Posts Tagged ‘investment’

Twitter Invests $10M to Better Understand Online Interactions

TwitterAnu Passary of Tech Times reports, “Microblogging site Twitter is gearing up to partner with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on a new project, which hopes to gain a better understanding of online interactions. Twitter is investing $10 million for the development of the Laboratory for Social Machines (LSM) over a five-year period. The new MIT Lab will produce a new social networking platform, analytic tools and also mobile apps that will connect individuals better. The LSM will be able to access Twitter’s live streams of tweets and the site’s public archives right from the time Twitter began. The project will focus on the creation of novel technology that can understand ‘semantic and social patterns’.” Read more

IBM Watson Chief Mike Rhodin on What Watson Has Taught IBM

WatsonBarb Darrow of GigaOM recently wrote, “IBM’s Watson natural language query/cognitive computing prodigy was a huge PR coup for Big Blue. Three years ago, Watson defeated Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings on national TV and beat other challengers like a drum on a subsequent victory tour. (Ask Gigaom’s own Stacey Higginbotham about that sometime.) IBM rode that wave for years to show that despite its woes, it can still do really hard stuff. IBM wants Watson to be a $10 billion business by 2023. But, unfortunately for IBM, there is ‘not a lot of commercial application to playing Jeopardy,’ Mike Rhodin, IBM SVP for Watson, acknowledged at Emtech 2014 at MIT on Tuesday.IBM invested untold millions in Watson, so it’s now time for Watson to, in the tortured words of another Emtech presenter, become ‘a market-based solution’.” Read more

HyperCat Gets a British Boost for the Internet of Things

hypercatSteve Ranger of ZDnet reports, “A group trying to make it easier for Internet of Things devices and services to work together has won £1.6m in funding from the UK government’s Technology Strategy Board. The group of 40 companies — including BT, ARM, and KPMG — is working on a standard for IoT interoperability called HyperCat. The new funding adds to the £6.4m the government has already spent on the project. The idea behind IoT is that everyday items such as thermostats or plant pots can be networked to create new types of services — at a trivial level, for example, a plant pot could tell a thermostat to turn off the heating because the plants were drying out. However, IoT has great potential to enable smart cities and other forms of automation too.” Read more

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.

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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

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