This week in Software: Network management, data protection, and sharing solutions at the core of emerging partnerships among key enterprise players

Latest Industry Insights from Draup Braindesk

Customer experience is going through a steep transformation with software industries banking on Augmented Reality and IoT to bring new experiences on the table. The growth of AR on mobile has been significantly accelerated by the pandemic and its associated effects. With consumers around the world stuck at home, they consumed media and used their mobile devices more than ever before. 

Use case of Augmented Reality: 

  • Doritos has launched its ‘Make Your Play’ platform, a campaign aimed at encouraging music fans to return to events this summer as social distancing restrictions continue to ease. The campaign will utilize augmented reality (AR) technology developed by Poplar Studio and 8th Wall on interactive posters throughout the UK. 

  • AT&T and Facebook Reality Labs are joining forces to work on “collaborative video calling” as well as augmented reality experiences in Facebook’s apps. They’re using Spark AR, a platform from Facebook that powers AR experiences across devices and the company’s apps 

  • SightCall, a global leader of augmented reality (AR)-powered visual assistance, has partnered with Peak Scientific, a leading innovator and global expert in high-performance nitrogen and hydrogen gas generator solutions for use in laboratories around the world 

  • Smartify is an AR app that enables users to interact with the artwork in galleries and museums in real time. With a database of over 2.5 million pieces, the app can identify artwork in the real world and provide users with more information about the work on their mobile devices. 

Major Players have started adopting enterprise applications on a wide scale across for network management, data protection, and sharing solutions. 

  • In France, Atos and RingCentral have launched Unify Office.  Atos assisted in quickly implementing the RingCentral solution. Businesses of all sizes can connect and collaborate with ease utilizing industry-leading voice, video, team messaging, and fax capabilities via a single enterprise solution with Unify Office by RingCentral. 

  • Wipro and Smart Energy Water have formed a multi -year strategic partnership. This collaboration aims to create and deliver joint solutions that help enterprise clients in the services sector accelerate their digital transformation. 

  • UST made strategic partnership with ThinkIQ to develop a solution that integrates advanced visibility with process optimization capabilities to improve output yields. This should expand UST’s offerings to the core verticals of Retail, CPG, and Manufacturing, allowing for more efficient supply chain operations from source to consumption.

Latest Reports Published in Draup

Vertex, Inc Account Intelligence Report: Vertex, Inc focuses on providing Taxation solutions using new-age technologies and expand its products and services through several investments to provide high-end digital tax services for the consumers. Read More>> Account Intelligence Report: looks forward to focusing on smart innovation technology and improve its travel service offerings and driving the evolution of the travel industry. Read More>>

Key Funding Alert

Shopmonkey raises USD 75 Mn Series C to help auto repair shops streamline their business 
The company offers cloud-based shop management software designed for the auto repair industry. The company has raised the amount led by previous investors Bessemer Venture Partners and Index Ventures, as well as additional participation from returning investors Headline and I2BF, and new investor ICONIQ GrowthStart-up Spotlight. 
Read More>>

Startup Spotlight

Company – AutoRABIT
HQ Location – San Francisco Bay Area, USA
Total Funding – USD 27  Mn
About: AutoRABIT’s DevSecOps Platform enables Salesforce development teams to improve the quality of their releases at scale through a suite of CI/CD tools that enable teams to configure, build, test, and manage development environments and deployments. Read More>>

Key Signals in Enterprise Software

Mergers and Acquisitions
UK-based cybersecurity firm Avast in merger talks with NortonLifeLock
If the deal goes through, it will be a cash-and-share offer, Avast said. The company, however, added there was no certainty a deal would be agreed upon. The deal would help Tempe, Arizona-based NortonLifeLock, which primarily deals with consumer cyber safety, expand its focus to consumer software. Read More>>
Zoom acquires KIT’s spin-Off kites-
US-based Zoom Video Communications acquires kites GmbH, a spin-off from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) dedicated to developing real-time machine translation (MT) solutions. In addition, Zoom will invest in further research work at the Karlsruhe site and is also considering the establishment of an R&D center in Germany. Read More>>
Rockwell expands industrial cloud offering with USD 2.2 Bn Plex deal
Plex offers the only single-instance, multi-tenant SaaS manufacturing platform operating at scale, including advanced manufacturing execution systems, quality, and supply chain management capabilities. Read More>>
Microsoft is said to be buying cybersecurity company RiskIQ
The company has agreed to acquire RiskIQ, a security software maker, as the tech giant tries to expand its products and better protect customers amid a rising tide of global cyberattacks, according to people familiar with the matter. San Francisco-based RiskIQ makes cloud software for detecting security threats, helping clients understand where and how they can be attacked on complex webs of corporate networks and devices. Read More>>

