Week Ending 09.14.2018






Deloitte, the New York City-based consultancy, said it acquired the AI business of advertising firm Magnetic. Terms weren’t disclosed. 

Source Code, the Waltham, Massachusetts-based company making servers designed for AI and deep learning, has acquired assets from IT business services firm Add On Data. Terms weren’t disclosed. Source Code in August acquired assets from Silicon Mechanics and Aberdeen Servers and Storage. Source Code was acquired by private equity firm JMC Capital Partners in May.

Namaste, the Toronto, Canada-based cannabis company using AI, said it is acquiring the UK medical distribution firm AF Trading for USD 5m in cash and stock. In a separate statement, the company “reaffirmed” its intention to list on the Nasdaq but did not specify a timeframe.

Veritone, the Costa Mesa, California-based software and services company for the AI industry, said it is acquiring Machine Box, the machine learning company, for an initial USD 2m. If Machine Box meets unspecified “milestones” Veritone will pay an additional USD 3m in cash and shares.

In August, Veritone said it was acquiring content management company Wazee Digital for USD 15m in cash and stock. At the same time Veritone’s media subsidiary Veritone One acquitted podcasting firm Performance Bridge Media for an initial USD 6m. Veritone may pay up to another USD 5m in stock if unspecified 2018 revenue targets at Performance are met. Veritone, which raised USD 30.6m from a follow-on share sale in June, plans to integrate Performance into its AI platform. 

Gopher Protocol, the Los Angeles, California-based AI-enabled mobile technology developer, and mobile location data firm Mobiquity Technologies arranged a mutual share swap and are setting up a joint venture. Read the filing here.

Graph Blockchain, the Toronto, Canada-based unit of Datametrex AI, said shareholders approved a reverse merger with Reg Technologies. Graph is also planning to raise USD 4m in a private placement of up to 13.3m at USD 0.30 each. Datametrex operates AI and blockchain businesses.

Datametrex unit Ronin Blockchain, a cryptocurrency mining firm, acquired Toronto’s Cluny Capital for USD 19.2m in a reverse merger in July.

Ideanomics (formerly called Seven Stars Cloud), the New York City-based AI and blockchain services firm, said it acquired FinTalk, the secure messaging service, and is taking a 10% stake in Asia Times, the news service. Terms weren’t disclosed. Ideanomics also said it has entered into a share swap with Liberty Biopharma, which is changing its name to HooXi. The specific details of the swap were not disclosed. Ideanomics also announced a USD 6bn financing deal as well as a new co-CEO and other hires. (See Funding section and People section).


Cheetah Mobile, the Beijing, China-based mobile internet company using AI, said it plans to buyback USD 100m of its NYSE traded American depositary shares.

Nio, the Shanghai, China-based electric vehicle maker, saw its shares soar 75% on the second day of trading after a 5% pop on its debut. The Tencent-backed company raised 1bn from an initial public offering of 160m American depositary shares priced at USD 6.26 each, a penny above the lowest end of the market range. The firm, which is also developing autonomous driving technology, had earlier targeted USD 1.8bn in the IPO.

Qutoutiao, the Shanghai, China-based mobile news aggregation service using AI, saw its shares double on the first day of trading and then fall back 35% on day two. The company raised USD 84m from a radically downsized initial public offering of 12m American depositary shares at a lowest end USD 7.00 each. The company had originally filed for a USD 300m IPO that was then cut to USD 144m from the sale of 16m ADS.

LAIX, the Shanghai, China-based company using AI in English language learning, filed for a downsized USD 77.63m initial public offering on the NYSE of 5.75m American depositary shares at USD 11.50 to USD 13.50 each. The company originally filed for a USD 100m deal. Company founders will maintain voting control in a dual-class shareholding structure.

ChaSerg Technology Acquisition, the La Jolla, California-based blank check company, said it is raising USD 200m from the sale of 20m units at USD 10 each. The company said it is seeking technology acquisitions, which may include artificial intelligence and machine learning companies.  

Other filings includes BORQS, NeuroOne Medical Technologies and Anaplan


Clarify Health, the San Francisco, California -based healthcare company using AI, said it raised USD 57m in a Series B led by private equity firm KKR.

Sisense, the New York City-based data analytics firm, said it raised USD 80m in a funding round led by venture capital firm Insight Venture Partners. Proceeds will be used in part to expand its machine learning and AI offering.

Drips, the Akron, Ohio-based mobile marketing firm using AI, said it raised its first outside seed funding. The company didn’t say how much it raised or who it raised the funds from. The company also brought in a number of new executives. (See People section).

Seven Peaks Ventures, the Bend, Oregon venture capital firm with an AI focus, said it raised USD 28m for a new startup fund from investors that include the state of Oregon. 

Other deals include Namaste

And Ideanomics (formerly called Seven Stars Cloud), the New York City-based AI and blockchain services firm, said it is planning a USD 6bn funding program with China’s First Auto Loan. The deals will mostly back electric vehicle upgrades for ride share companies mandated by the Chinese government.

