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Vectice Raises $3M Revolutionizing Enterprise Management of AI and Data Science Initiatives

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Businesses have long begged for better enterprise management of AI and Data Information and Vectice is delivering on that promise, raising $3M for their data science initiatives.

Vectice, the cloud-based platform that powers data and AI initiative among F2000 Corporations in San Francisco, announced a $3M seed round co-led by Spider Capital and Crosslink Capital. Early executives from Salesforce, forming Global Founders Capital, have joined investors along with leading executives in the enterprise cloud and data science space.

Vectice will use the capital, developing its enterprise AI asset management and collaboration software platform for data science teams and business stakeholders within the data-centric architecture arena.

Michael Neril, Founder and Managing Partner of Spider Capital, said, “We invested in the Vectice team because we believe their vision to provide a system of record for data science and AI teams is a critical missing piece for enterprises and F2000 companies to organize and scale their AI initiatives. We are excited about partnering with such a seasoned founding team whose platform will help power and optimize the significant AI investment initiatives among global corporations, which is expected to produce tens of trillions in incremental global GDP over the next one to two decades.â€�

“Enterprises across many industries are launching AI initiatives that have the power to make a real impact on their businesses, but there are too few tools available to effectively build and scale AI applications,” says Phil Boyer, Principal at Crosslink Capital. “We believe there is a massive hole to fill in helping data science teams manage institutional knowledge and better collaborate with business groups, and that Vectice has the right team to do it. We are excited to support Vectice’s mission of accelerating AI adoption and impact in the enterprise.â€�

Vectice was founded by enterprise entrepreneurs Cyril Brignone and Gregory Haardt, to revolutionize the way data science teams work and collaborate in their organization. Data has become a primary and permanent asset in organizations requiring precise management that will be delivered by Vectice.

Data Science Teams will be enabled to better track these assets including AI models and institutional knowledge, collaborating with the rest of the enterprise. Brignone and Haardt will help businesses have a more positive and concrete impact on their AI investment.

“Gartner projects that 85% of companies’ AI projects will fail to create measurable business value for the enterprise,” says Vectice co-founder Gregory Haardt. “What people are starting to realize is that leveraging AI to develop better products for their customers represents not only a technological challenge, but also an organizational and cultural challenge, and increasingly, a strategic imperative.”

“To be successful and become AI-driven, companies need a solution to track all their AI assets and promote collaboration to align business owners and AI owners,” says Cyril Brignone, Vectice’s co-founder & CEO. “Successful AI-driven enterprises will focus on enabling their business to seamlessly consume AI and efficiently produce AI.”

Modern data science teams produce a rising compilation of assets, ranging from data sets, features, models, and many notes and experiments. The implementation of any given application and its assets will be around, valid and permanent, long after the model is gone. All of these assets are typically siloed and reside in different systems, and are rarely linked together — creating a lag-time and link disconnect for the context of their creation.

As Brignone points out — “The results will show in analytics teams often spend a significant amount of time determining which datasets are ‘modeling ready,’ what experiments have been run before, which features were used to train a given model, or trying to track down the ‘expert’ on a particular domain.”

Understanding how models feed into business initiatives is a whole other challenge for analytics teams, who often have to build up their understanding of business context by curating a collection of meeting notes, chat histories, shared documents, and emails — all with no unifying system.

Vectice will provide the unifying system software, helping those teams tasked with transforming customer and market data to help their companies develop better products. The Vectice software system will be providing helps for teams in such diverse fields as self-driving cars, novel therapies and drugs, risk scoring models for financial services firms and software to optimize industrial and manufacturing facilities, and more.

“Enterprise data science teams are expanding rapidly in terms of sizes, the complexity of tasks, and impact on profitability. Until Vectice, there has been no true commercial solution for managing business processes, simplifying knowledge transfer, increasing collaboration, and ensuring traceability to maximize speed to market, ROI, as well as minimize the risk of AI initiatives,” says Monica Richter, former Chief Data Officer of Dun & Bradstreet and Vectice investor.

“Data science will be core to every job function for future successful enterprises,” says Chet Kapoor, CEO of DataStax and Vectice investor. “The Vectice software will enable enterprises to create an AI knowledge catalog and promote internal collaboration needed to successfully scale their AI initiatives.”

Vectice

The Founders

Cyril Brignone ​has 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, R&D leader, and sales executive in the field of IoT and enterprise solutions. He was the CEO of Arrayent, a B2B IoT enterprise platform with a successful exit in 2017. Co-founder/COO of Vator.tv, an online portal for emerging startups. Previously a research scientist manager at HP Labs.

Gregory Haardt​ brings 20 years of experience delivering enterprise software & data/AI-driven products. He was the CTO of Lattice Engines, a late-stage startup, acquired by Dun and Bradstreet, focused on AI-driven SaaS solutions optimizing marketing and sales; and a product leader at Salesforce, focusing heavily on data science/ML. Previously, he launched the first API gateway in the market at Apigee.

