Posts Tagged ‘investment’

Microsoft Ups Its Stake in Machine Learning

microsoft

Pedro Hernandez of eWeek reports, “‘Mobile-first, cloud-first’ may be Microsoft’s new mantra, but another term has been has been increasingly creeping into the company’s lexicon of late. As one of the components of Microsoft’s growing slate of smart services, machine learning is also guiding part of the company’s product strategy, according to Microsoft Research Distinguished Scientist John Platt. First, it helps to know how his company classifies machine learning (ML). ‘In general, ML converts data sets into pieces of software, known as ‘models,’ that can represent the data set and generalize to make predictions on new data,’ explained Platt in Microsoft’s new Machine Learning Blog.” Read more

Alibaba Invests in Video and Mobile Search Leading Up to IPO

al

Jon Russell of The Next Web reports, “Alibaba is gearing up for one of the largest technology IPOs in history with more significant strategy and investment moves. The latest, this week, saw the company lead a $1.2 billion investment in Chinese online video service Youku Tudou and link up with browser-make UC Web to launch a mobile search joint venture. Youku Tudou, which is comparable to a Chinese version of YouTube, is taking on investment from Alibaba and Yunfeng Capital, which will hold 16.5 percent and 2 percent shares respectively. The deal values Youku Tudou — which is listed on the NYSE and was created following a billion dollar merger in 2012 — at over $6.5 billion, but moreover it is a sign of Alibaba’s ambition to move into entertainment and mobile. Jack Ma, the iconic founder and now executive chairman of Alibaba, said that the deal would ‘accelerate our digital entertainment and video content strategy… and bring new products and services to Alibaba’s customers’.” Read more

Declara Lands $16M in Series A Investment

declara

PALO ALTO, Calif., April 23, 2014 – Declara, a company focused on developing technology for personal learning, today announced it has closed $16 million in Series A financing led by GSV Capital, with Data Collective, Founders Fund and Catamount Ventures joining the round. The new funding, unveiled at the annual GSV Education Innovation Summit in Scottsdale, Ariz., will be used to scale operations globally and build out the team. As part of the investment, Mark Flynn, co-managing partner of GSV Asset Management, will join the Declara board.

 

[Read how Declara individualizes large-scale learning.]

 

Declara, founded in 2012, is based on the premise that learning happens not only in schools and universities but continues for a lifetime where people need to constantly hone their skills and master new ones. The company builds a technology platform that uses semantic search, predictive analytics and machine learning to surface the right content at the right time for individuals, making learning more personalized and discovery oriented. Read more

Thinknum Sees Financial Analysis In A New Light

thinknumpixThinknum is a startup with the mission: disrupting financial analysis.

In his work as a quantitative strategist at Goldman Sachs, Thinknum co-founder Gregory Ugwi saw firsthand the trials and tribulations financial analysts went through to digest companies’ financial reports and then build their own research reports about their expectations for future performance based on past numbers. The U.S. SEC’s mandate that companies disclose their financial data using XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) was supposed to help them, as well as investors of all stripes and sizes that want to better understand what’s going on at the companies they’re interested in.

“The SEC has mandated that all companies have to release their numbers in a machine-readable format, and that’s XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language),” says Ugwi. The positive side of that is that anyone can now get the stats on companies from Google to Wal-Mart, but the downside is that by and large, they can’t do it in a user-friendly way.

Read more

IBM Invests in Welltok, a Health Platform Using the Power of Watson

welltok

Dan Primack of Fortune reports, “Last month, IBM committed to invest $100 million in tech startups that are leveraging Watson, the company’s famed cognitive computing platform. [Wednesday], IBM [announced] that the first portfolio company in its ‘Watson Fund’ is Welltok, a Denver-based health optimization platform. IBM is participating in Welltok’s new $22 million Series C funding round, which is being led by venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates. Also investing is Qualcomm Ventures and existing Welltok shareholders Emergence Capital Partners, InterWest Partners, Miramar Venture Partners and Okapi Venture Capital.” Read more

