Category: Finance

Fetch AI secures $40 million funding with a focus on Autonomous Agents and Decentralized Machine Learning.

Web3 infrastructure provider Fetch AI has secured a $40 million investment in a funding round led by technology incubator and Web3 investment firm DWF Labs. This injection of capital aims to propel intelligent agent and distributed blockchain technology forward.

Fetch AI’s ultimate objective is to address the challenges faced by consumers who navigate numerous apps to access various services, often incurring convenience fees along the way. Their mission is to eliminate intermediaries, ensure fair compensation for services, and help end-users save money.

Andrei Grachev, managing partner at DWF Labs, emphasized Fetch AI’s pioneering role in automating Web3 systems and reshaping traditional business models. He highlighted that these intelligent agents not only possess learning and predictive capabilities but also possess the capability to take tangible actions to execute meaningful real-world tasks.

Through its utilization of blockchain technology, Fetch AI facilitates value transfers and serves as a coordinating mechanism for autonomous agents to initiate transactions. The agreements forged among these agents are then securely recorded on the Fetch blockchain using FET, the platform’s native cryptocurrency. FET plays a crucial role in compensating agents for their services and covering transaction costs.

Core Fetch AI features

The company has engineered a comprehensive technological foundation comprising several pivotal elements:

In the realm of AI and machine learning, the company has pioneered CoLearn—a collective learning protocol facilitating collaborative work on machine learning (ML) models while preventing data leakage.

Furthermore, the company is actively in the process of creating the Axim platform, a managed and hosted version of CoLearn tailored for enterprise clients.

In the domain of autonomous agents, Fetch AI has introduced two pioneering frameworks: the Autonomous Economic Agent framework and the Microagent framework. These frameworks empower the development of peer-to-peer agent-based applications.

In the Web3 sphere, the company boasts its own layer-1 blockchain network, built upon the Cosmos SDK. Additionally, they provide a suite of tools, including the Fetch browser extension wallet, the Cosmpy Python library for crafting Cosmos Dapps, and the Jenesis CLI tool for initializing and testing CosmWasm contracts across various CosmWasm chains.

Furthermore, the company is embarking on the release of product demonstrators that seamlessly integrate all of these foundational components.

Bosch joins in on Fetch Foundation

This week marked the launch of Fetch AI’s latest support feature within the Fetch wallet, introducing Fetchbot, an advanced agent technology. Fetchbot is specifically engineered to empower the wallet with cutting-edge functionalities, including decentralized finance (DeFi) automation and seamless integration with the GPT-based large language model (LLM) API, facilitating the processing of natural language queries related to Fetch.

In the near future, the company is poised to unveil Agentverse, an in-browser Integrated Development Environment (IDE) designed for crafting Fetch microagent applications. Agentverse will also introduce a mailbox feature that streamlines agent message delivery and hosting, eliminating the necessity for Fetch agents to maintain a constant online presence. Additionally, the company has plans to introduce other showcases of its agent technology within the DeFi domain.

Notably, Bosch and Fetch AI have recently made a joint announcement regarding their collaboration to establish the Fetch Foundation. This foundation is set to focus on the research and development of Web3 technology for real-world applications across various sectors, including mobility, industry, and consumer-oriented domains. The governance structure of the foundation will follow a three-tier model, drawing inspiration from the decentralized innovation approach pioneered by the Linux Foundation. Bosch and Fetch AI will play pivotal roles in leading the management board of the foundation and are actively seeking further participation from industry stakeholders.

This AI startup secured $350 million for generative AI mastering all software tools and APIs.

Raising $350 million is no small feat for an AI startup in today’s competitive landscape. However, Adept AI, a company just one year old, has achieved this remarkable milestone. They have recently announced a new round of funding that highlights their vision to empower knowledge workers in optimizing their everyday software tools through the use of their generative AI.

Imagine effortlessly generating profit and loss columns in Google Sheets or setting up reminders in Salesforce with just a simple text command. Whether it’s simplifying internet browsing or streamlining tasks within complex enterprise software, Adept AI envisions a world where what used to require numerous clicks can now be accomplished swiftly through intuitive text prompts.

A new kind of foundation model

Instead of generating text like OpenAI’s ChatGPT or creating images like DALL-E, the San Francisco-based company Adept’s platform focuses on studying human interactions with computers. It specializes in developing AI models that can translate text commands into automated actions for complex software workflows. Adept’s flagship foundation model, ACT-1, excels at comprehending high-level natural language user requests within software tools and directly executing tasks on their behalf.

