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OTONOMO

October 2018

Epsagon emerges from stealth with serverless monitoring tool

Epsagon, an Israeli startup, launched today with a new serverless tool that helps customers monitor infrastructure, even when they don’t know where or what that is.
That’s the nature of serverless of course. It involves ephemeral resources. Developers build... Link

OTONOMO
OTONOMO

October 2018

CNBC unveils its annual list of 100 promising start-ups to watch

The Upstart 100 is CNBC's exclusive list of promising young start-ups, featuring a diverse group of companies that are building

The Upstart 100 is CNBC's exclusive list of promising young start-ups, featuring a diverse group of companies that are building brands and breaking industry barriers on the path to becoming tomorrow's household names. Selected from more than 500 nominees, each one was scored on eight equally weighted quantitative metrics (read more about our methodology here).

While there's always focus on the billion-dollar-plus unicorns, there is now increasingly more investment activity taking place among younger start-ups. Venture capitalists poured a record $11.5 billion into early stage companies in the second quarter of 2018, according to PitchBook, while the average deal size reached a 10-year high of $18 million. Many companies that received some of that funding have made it onto this list.

The companies that made this year's Upstart 100 list represent nearly every sector of the economy, from enterprise software and finance to insurance, health care and retail. They come from nine different countries and 13 U.S. states, and 19 of the 100 are led by women. All of them are less than five years old, but 28 are less than three years old and six were founded just last year.

And all of the 100 companies on the list have quickly become entrepreneurial success stories worth keeping an eye on.
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OTONOMO
Apprente

October 2018

Apprente Is Fully Automating Drive-Thru Ordering With Voice-Based Artificial Intelligence Agents

AI Technology Enables Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) to Automate Customer Orders, Improve Order Throughput and Customer

AI Technology Enables Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) to Automate Customer Orders, Improve Order Throughput and Customer Engagement Efficacy; Enterprise Solution Demoed at FSTec2018 Apprente, Inc., an artificial intelligence company transforming speech-based interaction between humans and customer service applications, will be demonstrating its intelligent enterprise solution at FSTec2018 (booth #715), being held at the Rosen Centre Hotel (9840 International Drive) in Orlando, Fla., October 1-3.

Apprente helps businesses and their employees minimize customer wait times, boost service productivity and improve consumer experiences. The company is currently focused on the QSR space, developing systems that completely automate customer food ordering processes at drive-thru stations, kiosks and on mobile devices.

“Research shows that more than half of all fast food revenue is generated by drive-thrus,” said Itamar Arel, Ph.D., CEO and founder of Apprente. “But fast food is not always fast and bottlenecks at ordering stations result in lost sales. Our conversational agents deliver human-like interactions with technology-driven efficiencies, allowing restaurants to improve customer engagement. With virtual agents, QSRs can easily improve order throughput and menu order fulfillments, and shorten queue lines by leveraging multiple drive-thru stations.”

Unlike conventional speech-to-text solutions that transcribe audio signals, Apprente’s patented sound-to-meaning technology leverages proprietary artificial intelligence mechanisms for learning and processing of speech signals to directly infer meaning from audio.

The company’s virtual agents provide an engaging, informative, natural language understanding of complex conversations, including handling corrections and revisions to ordered items, such as, "Can you make that first drink extra-large?" Additionally, Apprente’s solution offers a more consistent and pleasurable customer service experience with its virtual agents never sounding tired, annoyed, unhappy or angry.

“Our technology is closer to how the human brain processes and understands speech,” Arel said. “Audio signals are administered and directly invoke representations in Apprente’s models that are mapped onto decisions, enabling faster, more robust human-machine interaction.”

Apprente’s domain-customized conversation simulator augments collected data with realistic synthesized samples, which enables a high degree of accuracy, as well as easy introduction of custom words into the order-dictionary.

