[Nexa3D in Business Wire] Nexa3D Partners with Siemens to Automate Additive Manufacturing for Ultrafast Polymer Production

  • Partnership underscores both companies’ commitment to prepare AM for Industry 4.0 through innovative collaborations, open architecture and digital twin predictive operability and serviceability
  • Nexa3D’s entire Quantum Laser Sintering (QLS) product line is standardized to Siemens advanced factory automation and edge computing technologies
  • Planned commercial Q1 2021 delivery for Nexa3D’s QLS™350 Polymer 3D printer, powered by Siemens automation controls

Read more here.

The post [Nexa3D in Business Wire] Nexa3D Partners with Siemens to Automate Additive Manufacturing for Ultrafast Polymer Production appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

OurCrowd Blog

JupiterOne raises $19M Series A to automate cyber asset management

Asset management might not be the most exciting talking topic, but it’s often an overlooked area of cyber-defenses. By knowing exactly what assets your company has makes it easier to know where the security weak spots are.

That’s the problem JupiterOne is trying to fix.

“We built JupiterOne because we saw a gap in how organizations manage the security and compliance of their cyber assets day to day,” said Erkang Zheng, the company’s founder and chief executive.

The Morrisville, North Carolina-based startup, which spun out from healthcare cloud firm LifeOmic in 2018, helps companies see all of their digital and cloud assets by integrating with dozens of services and tools, including Amazon Web Services, Cloudflare and GitLab, and centralizing the results into a single monitoring tool.

JupiterOne says it makes it easier for companies to spot security issues and maintain compliance, with an aim of helping companies prevent security lapses and data breaches by catching issues early on.

The company already has Reddit, Databricks and Auth0 as customers, and just secured $ 19 million in its Series A, led by Bain Capital Ventures and with participation from Rain Capital and its parent company LifeOmic.

As part of the deal, Bain partner Enrique Salem will join JupiterOne’s board. “We see a large multi-billion-dollar market opportunity for this technology across mid-market and enterprise customers,” he said. Asset management is slated to be a $ 8.5 billion market by 2024.

Zheng told TechCrunch the company plans to use the funds to accelerate its engineering efforts and its go-to-market strategy, with new product features to come.

Startups – TechCrunch

[Kryon in Thomas Net News] Latest Process Discovery Software Can Decide Which Processes to Automate in Minutes

  • Offers Console X that delivers immediate insights into bot performance and automatically troubleshoots any issues
  • Dynamic process context has the ability to account for any changes in processes as they occur
  • Ability to support data collection for thousands of users in real-time and bots are utilized too increasing ROI

Read more here.

The post [Kryon in Thomas Net News] Latest Process Discovery Software Can Decide Which Processes to Automate in Minutes appeared first on OurCrowd Blog.

OurCrowd Blog

Reflect wants to help you automate web testing without writing code

Reflect, a member of the Y Combinator Summer 2020 class, is building a tool to automate website and web application testing, making it faster to get your site up and running without waiting for engineers to write testing code, or for human testers to run the site through its paces.

Company CEO and co-founder Fitz Nowlan says his startup’s goal is to allow companies to have the ease of use and convenience of manual testing, but the speed of execution of automated or code-based testing.

“Reflect is a no-code tool for creating automated tests. Typically when you change your website, or your web application, you have to test it, and you have the choice of either having your engineers build coded tests to run through and ensure the correctness of your application, or you can hire human testers to do it manually,” he said.

With Reflect, you simply teach the tool how to test your site or application by running through it once, and based on those actions, Reflect can create a test suite for you. “You enter your URL, and we load it in a browser in a virtual machine in the cloud. From there, you just use your application just like a normal user would, and by using your application, you’re telling us what is important to test,” Nowlan explained.

He adds, “Reflect will observe all of your actions throughout that whole interaction with that whole browser session. And then from those actions, it will distill that down into a repeatable machine executable test.”

Nowlan and co-founder Todd McNeal started the company in September 2019 after spending five years together at a digital marketing startup near Philadelphia, where they experienced problems with web testing first-hand.

They launched a free version of this product in April, just as we were beginning to feel the full force of the pandemic in the U.S, a point that was not lost on him. “We didn’t want to delay any longer and we just felt like, you know you got to get up there and swing the bat,” he said.

Today, the company has 20 paying customers, and he has found that the pandemic has helped speed up sales in some instances, while slowing it down in others.

He says the remote YC experience has been a positive one, and in fact he couldn’t have participated had they had to show up in California as they have families and homes in Pennsylvania.  He says that the remote nature of the current program forces you to be fully engaged mentally to get the most out of the program.