ACI Worldwide and Swedbank team up to tackle card fraud 
The bank partnered with ACI to enhance its fraud platform with the help of ACI Fraud Management and has transitioned from a rules-based to a holistic fraud management approach. This process now applies insights from machine learning and shared data in addition to rules – to exempt low-risk transactions from the SCA requirements. Read More>>
Teladoc Health and Microsoft collaborate to create a unified practice experience for clinicians 
The combination of communications, collaboration, and workflows in Microsoft Teams with Teladoc Health’s medical-grade whole-person virtual care delivery solutions for hospitals and health systems will simplify how healthcare organizations and clinicians work by streamlining the technology and administrative processes associated with providing virtual care. Read More>>
Tattle and Punchh team up and empower restaurant operators to capture and leverage guest experience feedback
This partnership empowers mutually partnered restaurants to effortlessly uncover key operational improvements, resulting in tangible ways to elevate the guest experience, giving team members the data they need to increase positive guest sentiment, ultimately driving sales and transactions. Read More>>
Pine Labs, Atome to expand local ‘buy now pay later’ acceptance
This offering enables seamless, flexible installment payment options across thousands of merchant establishments in Malaysia that are already on the Pine Labs network. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift to digital payments in Malaysia, and a growing number of merchants are now integrating digital payment options at the point of sale. Read More>>
Executive Movement
Automation Anywhere appoints Sumit Johar as the company’s Chief Information Officer
Johar will lead and oversee the vision, strategy, and operations of Automation Anywhere’s IT department globally. He will provide strategic IT leadership and direction to all business units and functions while also fostering innovation and streamlining operations by maximizing the company’s internal use of its Automation 360 cloud-native RPA platform. Read More>>
FireEye appoints Erin Joe as SVP of strategy and alliances
Prior to FireEye, Joe was a top-ranking FBI executive driving federal cyber response strategies in partnership with the private sector. With six years in Senior Executive Service, Joe most recently served in the FBI’s Office of Private Sector, where she improved intelligence sharing and threat preparedness with Fortune 500 company C-suite executives and US and foreign government counterparts. Read More>>
Travelport recruits chief product and technology director
Tom Kershaw, who takes up the newly-created position, was most recently chief technology officer at independent advertising platform Magnite. Kershaw was also product management director for Google in the Asia Pacific region. Read More>>
BigCommerce climbs on Amazon Fulfillment Deal
The project will enable the Austin company’s US merchants to complete their orders more easily whether they sell on Amazon or not. BigCommerce said its merchants could now fulfill orders seven days a week, including 1-day, 2-day, and 3-to-5 business-day delivery. They can also display delivery promises at checkout, letting customers know when they will receive their orders. Read More>>
Swiss Re Corporate Solutions Surety launches DocuSign eSignature for General Indemnity Agreements
“As a leader in the Surety business, we are committed to providing cutting edge solutions for our customers,” said Steve Anderson, Head of Surety North America for Swiss Re Corporate Solutions. “The transition to electronic signatures will allow our customers to execute agreements more efficiently. We will continue to look at other digital enhancements moving forward.” Read More>>
IBM signs five-year deal with SpinTel to reduce wait times and improve customer experience
The company has announced a new five-year deal with SpinTel, an independent Australian telecommunications and internet service provider. The deal will use IBM’s hybrid cloud and Watson AI to improve customer experience, including reducing waiting times. Read More>>
Cleartrip inks multi-year agreement with Sabre
Focusing on advanced technology to spur growth, Cleartrip will be able to create compelling booking experiences for customers and provide an enhanced level of expertise to help people travel again.  One key feature of Sabre’s technology will be its Bargain Finder Max API, which will help Cleartrip create customized booking experiences for travelers by tailoring search results for the most relevant fares based on a range of itinerary preferences. Read More>>
Center setup and Expansion 
3M India takes 17,000 sq ft office space from WeWork in Bengaluru
The technology firm has taken a 17,000 sq ft area of flexible workspace for a two-year period for around 400 employees. With enterprises forming over 60 percent of its member base, WeWork said this deal reaffirms the potential created by the consistently rising demand for flexible workspaces amongst enterprises. Read More>>
AWS expands footprint in Latin America
The internet services arm of retail giant Amazon just opened an office in Peru, adding to its recently launched operation in Costa Rica, as well as to its commercial offices in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico. Read More>>
BigCommerce extends European presence
The company opened its first European office in the UK in 2018. It is now operating in the Netherlands, France, and Italy. The company’s expansion will create new roles in France, Italy, and the Netherlands to work directly with retailers in the region. Read More>>
DataBank expands its “DFW3” Dallas Fort Worth Data Center
As part of the expansion, DFW3, home of DataBank’s flagship Dallas area data center, has opened Data Hall 3 bringing an additional 12,000 square feet of raised flooring and an additional 1.5MW of power online. The facility provides access to ten on-site carrier POPs and to the two other major Dallas metroplex carrier hotels. Read More>>

