February 18: From BI to AI (Arcion, Atakama, BigID, Dataiku, H20.ai, HPE, Kyligence, Informatica, Striim, Sway AI)

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Funding and Financial

Arcion, Formerly Blitzz, Secures $13M Series A To Transform Data Infrastructure

Arcion, a data mobility platform, secured a series A funding round of $13M. Bessemer Venture Partners led the round, with participation from Databricks. Bessemer VP Sakib Dadi joined the board of directors as part of the process. The funding is likely to go towards building both the product and team. Arcion also brought on board CEO Gary Hagmueller from an EIR position at Redpoint Ventures. Prior to that, Hagmueller was the CEO at Dgraph Labs, the President and CEO at Clara Analytics, and spent most of a decade at Ayasdi as first CFO, then as COO.

Amalgam’s Insight: Cloud data pipelines continue to be both an important enabler for conducting analytics at scale and a capability that is still difficult to operationalize and automate. This funding round is part of a continuing wave of investment focused on improving access to large stores of data. In addition, Hagmueller’s experience in productizing previously unmanageable data challenges is a noted strength that will prove to be useful for Arcion.

Informatica Reports Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2021 Financial Results

Enterprise cloud data management company Informatica reported its Q4 and 2021 financial results this week. While revenue was up, particularly subscription revenue – a known target as they move customers to the cloud and onto subscription plans – Informatica missed on earnings, and had a rough ride in the stock market this week.

Amalgam’s Insight: Tech vendors often go private as they are converting to the cloud exactly because public markets overreact to very tactical margin changes and struggle to value long-term business changes correctly. This happens time and time again where financial markets misread vendors, then suddenly wake up to see the results when a vendor beats expectations. There is no real fundamental difference between Informatica currently at $20 per share vs. when it was at $38 per share two months ago other than external geopolitical and economic forces as well as that Informatica is farther along in its progression towards migrating clients towards the cloud. At this point, Informatica is currently valued similarly to Fivetran which is an interesting comparison when one looks at the revenue of these two companies.

Product Launches and Enhancements

H2O.ai Democratizes Deep Learning with H2O Hydrogen Torch

H2O.ai, an AI cloud company, debuted H2O Hydrogen Torch, a no-code deep learning training engine. Hydrogen Torch is focused on making image, video, and natural language processing models with deep learning via a code-free interface, dealing with unstructured data that companies have not generally been able to analyze sufficiently to derive value from.

Amalgam’s Insight: Enterprises have the ability to analyze images and videos to support a wide variety of customer service, logistics, sales, and marketing use cases but still struggle to build models off these quirky and unstructured data sources that are often larger than the entirety of the structured data that is currently being managed. H2O Hydrogen Torch should prove to be a valuable solution for companies seeking to translate media libraries into business value.

Kyligence’s Intelligent Data Cloud Platform Now Available on Google Cloud

Kyligence, a data services and management platform provider, announced that its data cloud platform Kyligence Cloud was now available in beta on Google Cloud. Kyligence Cloud is a big data OLAP solution, providing high-performance analytic capability in a cloud-native environment while allowing analysts and business users to connect to it with familiar tools.

Amalgam’s Insight: Moving structured and performant data into the cloud continues to be important, but this announcement also demonstrates the continued progression of Google Cloud as a location for analytic data to reside. Google continues to gain access to high performance analytic data as both startups and enterprises see it as a cost-effective and user-interface friendly solution for data.

Sway AI Announces Its No-Code Artificial Intelligence (AI) Platform

On February 15, Sway AI announced its no-code AI platform, targeted at both technical and business users. Sway AI’s focus is on allowing enterprises to build and deploy AI without needing to invest heavily in expensive hiring or complex toolkits upfront.

Amalgam’s Insight: This announcement hits many of the buzzwords businesses are hearing for model building: AI, no-code, business-friendly, rapid deployment. But beyond this hype, the critical challenge here is in helping the people who understand business data best to create relevant models.

Partnerships

Striim and Hewlett Packard Enterprise partner to offer high performance, mission-critical solutions with real-time analytics

Striim, a real-time data integration platform, announced a partnership with HPE in the form of Striim for HPE NonStop, a high-performance distributed data transaction solution that allows organizations to analyze streaming data for business insights.

Amalgam’s Insight: Streaming data is reaching mainstream visibility as the need for immediate analysis continues to grow. HPE has another tool to help sell its high-performance hardware while Striim gains another channel with a sales team with a strong solutions selling background.

BigID + Atakama: Data-Centric File Encryption | BigID

BigID, a data intelligence platform, announced a partnership with Atakama, an encryption company. From this partnership, Atakama is building a solution on the BigID platform that will read BigID’s data labeling and tagging, and automatically encrypt files based on the sensitivity of the data contained within.

Amalgam’s Insight: Data identity and trust are massive themes driving new markets associated with blockchain, NFT’s, and the general Web3 experience. But practical aspects of data trust and governance are still formidable challenges for the enterprise, including metadata management and data governance. This partnership helps bring more order to the chaos of existing Big Data environments.

Hiring

Dataiku Announces Edward Bush as Chief Operating Officer to Support Rapid Growth and Bolster Employee Experience

On February 16, Dataiku announced the elevation of Edward Bush as Chief Operating Officer. Bush joined Dataiku in 2017 as the VP of Finance. Prior to Dataiku, Bush was the VP of Finance and Business Operations at VTS.

Amalgam’s Insight: This promotion occurs soon after Dataiku upgraded its board with former Tableau CMO Elissa Fink and former Mimecast CFO Peter Campbell as well as a $400 million funding round. This serves as a strong vote of confidence in Bush to support the employee culture as Dataiku pushes for its next order-of-magnitude growth push.