“It’s just a little more mental work to prepare yourself and to have the mental energy to stay locked in for a remote batch. But I think if you can get over that initial hump, the information flow and the knowledge sharing is all the same,” he said.

He says as technical founders, the program has helped them focus on the sales and marketing side of the equation, and taught them that it’s more than building a good product. You still have to go out there and sell it to build a company.

He says his short-term goal is to get as many people as he can using the platform, which will help them refine their ability to automate the test building. For starters, that involves recording activities on-screen, but over time they plan to layer on machine learning and that requires more data.

“We’re going to focus primarily over the next six to 12 months on growing our customer base — both paid and unpaid — and I really mean that we want people to come in and create tests. Even if they [use the free product], we’re benefiting from that creation of that test,” he said.

Startups – TechCrunch

DeepSource announces $2.6M seed round to automate static code analysis

DeepSource, a member of the Winter 2020 Y Combinator cohort, announced a $ 2.6 million seed investment today. The company is building a solution to help developers automate static code analysis to find certain errors before going through human code review.

645 Ventures led the round with help from Y Combinator, FundersClub, Pioneer Fund, Liquid 2 Ventures and a slew of individual investors. The company had previously raised $ 140,000 in pre-seed capital.

DeepSource is taking advantage of a process called static analysis. Company co-founders Jai Pradeesh and Sanket Saurav are software engineers, and saw the static analysis tools that ship with language packages like Python and Go as overly complex and hard to use. Pradeesh said that as a result, most developers have not embraced them.

“What we’re trying to do is use static analysis to figure out if we can automate the objective parts of the code review. […] Whenever a software developer makes a commit or introduces any change in code, DeepSource automatically runs analysis on that code. It then flags issues like security issues, anti-patterns, progress performance issues and things like that,” Pradeesh explained.

By automating parts of the review process, it allows the human code reviewers to concentrate on the less objective parts of the review and find myriad issues before it even goes to human review. DeepSource gives the developer a report with the error and an explanation of how to fix it.

But the founders recognized the drudgery of constantly repairing the same sorts of errors over and over. So they created an automated repair tool called Autofix that goes through and fix a set of common errors automatically for the developer.

Autofix in action. Image Credit: DeepSource

While Pradeesh says the automation tool only covers around 12% of errors so far, part of the investment will go toward helping build out additional coverage. For now, the company supports Python and Go programming languages, but plans to add additional languages over time. It already released a Ruby on Rails version a couple of months ago in beta, and support for JavaScript is on the way, he said.

The company currently has 12 people, including the two co-founders, based in Bangalore in India, but has plans to eventually move to the U.S. when the pandemic allows. It also plans to hire another 10-15 people over the next 12-18 months, primarily in engineering. The startup is working with YC advisors on building a diversity plan now, understanding that it is at a pivotal point in its evolution.

He says that the YC experience taught him and his co-founder about building more refined user personas for design and marketing purposes. Instead of broadly looking at the market as all developers, they could begin to focus on different aspects of that pool, like a large team versus an engineering manager. He said they also learned to explore usage data to understand things like what kinds of errors were most common, which helped inform the creation of the Autofix feature.

Being part of YC also helped them when they had to leave the office and go remote earlier this year due to the pandemic. Pradeesh admitted he had no experience running a remote team and his YC advisors helped him get comfortable with the process to the point they have good systems in place now.

“We put in these separate processes so that we do these bi-weekly sprints, and have learned ways to make sure everybody in the team communicates. Now that we have started putting these processes in place, the team is getting more and more used to it,” he said.

Startups – TechCrunch

Ethyca raises $13.5M to help businesses automate data privacy and compliance

The upcoming CCPA regulations coming into effect in the U.S. have put a renewed focus on how companies online are handling the issues of data privacy and compliance. Today a startup that’s built a platform to help them navigate those waters more easily is announcing a round of funding to meet that demand.

Ethyca, which lets organisations both identify where sensitive data may be used and then provides an easy set of API tools to create permissions, reporting and analytics around it, has raised $ 13.5 million in financing after picking up a number of major companies, including some high-profile tech companies, as customers.

The crux of the issue that Ethyca is tackling is that online privacy compliance has become a critical issue, in part because of regulations, but mainly because the online world has, before anyone had a chance to blink, become a critical component of our lives, so getting things wrong can be disastrous.