Additional features of the technology include:

  • Robustness – Operational in challenging real-world conditions, including noisy environments and poor language and grammar used by customers.
  • Real-time engagement – Deployable in diverse settings, without relying on uninterrupted cloud connectivity or heavy computing hardware.
  • Customization – Compatible with legacy infrastructures ranging from point-of-sale platforms to call center systems.
  • Natural interaction – Eliminates the need for wake words or the requirement to speak carefully and clearly.
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Axonize

April 2018

Axonize Wins Deutsche Telekom Investment for Innovative IoT Orchestration Platform as Part of a $6 Million Round A

Offers unique service provider features, including cross-application orchestration and unbeatable development times per application

Offers unique service provider features, including cross-application orchestration and unbeatable development times per application

BONN, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Axonize, an Israeli start-up company specializing in IoT services based on Microsoft Azure, has secured a substantial investment from Deutsche Telekom. The $6 million Round A was led by Israeli Venture Capital firm Meron Capital and included existing investors StageOne Ventures and U.S.-based Cornerstone Venture Partners.

Axonize and its IoT orchestration platform were chosen for this strategic investment following a rigorous selection process, due to its unique service provider capabilities that include cross-application orchestration and management, and very fast development times per application.

“Axonize has developed a unique IoT orchestration platform which addresses our and our customers’ IoT requirements,” said Anette Bronder, head of Digital and Security Department of Deutsche Telekom. “Apart from our investment, we see great collaboration potential because Axonize ideally complements Deutsche Telekom Group’s IoT platform ecosystem worldwide.”

“We are excited to continue investing in Axonize in this funding round. We have seen the management team take this company from an idea to accomplishing impressive milestones. This investment by Deutsche Telekom is another vivid demonstration of their ability to create substantial value for service providers,” said Tal Slobodkin, board member at Axonize and Managing Partner at StageOne Ventures.

“The backing of Deutsche Telekom for our IoT orchestration platform is a strong validation for our unique service provider capabilities,” said Janiv Ratson, CEO of Axonize. “Their IoT business is both visionary and extremely practical and will have a transformative impact on digitization of their enterprise customers.”

Axonize is purpose-built for IoT service providers. Among its unique capabilities is the ability to orchestrate, connect, and manage multiple IoT applications, granting service providers management capabilities across all applications. The company has a unique architecture based on a pre-built, highly flexible AnyAPP™ application layer that resides on a robust and secure Microsoft Azure cloud.

Instead of developing an entire application for every customer, its pre-built application can be customized to specific customer needs. This reduces IoT build time to a handful of days, rather than months, enabling IoT service providers to offer their customers a much higher ROI on IoT projects. Another benefit of the architecture is that Axonize is completely open to any sensor, hardware, protocol, or system from any industry.

Axonize will use the funding from this round to invest in further enhancement of its platform and accelerate the ramp-up of its sales team. Deutsche Telekom is demonstrating its IoT orchestration capabilities based on the Axonize platform at Hannover Messe April 23-27 in hall 6, booth F16.

About Axonize Axonize offers an IoT orchestration platform purpose-built to provide speed and scale for service providers developing and managing IoT applications. Based on a unique multi-application architecture that requires configuration rather than development, launching a full-fledged IoT project on Axonize requires only days, not months, and yields high ROI. www.axonize.com Add News Story here

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Epsagon

March 2018

Serverless application monitoring co Epsagon raises $4.1m

The Israeli company's AI technology swiftly identifies where the problems are located, providing customers with 100% visibility into their systems.

The Israeli company's AI technology swiftly identifies where the problems are located, providing customers with 100% visibility into their systems.

Israeli serverless application monitoring company Epsagon has announced the completion of a $4.1 million seed round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, StageOne Ventures and Ariel Maislos. The proceeds will be used to expand R&D efforts and develop the Tel Aviv-based company's marketing and sales units.

