Another fruitful year for the industry marks an end. We saw start-ups being funded, companies being acquired, the various collaboration and partnerships, organizations and companies adopting analytics and more. But most significant addition to the list this year has been the inclusion of technologies like artificial intelligence, chatbots and robotics that made the headlines quite often. After sifting through all the news that impacted the analytics industry in some way or the other, we bring to you the biggest developments that hit this sector in the year 2016.[heading size="25"]Funding and Investments[/heading]
Ratan backs Tracxn: Ratan Tata invests an undisclosed amount in Tracxn, a startup research and analytics firm.
Qubole closes funding worth $30 million: It was led by IVP and existing investors CRV, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Norwest Venture Partners.
A host of Marquee Angels back Tracxn: Start-up data analytics firm, Tracxn Technologies Pvt. Ltd raised yet another funding through marque Angel Investors including former UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani, Mohandas Pai (Co-Founder, Aarin Capital), Neeraj Arora (Vice President, Whatsapp) and Anand Rajaraman (Co-Founder, Junglee), for an undisclosed amount.
Imarticus gets seed funded: Imarticus Learning, a financial services and analytics training institute, announced the completion of its primary funding process with an undisclosed amount. It received support from existing investors like Amit Nanavati, as well as new investors like Tashwinder Singh, Director, KKR, Anil Gudibande, 1 Crowd Founder/Ex MD RBS, Taranjit Jaswal, Director, Barclays and Amit Khanna, ex KPMG Partner.
vPhrase Analytics Solutions raises seed funding: vPhrase, an artificial intelligence-enabled data analytics firm, raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Mumbai-based Venture Catalysts (VCats).
Fractal Analytics raises USD 100 million: Fractal Analytics, a leading global provider of analytics, entered a partnership with Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the strategic investment fund of the Government of Malaysia, who will invest up to USD 100 million in the company to accelerate its growth.
BRIDGEi2i raises funds from Edelweiss Private Equity: BRIDGEi2i Analytics Solutions, a Bangalore based analytics solutions company, secured Series A growth capital from one of India’s leading diversified financial services conglomerate- Edelweiss Private Equity, the private equity and venture capital arm of Edelweiss Financial Services.
RIL invests in NetraDyne: Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) invested US$16 million (approximately Rs. 108 crore) in NetraDyne, a US-based visual analytics start-up.
Mezi raises $9 million: Mezi, a leading chatbot shopping app received funding in Series A Round from investors to accelerate AI bots technology. Investors in this round included previous investor Nexus Venture Partners and new investors Saama Capital and American Express Ventures.
Innovaccer raises 15.6 million: Big Data Startup Innovaccer raised 15.6 Million in Series A funding led by Westbridge Capital Partners along with other angel investors. The company intended to use this funding to accelerate its footprint in healthcare.
Tricog Health raises Series A funding: HealthCare Analytics firm Tricog Health raised undisclosed funding from Inventus Capital Partners, Blume Ventures and a host of angel investors. It was aimed for further developing the technology and market reach of their path breaking healthcare analytics platform.
HR Analytics Startup inFeedo raise $150,000 in Angel Round: This $150,000 round was led by Dheeraj and preceded by Palash Jain, Ex-Head of Google India Core Operations.
AI start-up Octo.ai raises 200,000$: Octo.ai, an open-source analytics platform built for machine learning raised fund in seed round led by Rohan and Arjun Malhotra (Investopad), Rahul Khanna (Trifecta Capital), Rakesh Agrawal (US based- seed in Lyft, Cruise, Shyp, Poshmark and Lendup), Sidharth Rao (WebChutney), Outbox Ventures, Rajan Navani, Jaspreet Bindra, Gagan Duggal.
Hyderabad Angels backs Realbox: Realbox Data Analytics, a data science startup, raised pre-series A round funding of amount $300K led by Alok Mittal, ex-MD, Canaan Partners, Dharamveer Singh Chouhan, Zostel CEO, Shubranshu Pani, Director JLL and vCommission.
Nugit raises US$5.2M: Singapore-based startup Nugit, AI and Data Analytics startup announced a US$5.2M funding round from Sequoia India. It combines AI, natural language generation, and visual design to transform data into decision-ready reports that integrate seamlessly into marketers’ workflows.
SIBIA Analytics raises seed investment: SIBIA Analytics, a Kolkata based start-up in predictive analytics, raised an undisclosed amount in seed investment from a group of investors from India and USA including Radhakrishnan Natarajan and other prominent leading IT and Banking professionals.
