Blueshift raises $30 million to manage and analyze customer data

Blueshift

Customer data analytics company Blueshift today announced it has closed a $30 million series C round, bringing its total raised to $65 million. The company plans to put the funds toward expanding its workforce while further developing its marketing platform.

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Symbio emerges from stealth with $30 million to automate industrial assembly

Engineer fixing robotic arm

Emeryville, California-based industrial robotics startup Symbio Robotics today emerged from stealth with $30 million in funding. The company says the capital will be put toward further developing its technology as it looks to sign new customers.

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FundGuard raises $12 million to help manage assets with AI

Fund Guard

FundGuard, an AI-powered software-as-a-service investment management platform, today announced that it closed a $12 million funding round. The investment will spur product development to support existing partnerships, FundGuard says, in addition to helping to meet demand from alternative funds and insurers.

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Locus Robotics raises $150 million to scale its warehouse robotics platform

Locus Robotics

Locus Robotics, a Wilmington, Massachusetts-based warehouse robotics startup, today announced it has raised $150 million in series E funding at a $1 billion post-money valuation. The company says the funding will allow it to accelerate product innovation and global expansion. Locus expects that in the next four years, over a million warehouse robots will be installed and that the number of warehouses using them will grow tenfold.

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Peak.AI raises $21 million to drive enterprise AI adoption

Peak AI

Peak.AI, a startup developing AI solutions for enterprise customers, today announced that it closed a $21 million series B round. The funds, which bring Peak’s total raised to date to $43 million, will drive the company’s R&D and commercial expansion in the U.S. and India, according to CEO Richard Potter. The global enterprise AI market size was valued at $4.68 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach $53.06 billion by 2026, according to Allied Market Research.

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IBM’s Arin Bhowmick explains why AI trust is hard to achieve in the enterprise

IBM AI Trust

While appreciation of the potential impact AI can have on business processes has been building for some time, progress has not nearly been as quick as many initial forecasts led many organizations to expect.
Arin Bhowmick, chief design officer for IBM, explained to VentureBeat what needs to be done to achieve the level of AI explainability that will be required to take AI to the next level in the enterprise.

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Lusha raises $40 million to surface sales lead contact info in your browser

Lusha platform

Lusha, a Tel Aviv-based startup developing a crowdsourced data community for business-to-business salespeople, today announced it has raised $40 million. The company plans to use the funds to further grow its sales platform as it looks to invest in R&D.

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Apple’s self-driving car strategy may be stuck in neutral

KIA Motors factory

After weeks of confusion and contradictory news, it has almost become confirmed that Hyundai-Kia will start manufacturing Apple’s mysterious self-driving electric vehicle at one of its factories in 2024. Or later. Or not at all.
As is with nearly all news coming from Apple, the report is shrouded in secrecy, unconfirmed facts, and lots of quotes from anonymous sources. But this latest news does have some key points that, if true, paint a clearer picture about Apple’s self-driving plans — and leave many more questions unanswered about the future of the company.

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OpenAI and Stanford researchers call for urgent action to address harms of large language models like GPT-3

The makers of large language models like Google and OpenAI may not have long to set standards that sufficiently address their impact on society. Open source projects currently aiming to recreate GPT-3 include GPT-Neo, a project headed by EleutherAI. That’s according to a paper published last week by researchers from OpenAI and Stanford University.

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Symend raises $43 million more for AI that helps customers resolve past-due bills

Symend Logo

Symend, an engagement platform targeting financially at-risk customers, today announced that it closed a $43 million extension to its series B round, which it says will be put toward expansion in the Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, and Africa markets. The series B+, which was led by Inovia Capital with participation from new and existing investors, brings the company’s total funding to date to over $100 million.

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Why process mining is seeing triple-digit growth

Process mining

A rise in technologies like AI and robotic process automation (RPA) has increased demand for process mining tools. And more recently, an enterprise spurt in technology investment to respond to the pandemic has accelerated that demand. Gartner estimated the market for dedicated process mining tools grew between from $110 million in 2018 to $320 million in 2019.

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Slync.io raises $60 million to automate supply chain processes

Truck parked

Slync.io, a shipping and logistics process automation company, today announced it has closed a $60 million series B funding round. The company says it will leverage the investment to continue serving its customers, grow its physical presence in Europe and Asia, and expand its core teams.

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Tealium raises $96 million to automate customer tracking on the web

Customer data orchestration startup Tealium today announced it has raised $96 million at a post-money valuation of $1.2 billion. The company says it plans to use the funds to bolster adoption of its products as it doubles down on customer success initiatives and expands its global footprint. This year, Tealium plans to increase its headcount, which stands at around 500 employees, by 50% across its customer-facing, ecosystem, and product development teams.

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Case studies of successful AI startups

With tech giants pouring billions of dollars into artificial intelligence projects, it’s hard to see how startups can find their place and create successful business models that leverage AI. However, while fiercely competitive, the AI space is also constantly causing fundamental shifts in many sectors. And this creates the perfect environment for fast-thinking and -moving startups to carve a niche for themselves before the big players move in.

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Databricks raises $1 billion funding round at $28 billion valuation

Databricks logo stacked

Databricks today announced the close of a $1 billion funding round, bringing the company’s valuation to $28 billion after post-money valuation, a company spokesperson told VentureBeat. News of the funding round — the largest to-date for Databricks — was first reported in late January by Newcomer.

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What algorithm auditing startups need to succeed

To provide clarity and avert potential harms, algorithms that impact human lives would ideally be reviewed by an independent body before they’re deployed, just as environmental impact reports must be approved before a construction project can begin. While no such legal requirement for AI exists in the U.S., a number of startups have been created to fill an algorithm auditing and risk assessment void.

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Google launches suite of AI-powered solutions for retailers

Fashion and AI

Google today announced the launch of Product Discovery Solutions for Retail, a suite of services deigned to enhance retailers’ ecommerce capabilities and help them deliver personalized customer experiences. Product Discovery Solutions for Retail brings together AI algorithms and a search service, Cloud Search for Retail, that leverages Google Search technology to power retailers’ product-finding tools.

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Trovata.io raises $20 million to aggregate enterprise bank accounts with AI

Banking technology startup Trovata.io today announced it has raised $20 million in a series A round led by Wells Fargo Strategic Capital. The investment will be used to deliver new services and accelerate multi-bank APIs globally, the company says, and to add more bank distribution partners.

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Incoming White House science and technology leader on AI, diversity, and society

Technologies like artificial intelligence and human genome editing “reveal and reflect even more about the complex and sometimes dangerous social architecture that lies beneath the scientific progress that we pursue,” said Dr. Alondra Nelson today as part of the introduction of the Biden administration science team. On Friday, the Biden transition team appointed Nelson to the position of OSTP deputy director for science and society. Biden will be sworn in Wednesday to officially become the 46th president of the United States.

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Rapyd raises $300 million for its unified payments platform

Rapyd, which is developing an all-in-one payments solutions platform, today announced it has raised $300 million, bringing the company’s total raised to over $450 million. CEO Arik Shtilman said the funds will be used to double the size of Rapyd’s engineering and product teams and explore acquisitions globally.
Virtual card spend is projected to grow to $355 billion by 2022, up from $136 billion in 2017, according to Accenture. With annual transaction volumes anticipated to surpass $9 trillion, businesses are increasingly investigating unified payment solutions.

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