January 7: From BI to AI (Alteryx, Databricks, Fractal, Meta, Qlik, Trifacta, WEKA)

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Acquisitions and Partnerships

Alteryx Announces Acquisition of Trifacta

Yesterday, January 6, Alteryx announced that it has acquired Trifacta for $400M in a cash offer. Trifacta and Alteryx have historically been viewed as competitors, but Trifacta’s greater depth of capability re data engineering and cleansing complements Alteryx’ strengths in analytic workflows.

Product Launches and Updates

AI that understands speech by looking as well as hearing

Today, January 7, Meta debuted Audio-Visual Hidden Unit BERT (AV-HuBERT), a self-supervised framework for understanding speech that combines video input from lip movements and audio input from speech, both as raw unlabeled data. The goal is to improve accuracy even in environments where audio input may be compromised, such as from loud background noise.

Financial Transactions

Qlik Announces Confidential Submission of Draft Registration Statement Related to Proposed Public Offering

On Thursday, January 6, Qlik announced that it had confidentially submitted its draft regulation statement related to a proposed IPO. The expected IPO comes over five years after private equity investment firm Thoma Bravo purchased Qlik and took them private.

Fractal announces US$ 360 million investment from TPG

On Wednesday, January 5, Fractal, an AI and advanced analytics provider, announced that TPG, a global asset firm, will be investing $360M in Fractal. Puneet Bhatia and Vivek Mohan of TPG will join Fractal’s board of directors as part of the deal.

WEKA Increases Funding to $140 Million to Accelerate AI Data Platform Adoption in the Enterprise

WEKA, a data storage platform, announced on Tuesday, January 4, that they have raised $73M in a Series C funding round, raising total funding to $140M. The oversubscribed round was led by Hitachi Ventures. Other participants include Cisco, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Ibex Investors, Key 1 Capital, Micron, MoreTech Ventures, and NVIDIA. The funding will go towards accelerating go-to-market activities, operations, and engineering.

Hiring

Databricks Appoints Naveen Zutshi as Chief Information Officer

Finally, Wednesday, January 5, Databricks announced that it had appointed Naveen Zutshi as their new Chief Information Officer. Zutshi joins Databricks from Palo Alto Networks, where he was the CIO for six years, expanding Palo Alto Networks into new security categories and scaling up at speed. Prior to that, Zutshi was the SVP of Technology at Gap Inc, overseeing global infrastructure, ops, and security for the retailer.