Aarin Capital invests in Impact Analytics: Impact Analytics, a global business intelligence and data science insights provider for organizations across sectors such as retail, CPG, financial services etc. raised a seed round of $750,000 led by Aarin Capitals, co-founded by T. V. Mohandas Pai and Dr. Ranjan Pai. Ashish Lakhanpal, CEO of Kismet Capital and Michael Herzig, serial entrepreneur, were other co-investors in the startup.
Pramod Bhasin backs Scienaptics: Scienaptics, a new age analytics platform received strategic investment from senior industry leader and former Nasscom Chairman, Pramod Bhasin.
ACTIVE.AI raises $3 Mn: Active.ai, a Singapore based fintech startup announced raising a fund of $3 million from leading venture capital funds IDG Ventures India and Kalaari Capital to expand its AI platform for Banking & Payments.
THB secures an undisclosed seed funding: The Healthy Billion, (THB) a clinical research and data analytics start-up reportedly secured an undisclosed seed funding raised by Ajith Sukumaran (formerly with Nokia) and Apoorva Patni, son of Patni co-founders Ashok Patni who has set up Currae Healthtech Fund. Reportedly, Kanwaljit Singh, former MD of Helion Ventures and a current investor also participated in this funding round.
[heading size="25"]Collaboration and Partnership[/heading]
Simplilearn partners with Tableau: Simplilearn and Tableau, one in education and the other in Business Intelligence respectively, entered into a partnership with an aim to build a talent pool of 200,000 skilled Data Scientists by the year 2020.
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Mu Sigma announced a partnership that will enable their clients to leverage cutting-edge big data and analytics solutions to transform the way they do business. Mu Sigma's integrated ecosystem of 3,500 decision scientists, along with its unique Art of Problem Solving methodologies and innovation platforms, will complement BCG’s existing strategy, technology, and analytics capabilities, further enhancing their mutual position in the market for global change management and data-driven decision making.
Infosys partners with Trifacta: Infosys, the Indian IT giant came into a partnership with Trifacta, the global leader in data wrangling to provide a data wrangling solution for the Infosys Information Platform (IIP) and Infosys’s other platforms and offerings. This partnership has culminated into funding, joint development, integrations and solution collaboration.
Millward Brown acquires Analytics Quotient (AQ): Millward Brown, a global leader in brand, media and communications research acquired the business operations of Analytics Quotient (AQ), a marketing analytics company that extracts insights from data to help clients define their marketing strategies.
Snapdeal acquires TargetingMantra: Snapdeal acquired a boutique technology firm, ‘TargetingMantra’ to further to integrate machine learning based solutions on its platform.
Synnex acquires Bangalore based Minacs: Synnex, a US based Fortune 500 corporation, came to a definitive agreement to acquire Bangalore based Minacs, a leading outsourcing business solutions in the field of manufacturing, retail, telecom, technology, media and entertainment, banking, insurance, healthcare, and public sectors. The deal valued at $420 million was made to boost up analytics space.
Hansa Cequity acquires Bangalore based D-Square: As a part of the deal signed between Hansa Cequity, India’s leading & largest customer marketing company and D-Square Solutions Private Limited, a data sciences and analytics company based out of Bengaluru, Hansa Cequity acquired a majority stake in D-Square. It aims at scaling the breadth of analytics offerings and entering artificial intelligence & machine learning capabilities.
Freshdesk acquires a Chatbot Platform Chatimity: The acquisition aims to enhance Freshdesk’s capabilities within chat platform and beyond. This comes as the company’s sixth acquisition following its stint with Airwoot, Framebench, 1CLICK.io, Konotor and Frilp within a time span of 12 months.
L&T Infotech to Acquire AugmentIQ: Leading global IT services and solutions provider L&T Infotech announced that it will acquire Pune based AugmentIQ Data Sciences Pvt. Ltd., an innovative start-up offering IP-based, big data and analytics solutions that helps enterprises derive business benefits from big data. The deal will enrich and expand LTI’s high-end analytics offerings across industries.
GE Digital acquires two AI startups: Legacy company General Electric (GE) recently acquired two major startups – California based Wise.io and Vancouver based Bit Stew Systems to bolster their AI capability. While the former specializes in machine learning, the latter is focused on data analytics.
Practo acquires Enlightiks: Practo the healthcare company, known for providing end-to-end healthcare solutions has made its third major investment by acquiring Enlightiks, healthcare analytics firm that provides business intelligence solutions and advanced analytics.