Key Signals in Consumer Software

Mergers and Acquisitions
eBay to sell stake in Norway’s Adevinta to private equity firm Permira
The deal comes after Austria’s Federal Competition Authority (FCA) demanded eBay reduce its financial interest in Adevinta to no more than 33% to approve the tie-up of their global classified ads businesses. In the latest deal, eBay will sell 125 million shares, or 10.2%, to Permira, leaving the US firm with a 34% stake in the Adevinta. Read More>>
Google plans foray into Japanese cashless payments with pring acquisition
Google is reportedly in negotiations to acquire pring, a Japan-based cashless payments startup, for between JPY20 billion (USD 187.3 Mn ) and JPY30 billion (USD 281 Mn), according to Nikkei Asia. The acquisition would give Google access to pring’s vast partner network, which includes 50 national banks and major companies like 7-Eleven. The tech giant hopes to use pring to launch proprietary financial services in the country. Read More>>
Info Edge to acquire Axilly Labs, sells USD 50 Mn stake in Zomato
Axilly Labs, based in India, offers technical assessment services to clients for recruitment and learning purposes. According to Info Edge, the proposed acquisition would help the company to offer a new variety of services under its flagship brand helping the group to further consolidate its position in the online recruitment solutions segment.  Read More>>
Cox Automotive acquires FleetMaster and targets Europe
In a statement, the company said it had taken “a major step forward developing its mobility offering across Europe and its international business” through the acquisition. The company said the acquisition will enable it to expand its capabilities to customers across Europe who want access to the latest mobility services across international markets, including rental, hire, flexible access, subscription and leasing services. Read More>>

Airbnb partners with what3words to support UK staycations
 Airbnb has partnered with the proprietary geocode system to make it easier for anyone who wants to take advantage of the anticipated travel surge by hosting “unforgettable” stays, such as those based in remote locations in the Scottish lowlands, or around any one of the UK’s 15 national parks. Read More>>
Liquid Technologies partners with Facebook to build optical fiber network in DR Congo
Zimbabwean company Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Facebook announced that they are partnering to build an optical fiber network in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Through this network, the two partners initiate a digital corridor that will start from the center of the DRC and cross the rainforest to connect East Africa to the submarine cable 2Africa in the Atlantic Ocean. Read More>>
GoDaddy teams up with Google to help small businesses increase reach and boost online sales
This allows GoDaddy customers a way to get discovered across Google surfaces from GoDaddy’s Online Store. Without leaving their GoDaddy Online Store, customers are now able to automatically create a Google Merchant Center account, sync their catalog to create free product listings on Google, and promote their products on Google. Read More>>
Executive Movement
Amazon hires Tesco veteran Tony Hoggett to run stores
Hoggett has been with Tesco, the UK’s biggest retailer, for over 31 years and is currently chief strategy and innovation director. Hoggett started his career at Tesco as a 16-year-old trolley boy. Over three decades, he rose to become CEO Asia and then group chief operating officer before starting his latest role in April ’21. Read More>>
Instacart taps Facebook app head Simo as CEO
French-born Simo will replace co-founder Apoorva Mehta, who will take on the role of executive chairman and still be involved in day-to-day activities, Instacart said. Simo’s appointment comes at a crucial time for the nine-year-old startup, as expectations build for its public debut following a year in which its business grew four-fold due to the pandemic-driven surge in online grocery shopping. Read More>>
Uber picks former Tesco exec to run European delivery arm
Eve Henrikson, who spent years working for Britain’s biggest online grocer, is joining the owner of the world’s best-known ride-hailing app as regional general manager for Uber Delivery in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Ms. Henrikson’s appointment will come amid a deluge of investment in tech companies specializing in fast urban logistics. Read More>>
AT&T: Cloud deal with Microsoft validates virtualization
AT&T is shifting its mobile network traffic over to be managed by Microsoft Azure. It will start with AT&T’s 5G core. In turn, Microsoft is getting access to AT&T’s intellectual property. Microsoft is actually acquiring AT&T’s carrier-grade network cloud platform technology, which is what AT&T’s 5G core network runs on. Some AT&T employees presumably will be moving to Microsoft, which is making job offers to some. Read More>>
GoodRx to assist gig workers in pharmaceutical drug discounting deal with DoorDash
GoodRx has inked a deal with DoorDash to help gig and contract workers find prescription drugs at affordable prices. The deal with DoorDash follows a similar agreement GoodRx struck to serve members of USAA, which serves military veterans and their families with insurance and other financial services. Read More>>
Ubisoft joins as decentralized storage and computing network operator is using blockchain, the secure and transparent digital ledger, to deliver new kinds of services. Getting Ubisoft to assist with that job is an important milestone, said CEO Jonathan Schemoul in an interview with GamesBeat. Read More>>
Center setup and Expansion 
Reddit opens Sydney office in a bid to boost its ads platform
The company said in a statement that it has already partnered with local businesses, established brand partnerships, and is working with Australian-based communities and moderators to build out its local footprint. Located in Barangaroo, Sydney, Reddit’s new office will focus on Australian operations, with former Woolworths Group and Amazon executive David Ray acting as country manager. Read More>>
Retailer ASOS to spend USD 100 Mn to automate Georgia warehouse
The publicly held company, which has 1,000 employees, announced its plans recently. ASOS initially invested more than USD 40 Mn in the warehouse, which opened in 2018, saying it would grow to 1,600 workers. The company said it would create an unspecified number of new engineering and software development jobs.  Read More>>
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