The company also announced a new co-CEO and an acquisition. (See People section and Mergers and Acquisitions section).


No new legal and regulatory matters were covered in the areas we track this week.


Ideanomics (formerly called Seven Stars Cloud), the New York City-based AI and blockchain services firm, said it hired Brett McGonegal as co-CEO, Uwe Parpart as chief strategy officer and Evan Kalimtgis as chief investment officer. 

McGonegal is the former CEO of Hong Kong-based investment bank Reorient, which was acquired by Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba. Bruno Wu is also co-CEO and president.

Parpart is the chairman of the news service Asia Times and is a former Bank of America currency strategist. Kalimtgis has worked at JP Morgan and Glencore, the Swiss-based commodities trader.

The company announced the acquisition of marketing platform Grapevine Logic last week. Terms weren’t disclosed.

In late August the company said shareholders, which include Sun Seven Stars Investment and Hong Kong Guoyuan Group Capital, may raise USD 111m from the sale of 37.7m shares they hold in the company. It originally filed in April. In June, Richard Frankel was hired as CEO at its digital advisory services subsidiary, Red Rock Global Capital. At the same time Manuel Ron was hired as COO. 

The company also announced a USD 6bn financing deal and an acquisition. (See Funding section and Mergers and Acquisitions section).

Infogain, the Los Gatos, California-based IT consultancy using AI, said it has hired Kulesh Bansal as CFO. He is the former finance head of global infrastructure at Indian consulting firm Wipro.

Reputation Institute, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based business services firm, said it hired David Stack as CFO. He has served as CFO at companies including sales and marketing software maker HubSpot, Qstream and Localytics.

Interactions, the Franklin, Massachusetts-based company using virtual assistants in customer service, said it hired Bruce Bowden as CFO and Dave Rennyson as chief revenue officer.

Drips, the Akron, Ohio-based mobile marketing firm using AI, said it hired or promoted eight individuals. The most senior move was the hiring of John Dearborn as COO. He joins from StreamLink Software, which focuses on the nonprofit and public sector. The company also said it raised its first outside seed funding, but didn’t say how much it raised or who it raised the funds from. (See Funding section).

VuTel, the Milan, Italy-based telecommunications firm using AI, said it hired Todd Baring as COO of its US unit. Baring was previously a vice president at IDT.  

AppTek, the McLean, Virginia-based company using machine learning in speech recognition, said Michael Veronis is returning to the company as chief revenue officer. He had previously worked at AppTek as vice president of business development.

Lampix, the New York City-based AR company, said it hired Salvatore Buccellato as chief revenue officer. Buccellato was the founder and CEO of Gallant Capital.

Grant Thorton, the Iselin, New Jersey-based consultancy, said it hired JT Kostman as managing director of applied artificial intelligence. Kostman was the chief data officer for media giant Time and the chief data scientist for South Korea’s Samsung.

Ashling Partners, the Chicago, Illinois-based consultancy focused on robotics, AI and machine learning, said it hired Brian Barret as vice president of business process transformation. He was previously at the consultancy EY, where he was a leader in performance improvement and intelligent automation.

AEye, the Pleasanton, California-based company developing autonomous driving technology, said it hired Nate Ramanathan as vice president of operations. Ramanathan joins from Benchmark, the electronics contract manufacturer.

The company hired Aravind Ratnam in August as vice president of product management. Ratnam headed project management at Wind River, part of semiconductor maker Intel’s Internet of Things unit.

AEye is backed by venture capital firms run by French aircraft maker Airbus and Intel.

H&D Wireless, the Stockholm, Sweden-based global positioning systems company, said Johan Schlyter has joined its board of directors. He has worked at German truck maker MAN and Scania.

TopOPPS, the St. Louis, Missouri-based company developing sales software using machine learning, said Christopher Cabrera has joined its board of directors. Cabrera is the founder and CEO of Xactly, the sales management software developer.

Ieso Digital Health, the Cambridge, UK-based mental health care company using AI, said it promoted Jennifer Gentile to senior vice president of US clinical operations. Previously she was vice president of product.

American Institutes for Research, the Washington DC-based nonprofit focused on the social sciences, said Toni Townes-Whitley, president of US regulated industries at Microsoft, is joining its board of directors. At Microsoft Townes-Whitley  is leading the company’s national plan for AI.

iManage, the Chicago, Illinois-based business services firm using AI, said it hired Nick Thomson to head its iManage RAVN AI business, which can extract data from documents during due diligence and other processes. Thomson most recently was chief revenue officer at Workshare, the document management firm.

Other hiring included Bionik Laboratories, BRG Capital Advisors, Vectra, Immuta, Norton Rose, Precision Therapeutics here and here, Nuance, Reversing Labs and Generation NEXT Franchise Brands


AI could add 1.2% to annual GDP growth over the next decade, according to a McKinsey report.