Week Ending 04.21.19
PAGAYA CONSIDERS OVERSEAS SALES TEAMS
LEARNSHIP ACQUIRES GLOBAL ENGLISH & MERCURY ACQUIRES ATHENA
CONVERSIONPOINT FILES USD 40M IPO & ENDAVA SHAREHOLDERS RAISE USD 136M
OUTREACH COMPLETES USD 114M SERIES E & PATHAI RAISES USD 60M IN SERIES B
AI SUFFERS DIVERSITY DEFICIT, TRUMP PLANS AI UPDATE & EU AI GUIDELINES ANALYZED
EARLYSENSE & UNIT4 HIRE CEOS
AND MORE ↓
EYE ON A.I. GETS READERS UP TO DATE ON THE LATEST FUNDING NEWS AND RELATED ISSUES. SUBSCRIBE FOR THE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER.
LATEST FROM EYE ON A.I.
Pagaya, the Israeli asset management company using AI, is considering building a sales team in New York and possibly London, according to Chief Investment Officer Ed Mallon.
The company currently has about 30 AI and data specialists in New York and Tel Aviv.
Pagaya has traditionally headhunted from the ranks of Talpiot, a technology division of the Israeli military, where co-founder Avital Pardo served. Chief Business Officer Adam Schreier is also a Talpiot veteran.
“We’re continuing to add staff … from similar units of the Israeli army,” Mallon said. “One of the areas we’re looking at now is sales people in New York and possibly London.” Read more
MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
Learnship, the Cologne, Germany-based online language teaching company, said it acquired California’s Global English, which uses AI in business language teaching.
Mercury Systems, the Andover, Massachusetts-based defense and intelligence industry sensor maker, said it acquired Athena, which uses AI to make semiconductor components for the defense and satellite industries.
Appen, the Sydney, Australia-based AI dataset producer, said it completed the acquisition of FigureEight, which also produced datasets used in AI and machine learning.
ConversionPoint Technologies, the Newport Beach, California-based ecommerce platform for small-and-medium sized businesses using AI, said it is raising a placeholder USD 40m in an initial public offering on the Nasdaq. The IPO will help fund the acquisition of Inuvo, the marketing technology firm using AI. Details are here and here.
Pinterest, the San Francisco, California-based social media firm using machine learning and AI, saw its shares close up 28% on their first day of trading on the NYSE. The company raised USD 1.43bn from an upsized sale of 75m shares at USD 19 each, two dollars above the marketed range.
Endava, the London, UK-based business services company using AI, said shareholders, including founder Alex Day, raised USD 136.3m from the sale of 5m American depositary shares.
Outreach, the Seattle, Washington-based sales platform using AI, said it raised USD 114m in a Series E led by Lone Pine Capital.
PathAI, the Boston, Massachusetts-based medical AI company, said it raised USD 60m in a Series B led by General Atlantic.
The Canadian government plans to invest USD 41m (USD 31m) in AI and quantum research in the Ontario city of Waterloo, according to a report from The Record.
Cytora, the Cambridge, UK-based commercial insurance services company using AI, raised GBP 25m (USD 32m) in a Series B led by EQT Ventures, according to a FinTech Futures report.
Moveworks, the Mountain View, California-based business services company using AI, said it raised USD 30m in a Series A.
6sense, the San Francisco, California-based business services firm using AI, said it raised USD 27m in a funding round led by Industry Ventures. Venture funds from Bain Capital and Salesforce also participated.
Aidoc, the Tel Aviv, Israel-based medical imaging analysis company using AI, said it raised USD 27m in a Series B led by Square Peg Capital.
Zapata Computing, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based quantum computing company, said it raised USD 21m in a Series A led by Comcast Ventures and Prelude Ventures. A venture capital unit of Germany’s BASF also participated.
Zencargo, the London, UK-based logistics company using machine learning, raised about USD 19m in a Series A led by HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, according to a TechCrunch report.
Slingshot Aerospace, the Austin, Texas-based satellite data services firm using AI, said it raised USD 5m in a seed funding led by ATX Venture Partners.
Theater, the Tel Aviv, Israel-based surgical software as service company using AI, said it raised USD 3m in a seed round led by StageOne, iAngels and KdTVC.
AI Tea, the Shanghai, China-based company opening automated tea houses, has raised an unspecified amount from Greenfield Capital.
LEGAL & REGULATORY
The AI industry suffers from a diversity deficit, according to a new study from New York University
The Trump administration plans to release an updated AI plan this spring and the US Office of Management and Budget is working on AI guidance set for public comment this summer, according to a Federal News Network report.
An analysis of the EU’s recently announced AI ethics guidelines from law firm Drinker Biddle, published in The National Law Review
Government AI work shows little oversight, according to an opinion piece in The Conversation
Other developments include SPEC
EarlySense, the Woburn, Massachusetts-based medical technology company using AI, said it hired healthcare executive Matt Johnson as CEO. He replaces co-founder Avner Halperin in the head role. Halperin will remain on the board of directors.
Unit4, the Utrecht, Netherlands-based business services firm using AI, said it hired former SAP executive Mike Ettling as CEO.
Flagship Pioneering, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based life sciences corporate incubator, said it hired former GlaxoSmithKline executive Paul-Peter Tak as president and CEO of its Kintai Therapeutics unit. Kintai develops drugs and therapies using AI.
Jumio, the Palo Alto, California-based identity verification company using AI, said Robert Prigge has been promoted to president. He was the chief revenue officer. Prigge replaces Stephen Stuut as CEO. Stuut will serve as co-chairman of the board. Recent fraud settlement with former Jumio execs described in a Forbes article here.
Anaconda, the Austin, Texas-based machine learning services company, said it hired former Red Hat executive Ken Hoffman as chief revenue officer.
Amperity, the Seattle, Washington-based consumer identity firm using machine learning, said it hired former Starbucks and Microsoft executive Lynn Girotto as chief marketing officer.
Growers Edge Financial, the Johnston, Iowa-based agricultural data services firm using machine learning, said it hired former DuPont executive Dan Cosgrove as chief strategy officer.
Lygos, the Berkeley, California-based chemicals producer using machine learning, said it hired Bryce Dille as vice president of finance.
Obsidian Security, the Newport Beach, California-based cybersecurity firm using machine learning, said it promoted Laura Noren to vice president of privacy of trust. She was director of research. The company raised USD 20m in a Series B led by Wing last month. A venture capital arm of Google also participated.
DataVisor, the Mountain View, California-based fraud detection company using AI, said it hired David Cassady as vice president of business development for partnerships and sales.
ShotSpotter, the Newark, California-based gunfire detection company, said former Yahoo and Adobe executive Merline Saintil is joining the board of directors. In October the company moved into AI with the acquisition of assets from Azavea, which has developed technology it says can predict violence.
Other board appointments include Aspen Technology
Other hiring includes Snapdeal