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Intel Capital invests $117 million in more than a dozen startups

Intel Capital invests $117 million in more than a dozen startups

Intel Capital today announced an investment of $117 million in 14 startups doing things like making AI inference faster, helping manufacturers deploy AI systems, building semiconductors, and creating disruptive tech beyond AI in health care and communications.

The companies hail from China, Canada, Israel, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Companies supported as part of the announcement include Landing AI, a company created by former Google Brain cofounder Andrew Ng that helps manufacturers apply AI to their business practices, and Untether AI, which makes chips specifically for neural net inference.

An Intel Capital spokesperson declined to share specific amounts invested in each startup. Intel Capital routinely invests between $300 million and $500 million annually in startups creating unique, forward-thinking, or disruptive solutions.

Other AI startups that received backing today include:

  • Cloudpick, based in Shanghai, which uses deep learning and computer vision for ecommerce solutions.
  • Medical Informatics, based in Houston, which uses machine learning and data to bring predictive insights to patient care.
  • Zhuhai Eeasy Technology, based in Zhuhai, China, which makes AI systems for media-related use cases for deployment on the edge, such as video encoding and image processing.

While the majority of the 14 companies being supported by Intel Capital are creating products and services related to artificial intelligence, other companies are in different fields, such as Polystream, which delivers 3D applications for video games in the cloud; Pixeom, which helps clients manage large-scale hybrid cloud and edge computing; and Tibit Communications, which makes a device to improve Ethernet internet connections.

The news was shared today at Intel Capital’s Global Summit, a gathering for venture capitalists and entrepreneurs now in its 19th year, which is taking place this week in Phoenix, Arizona.

Intel also announced today at Global Summit an investment in hbcu.vc, a nonprofit organization that helps students from historically black colleges and universities, as well as Hispanic students, learn more about venture capital and entrepreneurship.

Source: Intel Capital invests $117 million in more than a dozen startups

Vlocity Raises $60M Series C

Vlocity Raises $60M Series C

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Vlocity announced today that it secured $60 million in funding.

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Vlocity, a leading industry cloud software company and Forbes Cloud 100 company, announced today that it secured $60 million in funding to drive digital transformation and customer experience improvements across multiple vertical industries. The Series C financing was led by Sutter Hill Ventures and Salesforce Ventures, with participation from new investor Bessemer Venture Partners and existing strategic investors Accenture and New York Life. This latest financing brings Vlocity’s total capital raised to $163 million.Vlocity has quickly emerged as a leader in industry-specific cloud and mobile software that helps companies transform their customer experiences. Vlocity customers include leaders and emerging players in five specific industries: Communications and Media; Insurance and Financial Services; Health; Energy and Utilities; and Government and Non-Profit. Vlocity applications embed deep industry-specific functionality, best practices and business processes, building on the omnichannel capabilities of the Salesforce Platform. This combination enables companies to achieve greater business agility and time-to-value in the cloud, while delivering unified customer experiences across channels and devices.

The latest investment round will be used to accelerate and deepen product development in Vlocity’s portfolio of award-winning industry cloud applications, built on Salesforce, the global leader in CRM. It will also fund the ongoing growth of Vlocity’s global service and support teams and support infrastructure. Vlocity now has more than 700 employees in 20 countries around the world who are all rooted in Vlocity’s seven Core Values including “Customers First” and “People are the Core”.

“As entire industries are being disrupted, Vlocity is leading a trend in cloud software towards industry specialization with a deep product portfolio serving several massive vertical markets,” said Jim White, managing director of Sutter Hill Ventures. “We know founder and CEO David Schmaier from the early days of CRM, and we continue to be impressed with his proven leadership team, focused strategy and strong execution for driving massive value for companies as they go digital in their target industries.”

“Vlocity is a perfect example of the incredible innovation occurring in the Salesforce ecosystem and how we are working together to provide customers in all industries the technologies they need to attract and serve customers in smarter ways,” said Jujhar Singh, EVP and GM, Salesforce Industries. “Vlocity continues to demonstrate the significant gains customers can achieve from deep, industry-specific capabilities, delivered in concert with Salesforce’s world-leading CRM platform and industry products.”