Microsoft’s New Head of Research on What’s Ahead

Peter Lee 2010

David Talbot of the MIT Technology Review recently wrote, “Microsoft new head of research, Peter Lee, is tasked with helping the company invent the future. His bosses hope that it will be one in which the computing giant has more than just 4 percent of the market for mobile operating systems. Lee’s strategy is to funnel resources toward technologies he believes could revolutionize our relationships with computers, mobile and otherwise. He also faces the challenge of managing an increasingly rare breed in the computer industry: a large and sprawling corporate research division. Microsoft Research currently has 1,100 researchers and engineers in 13 labs around the world, from Cairo, Egypt, to New York City.” Read more

Vestec Secures Equity Investment from Leading Middle Eastern Investor

Waterloo, ON, Canada (PRWEB) June 27, 2013 – Vestec, Inc. a leader in powerful Artificial Intelligence technologies, announced today that they have secured a significant equity investment from Prince Mishaal bin Abdullah bin Turki bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud. Prince Mishaal has also joined Vestec’s Advisory Board and will help guide Vestec’s growth strategy in the Middle East.

“Advances in Artificial Intelligence research are creating a powerful paradigm shift in speech technologies across different platforms and languages,” said Dr. Fakhri Karray, Vestec’s primary Founder and CEO. “We are looking forward to leveraging Prince Mishaal’s deep expertise and strong relationships to facilitate Vestec’s growth in the Middle East.” Read more

Vestec Raises $1.5M for Semantic Health Care Technologies

A new article reports, “Vestec, Inc. a leader in cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence technologies, today announced that they have secured a $1.5 million equity investment from V. Raman Kumar, founder and former CEO of MModal, the world’s largest clinical documentation company and pioneer of voice-based medical transcription… Mr. Kumar has joined Vestec’s Board of Directors as Vice Chairman and will also oversee the development of products and services for the global industry with a special focus on healthcare.” Read more

Investments That Could Work For A Smarter Web

Are you starting to feel like there’s no real winning investment strategies these days, at least for the average investor? Make some gains one month, only to lose them all the next.

Well, maybe it’s time to invest a little something in efforts that might not pay you back in dollars, but in online badges, acknowledgement of your contributions or donations, maybe even in a chance to provide input into a solution that can advance semantic web, Linked Data, or discovery technologies? Or maybe the ROI is just about feeling that you did something good.

Recently we wrote about Sebastian Trüg’s fundraiser to keep the Nepomuk semantic desktop alive, for example, which this month reached its 9000€ initial goal (though he’s still in search of long-term funding). Turns out there are – or recently have been – other opportunities to put some of your pocket change to work for a smarter and more meaningful web of data. Projects on Kickstarter.com, for instance, run the gamut from fashion ($1 to fund chic 3D glasses), to theatre (you can help launch the LA production of Spring Awakening for $10 or more), to technology.

Kickstarter builds itself as the world’s largest funding platform for great projects, and whiling away the late-night hours wandering through the crowd-funding forum, it surprised me to learn that among its successfully funded projects were efforts including hypothes.is, the brainchild of online travel industry pioneer Dan Whaley. This is described as “a distributed, open-source platform for the collaborative evaluation of information. It will enable sentence-level critique of written words combined with a sophisticated yet easy-to-use model of community peer-review. It will work as an overlay on top of any stable content, including news, blogs, scientific articles, books, terms of service, ballot initiatives, legislation and regulations, software code and more-without requiring participation of the underlying site.”

Read more

Semantic Advertising: Quality Counts, Funding Grows

 A recent survey of media buyers conducted by semantic advertising vendor Peer39 revealed – as you might expect – an intense interest among that audience in page quality and quality controls on their online campaigns. Only five percent of respondents said page quality doesn’t matter, and only eight percent said they don’t currently use quality controls. For 87 percent of them, about 50 percent or more of campaigns require quality controls.

The top quality attributes for campaigns, they say, are content-rich environments (52 percent), home pages (51 percent), and user-generated content (55 percent).

UGC is a tricky problem in the online advertising space, because it adds more risk – site owners do what they can to ensure that comments don’t transgress boundaries but moderation only goes so far, or is otherwise subject to time-, resource- or cost-constraints. Not to mention that user comments that some advertisers may find inappropriate aren’t necessarily something that would be flagged as problematic by human moderators or automated systems.

Read more

NEXT PAGE >>