March 25: From BI to AI (Astronomer, C3 AI, Datagen, Dataiku, Datakin, Domino, HEAVY.AI, Hex, Informatica, NVIDIA, Snorkel AI, Talend)

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Funding (and an Acquisition)

Astronomer Raises $213 Million Series C and Acquires Datakin; Scales Operations Amid Booming Growth and Global Demand
On March 23, data orchestration platform Astronomer announced that it had raised a $213M Series C round. Insight Partners led the round, with participation from JP Morgan, K5 Global, Meritech Capital, Salesforce Ventures, Sierra Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures, and Venrock. The funding will be used for hiring in engineering and Customer Success, scaling up go-to-market operations, and R+D. Astronomer also revealed in the same announcement that it had acquired Datakin, a data lineage solution, and will be integrating it into Astronomer.

Datagen Obtains $50 Million in Series B Funding

Datagen, a synthetic data generator for computer vision systems, announced March 23 that it had closed $50M in Series B funds. Scale Venture Partners led the round, with participation from existing investors Spider Capital, TLV Partners, and Viola Ventures. As part of the transaction, Scale Venture Partners’ Andy Vitus joins Datagen’s board of directors.

Hex Raises $52M Series B

On March 22, Hex, a collaborative data science and analytics platform, announced that it had raised a $52M Series B financing round led by Andreessen Horowitz. Additional participants included new investors Snowflake and Databricks, as well as existing investors Amplify Partners and Redpoint. Funding will go towards hiring and research and development.

Product Launches and Updates

C3 AI Version 8 to Accelerate the Development of Enterprise AI Applications – C3 AI

On March 23, C3 AI announced that C3 AI Application Platform Version 8 was now generally available. Key features of the newest release include additional pre-built and extensible AI apps for supply chain planning and execution within C3 AI Applications; C3 AI Virtual Data Lake, a way to aggregate an organization’s data into one image to mitigate the need to replicate said data for analytics and AI processing; C3 AI Data Vision, which enables AI-driven knowledge graphs to facilitate more advanced data visualization and AI discovery; C3 AI Studio, a low-code AI app development environment; and C3 AI Ex Machina, a no-code machine learning canvas.

Domino Data Lab Announces NVIDIA Fleet Command Support
Domino Data Lab announced new integrations with NVIDIA in the wake of GTC 2022. Domino now supports NVIDIA Fleet Command, permitting model deployment on edge devices. In addition, Domino’s Enterprise MLOps platform is now available through NVIDIA LaunchPad, a way to run pilot projects to assess appropriate purchase decisions for data projects.

HEAVY.AI Introduces Version 6.0

On March 22, HEAVY.AI announced a limited release of HEAVY.AI 6.0. Key new capabilities include HeavyConnect, a way to analyze and visualize an organization’s data wherever it is without moving or copying it; performance improvements for HeavyDB and HEAVY.AI overall; an admin panel for Heavy Immerse providing thorough oversight of existing deployments; and in beta, the ability to integrate machine learning models into the analytics workflow, both in Heavy Immerse and by SQL queries. HEAVY AI 6.0 will be generally available in April.

Informatica Launches Vertical-Specific IDMC for Retail
On March 24, Informatica announced the Intelligent Data Management Cloud for Retail, focusing on retail-specific challenges in data fragmentation and the complexity of a multi-cloud hybrid environment. Spotlighted issues addressed include upgrades to data governance and privacy capabilities, improving inventory visibility and demand forecasting capabilities, and enabling customers to provide more personalized shopping experiences.

NVIDIA AI Improves on Speech, Recommender System and Hyperscale Inference Capabilities
At GTC 2022, NVIDIA announced updates to its NVIDIA AI Platform. These updates include improvements to NVIDIA Triton, a model inference solution; NVIDIA Riva, a speech AI SDK; NVIDIA NeMo Megatron, a training framework for large language models; NVIDIA Merlin, a recommendation AI; and NVIDIA Maxine, an audio and video enhancement SDK. In addition, NVIDIA released AI Enterprise 2.0, with certification for Red Hat Open Shift, allowing customers to use containerized machine learning tools across a variety of data centers and cloud platforms.

Snorkel AI Announces Snorkel Flow
Snorkel AI announced that Snorkel Flow, its AI platform with automated labeling, was now generally available. Snorkel Flow key features include programmatic data labeling; a no-code machine learning modeling suite; workflows to improve training data quality, and for domain experts to provide input on data labeling; and templates for document classification and extraction.

Talend Data Catalog 8 Updates Focus on Data Compliance
On March 24, Talend announced the availability of Talend Data Catalog 8, part of its Talend Data Fabric platform. New capabilities in this release include automated data classification to classify data around things like compliance violations; the ability to export data lineage and transformation logic via APIs to meet compliance requests; and tailored business modeling to define domain meta models that most accurately match business priorities.

Hiring

Dataiku Brings Aboard Adam Towns as CFO

On March 23, Dataiku announced that they had hired Adam Towns as their Chief Financial Officer. Towns, well-experienced in tech finance, joins Dataiku from Sisense, where he was the CFO, leading their global finance and business operations team. Prior to that, Towns was the Senior VP of Strategic Finance and FP&A at Mimecast, where he brought the company through its IPO, increasing revenue by 15x and headcount by 20x during his tenure there.