According to co-founder and CEO David Luan, “In recent years, we’ve witnessed the remarkable capabilities of giant foundation models for both language and images. Adept is harnessing this momentum to introduce a novel foundation model capable of executing actions within any software tool using natural language.” This statement was made in a press release.


Competing in the generative AI space

In the fiercely competitive landscape of generative AI startups, distinguishing oneself is paramount, especially when targeting knowledge workers.

Just this week, both Google and Microsoft have engaged in a head-to-head battle of generative AI announcements. Google unveiled its PaLM API and showcased enhancements to Google Workspace, while Microsoft has been rumored to unveil GPT-4 during the upcoming ‘Future of Work with AI’ event this Thursday. These developments serve as unmistakable indicators of Big Tech’s ongoing consolidation of power in the AI realm.

The success of Adept AI’s offerings in the long term remains uncertain, but investors like Workday Ventures are placing substantial bets on their potential.

Michael Magaro, Senior Vice President of Corporate Growth at Workday Ventures, commented on this partnership, stating, “Workday’s vision of harnessing AI and ML to enhance human capabilities and infuse greater intelligence into finance and HR aligns seamlessly with Adept’s mission to empower knowledge workers responsibly.”

Perdoceo, an education services firm, has successfully acquired the coding bootcamp institution Coding Dojo for a sum of $52.8 million.

Coding Dojo, the software engineering bootcamp operator headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, has been acquired by Perdoceo, a publicly traded company based in Illinois that owns online academic institutions, including Colorado Technical University and the American InterContinental University System.

The acquisition was finalized on December 1 and was disclosed in Perdoceo’s annual earnings report released last Thursday. The agreement entails an initial cash payment of $52.8 million, with the potential for an additional $15 million in payments contingent upon meeting specific financial performance targets.

Established in 2013, Coding Dojo specializes in training software engineers in various fields, such as computer programming, data science, and cybersecurity. Notably, it is ranked 40th on the GeekWire 200, an index of prominent Pacific Northwest startups.

In recognition of its commitment to supporting underserved communities and refugees, Coding Dojo was awarded the Geeks Give Back award at the annual GeekWire Awards last year. Since its inception, the bootcamp has provided $13 million in scholarships and tuition assistance.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Coding Dojo transitioned to an exclusively online business model but has subsequently reopened some of its physical locations. The company now operates under the umbrella of Colorado Technical University and no longer maintains physical offices.

Importantly, Coding Dojo will continue its day-to-day operations, retaining its existing brand and workforce of 194 employees. The company had previously licensed its courses to institutions worldwide and secured $10 million in venture debt in June.

Despite a rising demand for technical talent, access to university-level computer science education remains highly competitive. According to Course Report, there are over 500 code schools worldwide.

Richard Wang, the CEO and co-founder of Coding Dojo, previously held executive positions at Trupanion, a pet insurance company, and served as a chief of staff at Boeing. He also serves as a venture partner at NextGen Venture Partners.

Perdoceo boasts approximately 4,000 employees and reported revenues of $695.2 million in the previous year, marking a 0.3% increase from 2021.

Emphasizing the significance of left-shifting in app security, Build38 secures €13 million for its trust development kit.

Enterprise security’s weakest link is often identified as applications. The advent of cloud computing and the rise of hybrid work setups have cultivated an environment where applications stand as prime targets for cyber attackers. According to research, a significant 42% of organizations have encountered security incidents tied to unpatched mobile applications or devices.

Nevertheless, an increasing number of providers are stepping forward to bolster the defenses of applications against modern threat actors. One such player in this arena is Build38, a mobile security and application monitoring provider. Today, they have announced a successful €13 million funding raise as part of a Series A funding round, with Tikehau Capital leading the investment.

One of Build38’s key offerings, the Trusted Application Kit (TAK), is a software development kit crafted to seamlessly integrate with Android and iOS applications during their development phase. Its primary purpose is to incorporate threat detection capabilities directly into the application.

This funding announcement underscores the importance of shifting security practices to the early stages of development and integrating in-app protections. This strategic approach holds the potential to significantly diminish the likelihood of threat actors exploiting vulnerabilities in end-user devices, particularly at the network’s edge.


Security by design is the way forward

Build38’s announcement arrives at a time when cloud adoption is on the rise, and organizations are increasingly grappling with the reality of security threats. These threats not only target endpoints at the network’s perimeter but also extend to users’ personal mobile devices, especially in remote working setups.

“In this era of cloud computing, organizations are now acutely aware of and susceptible to attacks and threats that can originate from virtually anywhere,” remarked Christian Schläger, the CEO of Build38. “Whether you are a car manufacturer in China, a traditional commercial bank in Ghana, or a fintech company in the UK, all enterprises face similar threats from adversaries who exploit the fact that the concept of a ‘perimeter’ for infiltrating an organization’s network no longer stops where the service provider decides.”

