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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Accelerating the Aerospace Industry

Jacqueline Davidson

At Aerospace Xelerated, we’re in the scouting phase for our third cohort and we’re looking forward to kicking off the program in January 2022. I spoke to Jacqueline Davidson, Program Director, to find out about the AI and Autonomy technologies she’s most excited about, her journey into the aerospace sector and work at The Boeing Company — she also acts as the Investment Principal for Global Accelerators & Innovation Programs.

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[Podcast] On call with Appier CEO Chih Han Yu

Appier CEO Chih Han Yu

Appier is one of the very first unicorns in our portfolio, and went public earlier this year. We covered their journey in this short case study, but in this podcast, we dive deeper into Chih-Han’s perspective on the company’s growth from a group of academics developing AI solutions to a now public, global AI company, developing AI-as-a-service for various applications, and his approach as CEO to building a world-class engineering team and scaling across markets.

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OpenAI sold its soul for $1 Billion

Open AI

The best intentions can be corrupted when money gets in the way. OpenAI was founded in 2015 as a non-profit company whose primary concern was to ensure that artificial general intelligence (AGI) would be created safely and would benefit all humanity evenly. “As a non-profit, our aim is to build value for everyone rather than shareholders.” Is it though?

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Urbint, which uses AI to predict threats to infrastructure, nabs $60M

Urbint

Urbint, a company developing software that can predict threats to critical infrastructure, today announced that it raised $60 million in a series C funding round led by Energize Ventures with participation from American Electric Power, and OGCI Climate Investments, as well as existing investors Energy Impact Partners, National Grid Partners, Blue Bear Capital, and Salesforce Ventures.

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Post-acute care startup Element5 raises $15 mln

element5

San Jose-based post-acute care startup Element5 has raised $15 million in Series A funding to expand its automation solutions for the post-acute care industry.

The Series A round was led by Venture Capitalist Insight Partners and counted with participation from Maxwell Investment Partners. This round brings the total funding raised by the startup to $17.5 million after having raised $2.5 million in seed funding back in June. Jared Rosen, Vice President at Insight Partners and a new member of Element5’s board of directors, referred to the round by stating:

“Without a doubt, Element5 is changing the way that post-acute care is provided and experienced. The company’s impressive growth speaks to the market fit and need for its verticalized RPA solution. Insight is thrilled to be a part of Element5’s journey and looks forward to playing a role in the company’s continued growth.”

Element5 has developed an Automation-as-a-Service solution that allows post-acute care operators to save time on administrative work by leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA). The funding will be used by Element5 to accelerate the growth of its existing products and invest heavily in customer expansion, as well as scaling its global operations. Joe Randesi, co-founder & CEO at Element5, referred to this mission by saying:

“One of the biggest challenges in post-acute care is the insane amount of manual, repetitive tasks that teams deal with to run an operation. A myriad of factors contributes to this problem, including constant regulatory and compliance challenges. Element5 is changing the way work gets done across organizations by helping teams spend less time on mundane, repetitive tasks and more time caring for patients. We’re excited to close this round of funding as this investment will help Element5 propel a new era of post-acute care operations.”

With the industry experiencing increasing difficulties when it comes to staffing, maximizing the efficiency of bureaucratic procedures with solutions similar to those provided by the post-acute care startup, will prove fundamental to maximize the care patients are given, improving their quality of life and speedy recovery.

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Jerry raises $75M at a $450M valuation to build a car ownership ‘super app’

Jerry

Existing backer Goodwater Capital doubled down on its investment in Jerry, leading the “oversubscribed” round. Bow Capital, Kamerra, Highland Capital Partners and Park West Asset Management also participated in the financing, which brings Jerry’s total raised to $132 million since its 2017 inception. Goodwater Capital also led the startup’s Series B earlier this year. Jerry’s new valuation is about “4x” that of the company at its Series B round, according to co-founder and CEO Art Agrawal.