“I am delighted by the incredible success and transformation that our customers realize when they adopt our modern industry cloud and mobile applications,” said Vlocity Founder and CEO David Schmaier. “Their operational and financial benefits are exceeding expectations, proving that the best customer experiences are industry-specific and that the industry cloud enables unprecedented business agility and faster time to value. This latest investment will enable us to accelerate delivery of Vlocity’s industry cloud software by fueling the expansion of our product development, customer success and support infrastructure for our customers around the world.”

Salesforce Ventures

Salesforce is the fastest growing top five enterprise software company and the #1 CRM provider globally. Salesforce Ventures-the company’s corporate investment group-invests in the next generation of enterprise technology that extends the power of the Salesforce Platform, helping companies connect with their customers in entirely new ways. Portfolio companies receive funding as well as access to the world’s largest cloud ecosystem and the guidance of Salesforce’s innovators and executives. With Salesforce Ventures, portfolio companies can also leverage Salesforce’s expertise in corporate philanthropy by joining Pledge 1% to make giving back part of their business model. Salesforce Ventures has invested in more than 300 enterprise cloud startups in 20 different countries since 2009. For more information, please visit www.salesforce.com/ventures.

Salesforce and others are trademarks of salesforce.com, inc.

About Vlocity, Inc.

Vlocity is a leader in industry-specific cloud and mobile software, driving digital transformation for the world’s largest companies. A Forbes Cloud 100 company, Vlocity is an “industry cloud” pioneer built in partnership with Salesforce, the global leader in CRM. Vlocity’s cloud and mobile applications transform customer processes and experiences in the Communications & Media, Insurance & Financial Services, Health, Energy & Utilities, and Government & Non-Profit industries. Vlocity is a values-led company committed to customer, partner and employee success. Learn more at www.vlocity.com.

Source: Vlocity Raises $60M Series C

Biolinq Receives $4.75M

Biolinq Receives $4.75M

SAN DIEGO, CA, Biolinq today announced it has expanded its oversubscribed Series A financing with an additional investment of $4.75 million.

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Biolinq, a health technology company with a unique wirelessly-enabled biosensor patch capable of continuously monitoring multiple biomarkers, today announced it has expanded its oversubscribed Series A financing with an additional investment of $4.75 million led by the JDRF T1D Fund, Aphelion Capital and LifeSci Venture Partners. They join a strong syndicate of existing investors, including M Ventures and Hikma Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Hikma Pharmaceuticals (LON:HIK) who also participated in the financing. The investment brings Biolinq’s total Series A funding to $15 million.Biolinq’s first commercial product, a unique minimally-invasive technology, will allow people living with diabetes to continuously monitor their blood glucose without the pain and hassle of traditional continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems. The new financing will be used to support the growth of Biolinq’s innovative technology platform and fund additional clinical studies.

“We are impressed with the initial clinical results Biolinq has achieved with their very promising technology,” said Katie Ellias, Managing Director at the JDRF T1D Fund. “We believe the company is well positioned to set new standards for minimally invasive CGMs and are excited to support Biolinq during this critical phase as they work towards bringing next-gen solutions to market and explore future applications for people living with type 1 diabetes.”

“We are excited to welcome the new investors to the group and see the additional capital support the momentum of innovation for Biolinq,” said Edward Kliphuis, Investment Director of the New Businesses fund at M Ventures. “We have been very pleased with the progress Biolinq made in 2018 towards the development of their novel, ‘pain-free’ CGM technology that will enable people with diabetes to better manage their condition,” said Lana Ghanem, Managing Director of Hikma Ventures.

“Our results to date demonstrate our vision to increase access to CGM and further simplify the management of diabetes,” said Jared Tangney, CEO of Biolinq. “2018 was a landmark year for Biolinq, marked by the successful completion of our first clinical study. This funding round validates our strong clinical results and will continue to advance our technology platform towards commercial feasibility.”

Biolinq also welcomes Tom Peyser, who has extensive experience in diabetes technology, to head up Scientific, Clinical, and Regulatory Affairs as Senior Vice President, to help ensure the company reaches its goal of commercial viability.

About Biolinq Incorporated

Biolinq is a health technology company developing a skin-applied, minimally-invasive electrochemical biosensor platform which analyzes biomarkers in the interstitial fluid to provide actionable health information. Given the platform potential of the technology and the unique ability to simultaneously measure multiple biomarkers, the company aims to develop a pipeline of biomonitoring products. Biolinq was founded in 2012 (as Electrozyme, LLC), and is located in San Diego.

