Week Ending 10.12.18


“Figuring out the problem that you’re solving and applying the expertise of AI. . .is one of the big limiting factors with applying AI”




Companies looking to implement artificial intelligence, either organically or through acquisitions, need staff that both understand the technology and how best to apply it, according to Michael Frankel, managing director at Deloitte.

Read the complete story on our website here.


Adynxx, the San Francisco-based company using AI to develop postoperative pain treatments, is acquiring Alliqua BioMedical in an all stock transaction.

Quest Solution, the Eugene, Oregon-based logistical products maker, said it acquired AI company HTS Image Processing for USD 6.3m, mostly in shares. HTS works with the US government policing airports and border checkpoints. Quest makes radio frequency identification tags and other products used to track shipments.

OJO Labs, the Austin, Texas-based real estate technology firm using AI, is merging with WolfNet Technologies, the real estate data company. Terms weren’t disclosed.

OJO also announced two new hires. (See People section for details).

LinkedIn, the Microsoft-owned social media website focused on employment, said it is paying over USD 400m to acquire Glint, an employment management company using AI.

Other deals include PotBotics and SeedInvest



Anaplan, the San Francisco, California-based cloud computing company, saw its shares rise 43% on their first day of trading on the NYSE. The company raised USD 263.5m from the sale of 15.5m shares at an above range USD 17.00 each. The company originally marketed the shares at USD 13.00 to USD 15.00 each. The company said it is investing in AI and machine learning.

Pintech Technology, the Beijing, China-based financial services platform using AI, refiled for a USD 70m initial public offering on the Nasdaq. It originally filed in July. The company is backed by a venture capital unit of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, which raised USD 4.72bn in an IPO in Hong Kong earlier this year.

SharedLabs, the Jacksonville, Florida-based information technology company, slashed the size of its initial public offering a second time. The company is now raising as much as USD 7m after cutting the number of shares on offer 60% to 1m. The price range of USD 5.00 to USD 7.00 a share remains the same.

In September the company said it planned to raise up to USD 17.5m from a initial public offering of 2.5m shares on the Nasdaq. That’s far less than the initial filing in May when it said it planned to raise USD 32.5m. The company provides artificial intelligence and blockchain consulting and services.


Chrysalix Venture Capital, the Vancouver, Canada-based investment firm, said it raised USD 120m for a new fund focused on companies using AI and blockchain in the energy, mining, power, chemicals and manufacturing industries.

Investors in the new fund include Brazilian state owned oil producer Petrobras, Japan’s Mitsubishi and Canada-based Teck Resources.

Micron Technology, the Boise, Idaho-based semiconductor maker, said it plans to invest USD 100m in AI companies through its venture capital arm, Micron Ventures.

RoboSense, the Shenzhen, China-based company developing technology used in autonomous vehicles, said it raised over USD 45m from investors that include the logistics arm of Alibaba, Shanghai Automotive and Beijing Automotive.

Tidal Scale, the Campbell, California-based software as a service company using machine learning, said it raised USD 24m in a Series B from investors including Bain Capital’s venture capital fund.

Loadsmart, the New York City-based logistics company using AI, said it raised USD 21.6m in a Series A led by a venture capital fund run by European shipping company A.P. Moller - Maersk, Connor Capital and Chromo Invest.

Perceptive Automata, the Somerville, Massachusetts-based company developing autonomous driving technology, said it raised USD 16m in a Series A led by JAZZ Venture Partners. Toyota’s AI Ventures and South Korea’s Hyundai also participated.

Kitov Systems, the Petach Tikva, Israel-based company using AI in industrial manufacturing, raised USD 10m in a funding led by the German robotics network HAHN Group.

Machinify, the Palo Alto, California-based business services firm using AI, said it raised USD 10m in a Series A led by Battery Ventures.

Provino Technologies, the Santa Clara, California-based semiconductor maker, said it raised USD 8m in a Series A led by the venture capital fund of computer maker Dell. Proceeds will be used to advance designs in AI and machine learning.