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Data labeling platform Snorkel AI nabs $85M

Snorkel

Data labeling platform Snorkel AI today announced it has raised $85 million in a series C round co-led by Addition and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, with participation from Greylock, GV, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Nepenthe Capital, and Walden. The round, which brings Snorkel’s total raised to $135 million and its valuation to $1 billion, will be used to continue scaling its engineering team, according to CEO Alex Ratner.

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Why AI is the Entrepreneur’s new best friend

AI robot

Imagine you’re an entrepreneur today. What sort of edge would you gain by having Deep Blue’s smarter cousin as a consultant on your senior management team? How many more viable business ideas would you generate? How much faster would you be able to turn those ideas into money-making products or services? Would your decisions finally be based on cold, hard data rather than biased and blinkered thinking?

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Europe’s shot for Artificial General Intelligence  — Why we invested in Aleph Alpha

Aleph Alpha

We are excited to have co-led the € 23 million Series A financing round of Heidelberg-based Aleph Alpha together with our friends at Lakestar, UVC and existing investors LEA Partners, 468 Capital and Cavalry Ventures. The exceptional team around AI-serial-entrepreneur Jonas Andrulis and co-founder Samuel Weinbach research, develop and operationalise a new generation of huge and powerful AI like GPT-3, DALL-E or MuZero to maintain European sovereignty for Artificial General Intelligence (AGI).

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Miso Robotics names Christopher Kruger new CTO and expands Board Of Advisors to scale and grow in new markets

Miso robotics

Miso Robotics  the startup transforming the foodservice industry with Intelligent Automation  proudly introduces its newly appointed Chief Technology Officer, Christopher Kruger, in addition to an expanded Board of Advisors comprised of industry experts William (Bill) Mitchell, John Inwright and Jane Gannaway.

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Computer Vision software startup Algolux brings in $18.4M in Series B Funding

Algolux

Algolux, a computer vision startup that builds software for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and for autonomous vehicles, has secured $18.4 million in new Series B funding from a group of investors that includes General Motors’ investment division, GM Ventures.
The new funding, which raises the Montreal, Canada-based company’s total funding to $36.8 million so far, was co-led by investors Forte Ventures and Drive Capital. Other investors include Investissement Quebec, Castor Ventures, Nikon-SBI Innovation Fund, GM Ventures, Generation Ventures and Intact Ventures.
The fresh influx of cash will be used by Algolux to help promote and grow the company’s computer vision and image optimization technologies with vehicle makers so they can use them with their future vehicles, according to the company. Algolux will also use the money to expand its engineering and marketing teams, while also exploring additional vertical markets for its technologies. The latest funding round was announced by Algolux on July 12 (Monday).
The company’s computer vision software is used with in-vehicle cameras as part of ADAS and autonomous vehicles in a market that is continuing to grow in use and popularity.
Image courtesy: Algolux
“Unfortunately, vision – the most widely deployed component of the overall perception stack – is still hampered by performance issues in low light and poor weather conditions making SAE Levels 2 and above more challenging to support,” the company said in its press release.
To battle this problem, Algolux uses computational imaging to design algorithms that treat the camera as part of the overall perception stack, which is a departure from the traditional siloed approach, according to the company. This approach resolves problems such as low light, low contrast and obstructions for object detection, imaging and geometric estimation, which provides clearer images and resolution. The use of the physical camera models also reduces training data needs by an order of magnitude, resulting in Algolux technologies outperforming commercial solutions by as much as 60 points in mean average precision (mAP), according to the company.
“We are thrilled to be taking this next step in the company’s trajectory and to do so with the trust and support of outstanding investors,” Allan Benchetrit, the CEO of Algolux, said in a statement. “Algolux is actively engaged with leading OEMs, Tier 1s, and Tier 2s globally. The consistent theme is a desire from customers to significantly improve the performance of their driving and parking vision systems in even the most challenging real-world situations.”
Shelly Kramer, analyst
Shelly Kramer, a founding partner and lead analyst with Futurum Research, told EnterpriseAI that Algolux’s latest funding news is an indicator of just how important computer vision is and how it will continue to move forward in the automotive sector.
“The fact that camera-based advanced driver assistance systems are table stakes when it comes to driving experiences today – both driver-led and autonomous – combined with the fact that camera tech still has a long way to go in terms of functionality and accuracy, means this is good news for the industry,” said Kramer. “Algolux’s computational imaging as part of the algorithm design process bodes well for all those days when my car’s camera tells me it can’t see because of weather conditions — and for the computer vision industry and the automotive industries. This is especially good news for the trucking industry and autonomous vehicles. This is an industry, and a company, to watch.”
James Kobielus, senior research director for data communications and management at TDWI, a data analytics consultancy, said the computer vision market today is “extraordinarily overcrowded” and that its use for automotive safety still has a long way to go before it is ready for primetime deployment.
James Kobielus, analyst
“I am impressed with Algolux’s focus on AI-powered cameras for robust perception in all conditions,” said Kobielus. “It approaches visual imaging as an integral, but not self-sufficient, component of the automotive perception stack. Without supplementary sensing inputs–such as radar, LiDAR, infrared, and ultrasound—and the composite AI to tie it all together in real time, automotive computer vision systems are extremely prone to mistakes from ever-present visual phenomena, such as low lighting, low contrast, and obstructed sightlines.”
The larger trend in the marketplace is the deployment of AI-driven perception stacks in which computer vision is essentially the sum of all sensor inputs that can be rendered as visual patterns, said Kobielus.
“Through sophisticated AI, it is increasingly possible to infer a highly accurate visual portrait from the radio frequency signals that people and objects reflect, the pressure and vibrations they generate, and the heat patterns that they radiate,” he said. “Algolux will need the funding to invest in the R&D necessary to improve its composite AI and to work with industry partners to build it into the ASICs necessary for ADAS safety applications.”