JDRF T1D Fund

The JDRF T1D Fund (www.t1dfund.org) is a venture philanthropy fund accelerating life-changing solutions to cure, prevent, and treat type 1 diabetes (T1D) through catalytic commercial investments. Through its investments in partnerships with private capital, including venture capital, corporations and foundations, the T1D Fund seeks to attract the private investment necessary to advance drugs, devices, diagnostics, and vaccines into the hands of those living with T1D. The T1D Fund invests in areas strategically aligned with JDRF, the leading global organization funding T1D research, with an exclusive focus on supporting the best commercial opportunities. The T1D Fund will reinvest any realized gains into new investments to further its mission.

Aphelion Capital

Aphelion Capital invests in ideas, entrepreneurs, and companies with promising medical technologies that improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery. To each opportunity, they bring the perspective of an investor, a clinician, an entrepreneur, and an industry executive. Aphelion works closely with the American Heart Association by managing Cardeation Capital, also invested in Biolinq, in a collaborative venture model to make smart decisions that support companies and entrepreneurs.

LifeSci Venture Partners

Formed in 2017, LifeSci Venture Partners is the early stage investing arm of LifeSci Partners, a unique life sciences and healthcare consultancy formed in 2010. The venture fund focuses on pre-public institutional rounds of transformational healthcare companies managed by exceptional founder/entrepreneurs. The investment principals include broad-ranging life sciences experience including public and private investing, deal structuring, investment banking, equity capital markets, equity research, and bench research – both basic science and applied.

Source: Biolinq Receives $4.75M

Arch Oncology Raises in $50M Series B

Arch Oncology Raises in $50M Series B

BRISBANE, CA, Clinical-stage immuno-oncology company announced a successful $50 million Series B financing.

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Arch Oncology, Inc., a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company focused on the discovery and development of best-in-class anti-CD47 antibody therapies, today announced a successful $50 million Series B financing. The Company plans to use the proceeds from this financing to advance its anti-CD47 antibody AO-176’s ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial in select solid tumors, as well as its pipeline.This financing included Arch Oncology’s existing investors, RiverVest Venture Partners, Roche Venture Fund, and 3×5 Partners, and was led by new investor Lightchain (Scottrade Founder and former CEO Rodger Riney’s family office).

“Our investors share our commitment to the exciting work we are doing to develop best-in-class antibodies aimed at improving treatment options for patients with cancer,” said Julie M. Cherrington, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Arch Oncology. “This financing supports our ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial for AO-176, our highly-differentiated anti-CD47 antibody, as we continue to dose patients. Additionally, these proceeds enable us to advance our discovery-stage pipeline. With the backing of our investors and the hard work of our experienced team, we look forward to developing new cancer treatment options for patients.”

“Over the past year, the Arch Oncology team under Julie’s leadership has successfully executed on plans to advance AO-176 from the laboratory, through IND submission, and into the clinic,” said John McKearn, Ph.D., Managing Director, RiverVest Venture Partners and Chairman of the Board of Arch Oncology. “We believe AO-176 has a best-in-class profile among agents in the anti-CD47 space and we are excited to see the progress advancing the pipeline.”

About Arch Oncology

Arch Oncology, Inc. is a privately-held, clinical-stage immuno-oncology company focused on the discovery and development of best-in-class antibody therapies for the treatment of patients with cancer. The Company’s next-generation anti-CD47 antibodies are highly differentiated, with the potential to improve upon the safety and efficacy profile relative to other agents in this class. Arch Oncology’s lead product candidate AO-176 is in a Phase 1 clinical trial for the treatment of patients with select solid tumors. In addition, the Company is advancing a number of pipeline programs, including anti-signal regulatory protein (SIRP) antibodies. Arch Oncology’s leadership team has successfully developed new drugs for patients before and is backed by leading investors, including RiverVest Venture Partners, Roche Venture Fund, 3×5 RiverVest Partners II-B, and Lightchain. For more information please visit www.archoncology.com.