Founded in 2017 by IDF cyber intelligence unit veterans, Epsagon provides automated end-to-end performance monitoring technology for serverless architectures. The startup has built an artificial intelligence-powered performance monitoring platform for serverless architectures that can predict performance issues before they occur, allowing any company, large and small, to eliminate downtime by proactively identifying and flagging potential problems.

Epsagon’s AI technology swiftly identifies where the problems are located, providing customers with 100% visibility into their systems, enabling them to understand how different events are connected as well as the ability to quickly troubleshoot, and eliminate, issues. Epsagon cofounder and CEO Nitzan Shapira said, “For serverless architecture, the name of the game today is all about understanding what is going on inside your system in a manner which not only gives you the ability to easily troubleshoot when needed, but that can predict problems you don’t even know exist yet. We have built a dedicated solution that answers the unique needs that serverless architectures demand - and the feedback we have received from our pilot customers indicates that we are solving a major challenge for their respective businesses.”

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 8, 2018

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Otonomo

February 2018

An Israeli Startup Takes on Google

The road to profits is paved with good data.
Every hour, a modern car processes about 25 gigabytes of information —

The road to profits is paved with good data.
Every hour, a modern car processes about 25 gigabytes of information — the equivalent of about seven full-length high-definition movies — on everything from engine temperature and tire pressure to what’s playing on the radio. For automakers, the question is how to turn that into revenue. An Israeli startup claims to have the answer.

Otonomo, which announced $3 million in funding from NTT Docomo Ventures Inc. on Tuesday, has spent the past three years figuring out how to collect, package and sell such data to insurers, retailers, city planners and others willing to pay for it. In return, it takes a percentage of sales — similar to how Apple Inc. and Google operate their app stores. More than 2 million cars are already on Otonomo’s platform, a number that it says will reach 5 million by year-end.

"There is one simple rule with marketplaces all across the board — one takes 80 percent and the rest are left with 20,” said Ben Volkow, Otonomo’s chief executive officer and co-founder. “The way to become that one is to get as many cars on the platform as fast as possible and become dominant.”

Daimler AG said last year that it’s testing the startup’s cloud-based platform, and Otonomo said it’s planning to unveil a commercial pilot agreement with a Japanese auto manufacturer within three months. The Herzliya-based company said 10 automakers and 11 auto-related companies are providing data in pilot programs. Including NTT Docomo Ventures’ investment, Otonomo has raised about $41 million in funding. Previous backers include Bessemer Ventures and Dell Technologies Capital.

The market for automotive connectivity services will be worth $750 billion by 2030, according to McKinsey & Co. While carmakers have poured billions into developing connected cars, they’re concerned Google and other software-driven companies will control the flow of profits. Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corp., has said that connected-car data could be the automaker’s biggest potential source of new revenue and is building its own telematics system.

“It really is a necessary and lucrative angle,” said Kevin Tynan, auto analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “The strength of this approach is that Otonomo itself doesn’t monetize the data, they merely gather, aggregate and process it. And there will be more and more of it as the industry tries to achieve profitable self-driving and ride-share business models.”

Otonomo has developed technology to make it easier to distribute and use connected-car data by securing, anonymizing, standardizing, and aggregating information within a labyrinth of regional regulations. Insurers were one of the earliest buyers of data on Otonomo’s marketplace. They already offer lower premiums to drivers willing to install data-reading hardware or download data-tracking apps. Such services let them offer incentives to drivers who don’t drive too fast, or save on towing fees by detecting mechanical issues early.

Otonomo said it’s conducting trials with two ride-hailing companies that want to use data to do things such as matching riders with cars that have sufficient gas for the trip. Utility companies are monitoring batteries in electric vehicles to manage congestion at charging stations, while hedge funds say they will pay for data that can help understand trends in retail and housing markets.

Otonomo isn’t the only company looking to cash in. Verisk Analytics Inc. is also offering telematics data to insurance companies in the U.S., while Microsoft Corp. and International Business Machines Corp. have unveiled their own connected-car platforms that leverage their expertise in machine learning and cloud services.

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