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Tags:
ADAS,AI,Algolux,artificial intelligence,autonomous driving,autonomous vehicles,computer vision,GM Ventures,IT investment,Machine Learning,self-driving cars,startup,venture capital

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Bristol tech company that develops hand-tracking solution gets $50M backing from Tencent

UltraLeap

The future is a place where infinite worlds are at your fingertips and you can interact both naturally and in 3D without any controllers. Understanding this, Bristol-based Ultraleap, the world-leading hand tracking, and unparalleled mid-air haptic technologies let you engage naturally with the digital world without touching surfaces.

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Man and the machine in digital dialogue: the Conversational AI conundrum in Marketing

Conversational AI

Language is the mark of humanity and cognizance, and conversation or dialogue is the most fundamental and a distinctive field of language. As we use more natural interfaces with technology, like language, our relationship is shifting to one where we increasingly humanize them.

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BreezoMeter, the iPhone tool that measures air quality, raises a $30M Series C

Brezzo Meter

Today the company announced a $30 million Series C led by Fortissimo Capital, bringing its total raised to date to $45 million. The company is based in Israel and launched in June of 2014, about two years after Korber was house-hunting with his wife.

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How small, focused Teams can Drive creative Innovation

Small innovative teams

Small, focused teams — by their very design and composition — can create exponentially bigger, faster, more profound, and more disruptive advancements than larger teams. Here we talk about why this is the case and how Openfabric’s self-selected team of highly focused and driven researchers and developers hope to empower others to unlock vast amounts of untapped value in every industry and application imaginable.

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How NotCo leveraged AI to create sustainable and delicious Food

NotCo

Did you know an AI company took 10% of the mayonnaise market within 8 months? NotCo is a Chilean food-tech startup leading the disruption of the archaic food industry. Their products have already become a staple product in Chile. And after gaining market share in Chile, NotCo has launched in the US. You may have seen the “NotMilk” products in Whole Foods.

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How an AI organisation can make a difference during the pandemic

IRS computer vision

Making premises safe during COVID-19 with IRIS Computer Vision. An induction to or summation of the pandemic and its effect all over the world would be superfluous. Most of us have gone through a tidal shift — we have started working from our homes, children have shifted to online education and we’re more reliant on online services. Technology in various verticals has helped curb the magnitude of problems people around the world faced.

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