Perfect Price, the Oakland, California-based retail services firm using AI, said it raised USD 5.8m in seed financing from investors including Steven Tamm, executive vice president of engineering at business services firm Salesforce.

My Ally, the San Jose, California-based human resources firm using AI, said it raised an unspecified amount from a Series A led by Storm Ventures.

Namaste, the Toronto, Canada-based cannabis company using AI, refuted Citron Research reports that a sale of US assets were to a related party under securities rules. Namaste acknowledged one action in progress by US regulators it did not identify.

Last month the company said it was raising USD 45m in a follow on offering of 15m units at USD 3.00 each, and that it was 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 time frame.

RISE, the Munich, Germany-based securities trading firm using AI, said it plans to raise USD 150m in a security token offering in November. Details on its website are here.

Other deals include WISeKey International, Beta Bionics, CybelAngel, Flo Health and Optina Diagnostics

And more on how Silicon Valley is losing its edge from CityLab here.


Pepper, the humanoid robot created by the UK’s Middlesex University, has been invited to testify before Parliament on AI and the fourth industrial revolution, according to a report in the Independent


Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute, the Edmonton, Canada-based research facility, said it hired John Shillington as CEO. Shillington was vice president of technology at Cybera, a nonprofit technical agency.

VisionGate, the Seattle, Washington-based cancer drug diagnostics firm using AI, said it hired R. John Glasspool as chief operating and strategy officer. He has previously worked at Johnson & Johnson and Novartis.

OJO Labs, the Austin, Texas-based real estate technology firm using AI, said it hired former Google executive Peter Kappler as chief technology officer and Qingqing Ouyang as executive vice president of engineering. She joins from marketing firm Main Street Hub.

The company also announced a merger.(See Mergers and Acquisitions section for details)

NovuMind, the Santa Clara, California-based AI semiconductor maker, said it hired John Wei as vice president of design technologies. Wei was previously chief scientist at AIchip and director of chip design at Celestial Semiconductor.

ThoughtSpot, the Palo Alto, California-based analytics company using AI, said it hired Brian McCarthy as senior vice president of worldwide sales and David Freeman as senior vice president of business operations. McCarthy had held a similar position at analytics firm AppDynamics and Freeman a held a similar role at Nutanix.

ThoughtSpot hired Sudheesh Nair as CEO in July and raised USD 145m in a Series D funding led by Sapphire Ventures in May.

Selligent Marketing Cloud, the Redwood City, California-based marketing firm using AI, said it hired Anushka Jayawardana as vice president of product management. He was previously at Spreadshirt, the ecommerce company, and SHARP Telecommunications.

TruDecision, the Grapevine, Texas-based financial technology company using AI, said former General Motors Financial executive Steve Bowman has joined its advisory board. TruDecision is focused on auto loans.

In September former IBM executive and blockchain researcher John Medellin also joined TruDecision’s advisory board.

STATS, the Chicago, Illinois-based sports data and analytics firm using AI and machine learning, said it hired Blake Konrardy as vice president of product management. He joins from State Farm’s HiRoad unit, an insurance technology business.

In September STATS hired Jill Hansen as CFO and Steve Xeller as chief revenue officer. Hansen was previously managing director of finance and accounting at Vista Consulting while Xeller joined from MicroStrategy, where he was executive vice president of international sales. In July STATS hired former JPMorgan banker Helen Sun as chief technology officer.

Sandline Discovery, the Falls Church, Virginia-based legal services firm, said it hired Mimi Singh as general counsel and director of consulting. Singh will head a new practice using AI to advise attorneys and case teams. Singh was previously at Dechart and Pepper Hamilton law firms.

Other hires included HireVue, BCW, Precision Therapeutics, Victory Square Technologies, Nuritas and SafeRide Technologies


Rigid labor markets hit harder by automation, according to a recent International Monetary Fund report. (See page 90)