“Move fast and break things sounds good on a T-shirt, but the web is effectively society infrastructure now,” explained co-founder and CEO Cillian Kieran, who hails from Ireland but now lives in New York. “If you met a bridge builder wearing a t-shirt saying that you’d panic. So despite the omnipresence of tech we don’t have the tools to deal with privacy issues. The aim here is to build safe systems, and we provide the data and data maps to do that.”

The funding comes on the back of a seed round Ethyca raised in July 2019 and brings the total raised to about $ 20 million. 

IA Ventures, Affirm and PayPal co-founder Max Levchin’s SciFi VC, CAA co-founder Michael Ovitz, Warby Parker co-founders Neil Blumenthal and Dave Gilboa, Harry’s co-founder Jeff Raider, Allbird’s co-founder Joey Zwillinge, Behance co-founder Scott Belsky, former Chief Data Scientist of the US Office of Science and Technology Policy DJ Patil, Lachy Groom and Abstract Ventures make up the long list of high-profile names and firms that are a part of this latest round, which speaks to some of the traction and attention that New York-based Ethyca has had to date.

On the enterprise side, the company works with a number of large tech businesses, including banks and some major tech companies that don’t want their names disclosed, to help them both better map personal data within their systems, as well as create better workflows for extracting that information when it’s requested either by a user, or for the purposes of reporting for data compliance regulations, or more often to make sure that when new products are being built, they take that existing personal data into account comply with data policies around it.

If it sounds odd that a tech company might need to turn to a third-party startup for privacy services, it’s not so strange. Even at big tech companies, which would have spent years and millions of dollars preparing for privacy regulations, the complexity has meant that not all use cases can be accounted for.

On the smaller end of the scale, it also has a number of well-known brands, like luggage company Away, Parachute Home and Aspire IQ, as well a number of other smaller businesses implementing its tools.

As Kieran describes it, while there are already others out there building tools to navigate data protection and privacy regulations like CCPA and GDPR in Europe (OneTrust and DataGuard being two in the startup arena that have raised big rounds), the aim of Ethyca is to build a layer that makes it quick and relatively easy to implement a compliance layer into a system.

The company has APIs but also now has introduced a self-service version of its product for smaller businesses, which he says means that “any customer can turn it on and follow the automated process in a TurboTax type of way.”

CCPA compliance can take 8-10 weeks to implement, and you often need consultants and more technical talent to get the work done and run services afterwards, he said. “Now it can be done in as little as an hour for an average midsized business.” Larger companies may take a few days, he added.

Kieran and his co-founder Miguel Burger-Calderon know first-hand about some of the issues that brands and other online businesses might face when it comes to identifying what kind of data might fall under these newer regulations, and the challenges of navigating that once you do. BrandCommerce, a previous company that the two founded, helps brands and businesses build and run D2C operations online. (You can also see, therefore, why Ethyca may have in part picked up the particular investors that it has.)

“Companies can no longer simply strive to be compliant and get by – enterprises need to think long-term and show their customers that they can be trusted with their data,” said Roger Ehrenberg of IA Ventures in a statement. “Forward-thinking companies have recognised the value of Ethyca’s product to their bottom line as you can see from looking at the growing set of blue-chip brands and technology customers so far.”


Startups – TechCrunch

TaxProper raises $2M to automate getting your property taxes lowered

If you own your home, how much do you pay for property taxes? Too much? Sounds about right.

If you disagree with how much you’re paying in property taxes, you can appeal the assessment. Most people don’t, though — perhaps because they are unaware they can, or because they just don’t have the time to deal with the lawyers and paperwork.

TaxProper, a company out of Y Combinator’s Summer 2019 batch, has raised $ 2 million to simplify the process. The round was led by Khosla Ventures, backed by Global Founders Capital, Clocktower Ventures and a handful of angel investors.

Once you’ve punched in your address, TaxProper’s algorithm looks at the assessments of similar homes in your surrounding area, looking at things like size, number of rooms, construction materials, etc.

If the algorithm determines that you’re paying more than your share, they generate the required paperwork and send it off to the county. The company estimates that their part of the process takes 3-5 minutes (after which you’re waiting on the county’s response, which they say takes 6-8 weeks).

They’re offering up two different pricing models, charging either a $ 149 up-front fee or 30% of total first-year tax savings. If their algorithm says your taxes can’t be lowered, you don’t pay — nor do you pay if the appeal gets denied. The company tells me they’re currently seeing an average per customer savings of around $ 700.

TaxProper’s two co-founders have a good bit of experience in the space of taxes and government. Geoff Segal was previously an actuarial statistician and research analyst for State Farm, while Thomas Dowling was a municipal finance advisor for Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. 

