things, helps customers build APIs to legacy systems, while Servicetrace provides a way to add automation to legacy systems.

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Matillion raises $150Million Series E funding at $1.5B valuation

Matillion

Matillion, a leading cloud data integration platform, announced $150M in Series E funding, led by General Atlantic, a leading global growth equity firm, with participation from Battery Ventures, Sapphire Ventures, Scale Venture Partners, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. This funding marks Matillion’s second triple-digit round of 2021, bringing the total amount raised to $310M at a valuation of $1.5B.

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AI-powered ecommerce recommendation engine Constructor nabs $55M

Constructor IO

Constructor, a San Francisco, California-based ecommerce personalization startup, today announced that it raised $55 million in a series A round led by Silversmith Capital Partners. The funding, which brings the company’s total raised to $61.5 million, will be put toward product development, hiring, and go-to-market efforts, according to CEO Eli Finkelshteyn.

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Pyxis One boosts platform with $17M

Pyxis One

Startup Pyxis One today announced that it raised $17 million in series B funding, bringing its total raised to date to $24 million. The company says it plans to use the funds to support the growth of its data science team, continue to advance its AI models, and further expand into the U.S. market.

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Ascend raises $5.5M to provide a BNPL option for commercial insurance

Ascend

Ascend on Wednesday announced a $5.5 million seed round to further its insurance payments platform that combines financing, collections and payables.

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