Source: Arch Oncology Raises in $50M Series B

Radar raises $16 million to automate inventory management with RFID and computer vision

Radar raises $16 million to automate inventory management with RFID and computer vision

Radar, a fledgling platform that combines radio frequency identification (RFID) with computer vision to help retailers automate inventory management and more, announced that it has raised $16 million in a round of funding from Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures, NTT Docomo Ventures, Align Ventures, Beanstalk Ventures, Colle Capital, Founders Fund Pathfinder, and Novel TMT.

The company said that a couple of its stealth customers — two undisclosed billion-dollar retailers — also invested in the round.

An estimated $1.1 trillion is lost each year to “inventory distortion,” defined as any situation in which a customer intent on buying an item isn’t able to due to misplaced or out-of-stock goods. It can also refer to a retailer having more stock than demand requires.

RFID tags have long been used by retailers in environments such as warehouses and distribution centers to expedite and automate the process of tracking and counting goods. The tags can be used to check boxes or pallets into a store or storage facility and even to track individual items (rather than the broader SKU) at any point in their journey. What may have once required several employees to manually check incoming or outgoing goods can be done with a simple scanning device. And unlike barcodes, RFID relies on low-power radio waves that don’t require line-of-sight to identify items.

But RFID isn’t a perfect solution for every scenario — for example, it may not be able to tell you the precise location of an RFID-tagged item, which could be essential in future retail outlets.

“RFID technology was originally designed to help retailers improve inventory management, but most solutions remain highly manual, limited in capability, or too expensive to deploy,” said Radar cofounder and CEO Spencer Hewett.

Moreover, the retail store of the future is a very different beast from that of years gone by. Amazon is doubling down on its cashierless Amazon Go outlets; Kroger and Microsoft recently announced a tie-up for connected, data-driven stores; and there are countless similar trials in the works elsewhere. Automation is the name of the game: A truly intelligent store knows where everything is and where everything isn’t.

And that is precisely what Radar wants to facilitate, with a proprietary platform encapsulating hardware and software that allows brick-and-mortar stores to keep pace with the Amazons of the world — not just in terms of automation, but also in meeting customer expectations.

“The rise of Amazon and direct-to-consumer brands has created unprecedented consumer expectations around speed and convenience,” Hewett added.

Six years in the making

Founded out of New York in 2013 by Hewett — a Thiel Fellow and Y-Combinator alum — Radar spent the first three years of its life in “solo R&D” mode as Hewett sought to refine his RFID localization technology.

Hewett brought on two cofounders in 2016 — Michael Murphy (COO) and Adam Blair (CTO) — to accelerate commercialization. Murphy was formerly head of RFID at Inditex (which owns Zara) throughout the Americas, while Blair was cofounder and CEO of Encinitas Laboratories, an engineering company that built Intel’s RFID products and that Intel went on to acquire outright.

Radar says its RFID technology is different from traditional RFID, as the company builds everything from the ground up using “proprietary signal processing methods and location algorithms” that improve the ability to identify an RFID tag in three dimensions.

Each Radar sensor also sports four built-in cameras, designed to work in conjunction with the RFID, which opens up additional possibilities. An accurate location reading combined with visual perception smarts allows stores to ascertain where everything is, which is required for item-level analytics and makes it easier to garner data from brick-and-mortar stores, as with ecommerce websites. Autonomous checkouts is another scenario that Radar hopes to cater to in future.

Above: Radar’s white sensor has RFID and computer vision technology

“We recognize the power of truly integrating RFID and Computer Vision,” Hewett said. “This is why we’ve gone through the effort of developing proprietary, advanced signal processing methods and a proprietary sensor that allows us to realize the benefits of both technologies. In doing so, we’ve created a scalable solution that not only solves inventory management but also enables ecommerce quality analytics and autonomous checkout in all retail stores.”

But that’s in the future — for now, Radar’s inaugural product is all about helping retailers keep tabs on their stock in real time.

“Retailers still don’t know exactly what they have in their stores, let alone where it is, and it’s costing them billions,” Hewett added. “By combining RFID and computer vision, we’ve created the only solution on the market that allows retailers to know exactly where all their products are in real time in 3D, from the floor of a fitting room to the highest stockroom shelf. This allows retailers to make every last unit available to all customers both in-store and online.”

Radar had previously raised just $600,000 in outside funding, but with an additional $16 million in the bank it will target its first commercial deployment with three undisclosed enterprise customers this year.

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Source: Radar raises $16 million to automate inventory management with RFID and computer vision

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