One thing to note: TaxProper is only up and running in select areas right now, as the company tests different strategies and makes sure they’re doing everything right region-by-region. It’s currently available in Chicago and the surrounding Cook County area, with plans to roll out “in the coming months” in New York and Texas.

Startups – TechCrunch

Locus Robotics raises another $40M as retailers increasingly look to automate

The COVID-19 pandemic will have a profound impact on robotics, as more companies look to automation as a way forward. While wide-scale automation had long seemed like an inevitability, the pandemic is set to accelerate the push as corporations look for processes that remove the human element from the equation.

Of course, Locus Robotics hasn’t had too much of an issue raising money previously. The Massachusetts-based startup, which raised $ 26 million back in April of last year, is adding a $ 40 million Series D to its funds. That brings the full amount to north of $ 105 million. This latest round, led by Zebra Technologies, comes as the company looks to expand operations with the launch of a European HQ.

“The new funding allows Locus to accelerate expansion into global markets,” CEO Rick Faulk said in a release, “enabling us to strengthen our support of retail, industrial, healthcare, and 3PL businesses around the world as they navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that they come out stronger on the other side.”

Locus has already seen good traction here in the States for its bin-moving robots. In February, the company announced that its robots have passed 100 million units picked. The event occurred at a DHL facility in Pennsylvania. The following month, DHL agreed to deploy 1,000 of the company’s robots in 2020. In April, UPS announced that it would be piloting Locus robots in its own facilities. 

Startups – TechCrunch

Northspyre Raises $7.5M to Automate Workflows and Unlock Data for Real Estate Development

While working as a commercial real estate developer, William Sankey was convinced there was a better way to manage complex, multi-million-dollar projects that didn’t involve paper-based workflows, data entry, filing cabinets, and “gut feelings”. He cofounded Northspyre, a cloud intelligence platform that automates workflow and reveals data insights for the CRE industry. AlleyWatch caught up with Sankey to learn more about the company’s product, traction, and recent funding round.

London-based Greyparrot nabs €2 million to automate recycling sorting

Today British AI tech startup Greyparrot has raised around €2 million to tackle the growing waste crisis, by introducing digitisation and automation to recycling. The round was led by Speedinvest, a leading early-stage industrial tech investor, with participation from Force Over Mass. The new funds will be used to further develop and scale Greyparrot’s solution across global markets, setting the company up to revolutionise the recycling industry with artificial intelligence.

Only 14% of waste is recycled, due to inefficient recycling systems, rising labour costs, and strict quality requirements imposed on recycled material. On a global scale to date, 60% of the 2 billion tons of solid waste produced each year ends up in open dumps and landfill, causing major environmental impact. Additionally, less than 1% of waste is monitored and audited, as this expensive manual process is difficult to scale and provides little insight into facilities. 

Greyparrot, founded in 2019, provides AI-driven waste recognition software to monitor and sort waste at scale. Their first product, an Automated Waste Monitoring System, is currently deployed on moving conveyor belts in sorting facilities to measure large waste flows. The system automatically identifies different types of waste, providing composition information and analytics to help facilities increase recycling rates. 

The company launched last year, at a time when the waste management industry was on the cusp of its biggest transformation. Regulation banning waste exports to China and the introduction of strict recycling targets caused an urgent need to recycle locally and much more efficiently. Alongside this, consumer concerns over climate change have been on the rise. The opportunity for Greyparrot is clear, and the startup’s goal is to become the most accurate and widely used waste recognition software to unlock the financial value of waste, which will, in turn, keep our planet clean for generations to come. 

“One of the key problems we are solving is the lack of data. We see increasing demand from consumers, brands, governments and waste managers for better insights to transition to a more circular economy. There is an urgent opportunity to optimise waste management with further digitisation and automation using deep learning,” Mikela Druckman, co-founder and CEO of Greyparrot.

The startup has already partnered with the largest recycling system integrator in South Korea, ACI, who design, build and maintain 60% of government-owned Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) and Mechanical Biological Treatment Facilities (MBT) in the country. Managing Director, Harrison Kim, said: “AI-enabled machine vision is needed to detect materials that current machineries cannot. This software gives us data insights to maximise our material recovery” .

Marie-Hélène Ametsreiter, Lead Partner at Speedinvest Industry, said: “Waste is not only a massive market – it builds up to a global crisis. With an increase in both world population and per capita consumption, waste management is critical to sustaining our way of living. Greyparrot’s solution has proven to bring down recycling costs and help plants recover more waste. Ultimately it unlocks the value of waste and creates a measurable impact for the environment.”