July 9: From BI to AI (AnyVision, Google Cloud, IBM, Immuta, Obviously AI, Opaque)
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AnyVision, a facial recognition AI company, has closed a $235M series C funding round led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 and Eldridge. Amit Lubovsky, director of SoftBank Investment Advisors, will join the board as part of the transaction. Funding will be directed towards further development of AnyVision’s Access Point AI software, as well as further innovation of its SDKs for edge computing functionality. AnyVision’s funding announcement comes at an interesting time for facial recognition startups; concerns around data privacy are subjecting companies creating and using facial recognition to growing scrutiny.
Obviously AI, a no-code AutoML startup, has raised an additional $1.1M from the University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners, as well as Trail Mix Ventures and B-Capital. The funding will go towards extending Obviously AI to serve more use cases, as well as expanding Obviously AI’s presence in Asian markets. The concept of no-code AI model building is the unicorn everyone dipping into data science is seeking, but Obviously AI is currently limited to supervised learning use cases, and broadening their scope to cover unsupervised learning is the next … obvious step.
Opaque, a secure data analytics platform, announced July 7 that it had raised a seed round of $9.5M led by Intel Capital. Race Capital, The House Fund, and FactoryHQ also participated in this round. Opaque lets companies analyze encrypted cloud-based data without exposing the data to the cloud provider. Funding will go towards Opaque’s open source contributions to the data security community.
Product Launches and Updates
On July 7, Immuta, a cloud data control access provider, announced its availability in the Snowflake Partner Connect portal. Snowflake users will now be able to use Immuta to configure automated data access control around their data. The Immuta Snowflake integration launches as an Immuta instance preconfigured with a Snowflake user’s connection credentials, minimizing setup complexity and time needed.
Hiring and Departing
Google Cloud has appointed Adaire Fox-Martin as its new EMEA Cloud president. Fox-Martin moves over from a 14-year tenure at SAP, most recently as an Executive Board Member leading Global Customer Success. Prior to that, Fox-Martin spent nearly two decades at Oracle.
Over the holiday weekend, IBM announced that Jim Whitehurst would be stepping down as president, though he would remain in an advisory role for the time being. In an interview this week with Barrons, Whitehurst acknowledged that his reasoning is that he wants to be a CEO again, and with the appointment of Arvind Krishna to that spot at IBM, his own chances of holding that position were unlikely. Whitehurst had come over to IBM with the Red Hat acquisition, having held the CEO position there since 2007.