He further explained, “Attackers can now easily reach individual users right in the palm of their hands, simply by downloading an app from an app store.”

Build38’s in-app protection employs artificial intelligence to detect any alterations, reverse engineering, or code manipulation within the app. This capability serves as a valuable complement to the security measures already offered by platforms like Google Play and the App Store.

Additionally, TAK possesses the capability to generate events and transmit data to an external Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) system when an app exhibits suspicious behavior. This empowers security teams to promptly identify potential breach attempts.

The mobile security market

Build38 operates within the mobile security market, a sector that was valued at $3.3 billion in 2020 and is anticipated to soar to $22.1 billion by 2030, reflecting a robust compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.1%.

In this competitive landscape, one of Build38’s prominent rivals is Zimperium, a mobile endpoint and application security provider that was acquired by Liberty Strategic Capital for $525 million last year. Zimperium’s tool offers real-time threat visibility, security measures, and compliance scanning capabilities. It excels in detecting hacker intrusion attempts on applications and seamlessly integrates with external UEM and XDR platforms.

Another notable contender is AppDome, which specializes in safeguarding Android and iOS applications through runtime protection, anti-debugging features, and anti-tampering mechanisms.

What sets Build38 apart from its competitors, as Schläger emphasizes, is its unique approach. Build38 combines a client-based solution that empowers apps to be self-defending with a backend component that enables real-time threat monitoring and mitigation. This comprehensive solution also provides detailed threat reporting for organizations, equipping their teams to proactively combat security threats.

Saviynt secures $205M, reaffirms importance of cloud-friendly IAM

Traditional on-premises identity management falls short of meeting today’s demands. Modern organizations require automated, cloud-compatible Identity Access Management (IAM) systems to effectively authenticate and authorize a large number of remote users. In decentralized work settings, agility is crucial.

One company that’s striving to establish a nimble cloud IAM system is Saviynt, a provider of identity and access governance solutions. Saviynt recently announced a successful fundraising round, securing $205 million from AB Private Credit Investors’ Tech Capital solutions group.

Saviynt’s Enterprise Identity Cloud (EIC) is a cloud-native, unified identity platform specifically crafted to streamline identity and access management across various domains, including workforce, enterprise applications, privileged accounts, and third-party identities, all within a single comprehensive solution.

This innovative approach empowers security teams to efficiently oversee the entire identity lifecycle, utilizing automated workflows to govern identities at scale across on-premises, hybrid, and multicloud environments.

Protecting identities in the cloud

Funding is being provided in response to the persistent struggle organizations face in safeguarding identities from malicious actors. Research indicates that within the past year, 80% of organizations have experienced breaches related to identity security.

One of the primary obstacles contributing to this security gap is the absence of necessary technologies and processes within organizations, hindering the consistent enforcement of access management controls across both on-premises and cloud environments.

Sachin Nayyar, CEO and founder of Saviynt, emphasized the critical role applications play in modern organizations and their pivotal role in digital transformation. Managing identity in the cloud presents a central challenge, involving the need for secure and dependable access control to resources, all while preserving user privacy and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. This challenge is amplified by the substantial growth in the number of identities, spanning employees, third parties, and machine identities. Additionally, it entails guarding against unauthorized access and preventing over-provisioned access. Furthermore, the integration and synchronization of identities across diverse cloud environments and on-premises systems can pose a significant challenge.

Reviewing the IAM market

Saviynt operates within the Identity and Access Management (IAM) market, a sector that was valued at $12.3 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $34.5 billion by 2028 as organizations grapple with increasing security and compliance challenges.

Among its notable competitors is SailPoint Technologies, a cloud-based IAM provider offering the SailPoint Identity Security Platform, incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning for real-time access discovery and automation. In the previous year, Thoma Bravo acquired SailPoint Technologies for $6.9 billion.

Another significant contender in this field is Okta, which provides the Workforce Identity Cloud solution. It features single sign-on, adaptive multifactor authentication, and lifecycle management capabilities. Okta anticipates generating total revenue of $1.8 billion in 2023.

Nayyar contends that Saviynt’s distinctive advantage over its rivals lies in its cloud-native approach to identity security. He stated, “Unlike traditional identity security providers like SailPoint, Saviynt offers a cloud-native, unified identity platform encompassing workforce, enterprise applications, privileged, and third-party identities. This approach delivers the optimal user experience for addressing a wide range of use cases with the highest return on investment and lowest total cost of ownership (TCO).”

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