About Vectice

​Vectice’s mission is to revolutionize the way enterprise data science teams track their assets, manage knowledge, and collaborate with the rest of the business. We are building a platform-agnostic AI assets management and collaboration software for enterprises to successfully scale their AI initiatives.

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Hacker Noon Adds Quantitative Social Proof and Web Monetization Standards

Hackernoon homepage 2020

Hacker Noon launched new functionality for contributing writers, and announced a strategic investment of $1M by Coil.

Less than a year ago, Hacker Noon replaced Medium’s software with its own content management system. Since then they’ve created over 100+ years of reading time, and historically have published over 12k+ writers, according to the company’s about page.

I caught up with Hacker Noon’s Founder & CEO David Smooke to discuss the publishing platform’s growth over the last year, the company’s recent funding announcement, and where the future of digital publishing could be headed.

Streaming Micropayments in the Browser

Coil was founded in 2018, uses a proposed open web standard called Web Monetization to stream micropayments to creators in real time. Coil has been making other strategic investments in community content destinations, like Imgur.

“With this partnership, Hacker Noon writers can now add their Web Monetization meta tag to their stories, and we’ll experiment with streaming micropayments to writers based on how much time Coil users spend reading their stories,â€� said Smooke.

Will automatically streaming payments via the browser actually work?

“As the ecosystem is young and innovation requires experimentation, these payments will start small,â€� said Smooke. “But from the beginning, the browser was designed to power the exchange of monetary value. The HTTP status code ‘402 Payment Required’ is a nonstandard client error status response code that has been reserved for future use. Maybe that future is sooner than we think? Additionally, we’ll offer a way for writers to donate their earnings to charities that are dedicated to making the Internet a better place.”

On the Hacker Noon platform, here’s what it looks like for contributing writers to add their Coil Web Monetization Tag:

Hackernoon profile rewards

A Total Frontend Overhaul on Hacker Noon

On April 20th, Hacker Noon announced that they had switched their primary reader experience from static pages to the open source NextJS framework.

“It allows us to deploy changes at Hacker Noon without having to re-render every post and to publicly cache pages,â€� said Smooke. “So between deployments, if one user visits a new story that hasn’t been pre-rendered, it gets rendered, hydrated, and then stored for future visitors.”

With this frontend re-architecture, the Hacker Noon product team made major improvements to all of its public facing pages. Writers can now add their call to action not only to their profile page but also on the story pages themselves, driving more traffic to an external source. And readers, who are not required to log in since the launch of the new site, have a generally better and less distracting reading experience with wider images, better typography, and even a dark mode.

“We still have a long way to create the best reading experience we can,â€� said Smooke. “Currently, we rely on Algolia integration to allow for a clean pathway to content discovery, that includes filters by tag among other things. With the next iterations, we want to optimize for reader-centric features such as subscriptions by tags and authors, annotations and emoji reactions, and overall more meaningful engagement to each piece of content.”

Quantitative Social Proof

Platforms are under siege: how should they frame contextual information to the users’ content? And when should they step in to actually take down the content? Instagram has addressed this by removing like counts, and Twitter – in a more explosive manner – has started fact-checking the President’s tweets.

Hacker Noon has made their own move to provide quantitative social proof. The publishing platform has started to surface “time reading created� on contributing writers public profiles:

Daniel Jeffries - HackerNoon

“A platform has a responsibility to frame how others interact with the content,â€� said Smooke. “The simplest measure of engagement is time. As we are a place to read, it makes sense for us to provide our readers with quantitative measurements, such as reading time created.”

Smooke confirmed that writers only ‘earn’ this feature when they exceed one day of reading created, and writers can turn on or off this data on their profile page via their settings page.

The Future of Publishing

Hacker Noon exists in an interesting overlap between traditional columns and opinions (think Forbes, WSJ, and NYT) and social platforms (like Twitter or Reddit). Many publishers are trying to become more like social networks, and many social networks successfully capture publisher revenue. Hacker Noon has never charged its readers but also is not focused on paying writers, until the introduction of the Web Monetization tag. But even now, it’s a third party, Coil, that is paying the writers.

What does Smooke think the role and responsibilities of platforms like Hacker Noon with its contributors?

“We have never been, and will never claim to be, the Jesus of publishing. Our writers are responsible for their own content. We provide another set of eyeballs to help improve the quality and distribution of the story. We call it the second human rule. And we will continue to provide more rewards and opportunities for publishing on Hacker Noon. We are not the arbiters of truth. What we can do right now, is amplify the voice of technologists who have deep expertise in their domains. We have a good business and well on our way to making a better business. In my humble opinion, Hacker Noon’s highest ceiling remains the creation of the time reading token.”

Seems lofty.

In the short term, Hacker Noon has raised money, and will expand software, sales, and editorial resources. I’ll be following where this goes…

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