[heading size="25"]AI, Chatbot and other technologies[/heading]
ICICI Bank adopts Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence: As part of its annual reorganization, ICICI Bank’s Managing Director and CEO, Chanda Kochhar, announced to create a new division, Technology and Digital group (TDG). This new team will be responsible of improving the digital capabilities of the bank.
Karbonn Mobiles forays into AI: Karbonn Mobiles, India’s leading handset player becomes the first mobile handset player to foray into the field of artificial intelligence. The company is the first to introduce artificial intelligence in areas of fashion and lifestyle with the launch of its smartphones ‘Fashion Eye & ‘Fashion Eye 2.0’.
Narayana Health launches Robotic Surgery Institute: Narayana Health, one-stop healthcare destination, has launched the Institute of Robotic Surgery supported by Infosys Foundation at its flagship unit at Narayana Health City. It will be using the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System primarily for prostate, kidney, gynecological, colorectal and select head & neck cancer surgeries.
Book an OYO room using Niki bot: OYO, India’s largest branded network of hotels has entered into a partnership with niki.ai, enabling users to book an OYO room using niki.ai’s bot – a unique personal assistant application powered by artificial intelligence.
India’s first humanoid Banker – Lakshmi: The friendly robot powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) made its debut on the big stage recently at the City Union Bank based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. It can reportedly chat with customers on more than 125 subjects, field queries on current interest rates on loans, account balance and transactional history.
Meet Haptik, virtual assistant powered by AI: Personal assistant app and conventional commerce platform powered by a combination of machines and humans, Haptik launched a new version 5.0 of the app. This chat-based app help users perform daily tasks as well as facilitate multiple end-to-end transactions on a single platform.
Jinie- India’s first HR Chatbot: Jinie is here to make the whole process of HR management more engaging and impactful. It is brought to you by Peoplestrong – one of the India’s leading human resource (HR) solutions and HR Technology Companies in the world.
Microsoft India introduces AI in Eye Care: In collaboration with L V Prasad Eye Institute, Microsoft has launched Microsoft Intelligent Network for Eyecare (MINE) to bring technology in the foreplay.
[heading size="25"]Analytics adoption and launches[/heading]
Times of India Group turns to analytics: India’s largest media and entertainment company, The Times of India Group turns to analytics to power its editorial analytics engine and driving deeper user engagement.
Teradata launches Analytics of Things Units: The big data analytics and marketing applications company, Teradata, revealed plans to build IoT Analytics units based in India, United States and United Kingdom.
Snapdeal establishes Data Science Center: With their announcement of establishing a Data Sciences Center in San Carlos, California, they intend to study customer behavior and strengthen the supply chain.
JCPenney’s launches “Global in-house centre” in Bangalore: One of the largest apparel and home furnishing retailers of the United States, JCPenney, announced its entry into the Silicon Valley of India, joining the league of other global retailers like Target, Walmart and Tesco.
Noodle.ai launches operations in India: Silicon Valley based Noodle.ai and former co-founders of Infosys Consulting announced the launch of Noodle Analytics Private Limited in Bangalore, India. The venture is funded by TPG, a leading private equity firm, and the founders of the company.
CA Technologies Launches ‘CA App Experience Analytics’: CA Technologies recently launched CA App Experience Analytics, a new SaaS solution in India. This app enables organizations to deliver a premium customer experience across the increasing number of digital channels – Web, Mobile and Wearables – used by today’s consumers.
[heading size="25"]Government Initiatives[/heading]
TRAI introduces TRAI Analytics Portal: With the launch of a new portal called “TRAI Analytics Portal”, it aims at providing subscribers with all the information about the performance and quality of services being offered by their telecom operators like network coverage, data speed, call drop rates to name a few.
CAG of India sets Big Data Analytics center: A brainchild of Shri Shashi Kant Sharma, this center aims to analyze big data of the government and provide valuable insights to the government. This data analytics center will synthesize and integrate all the appropriate data required for auditing.
Ministry of Commerce & Industry launches a Dashboard for Foreign Trade Data: This initiative by the ministry is to provide easy access of India’s import, export, and balance of trade data to the people of India. The data on the dashboard is represented in an analytical format, over time and space.
Tax Official use Big Data and Analytics to combat black money menace: The Income Tax department will reportedly use big data analytics to comb through personal bank deposits money holders.
The various developments at Mu Sigma: It was quite an eventful year for Mu Sigma, the world’s largest pure-play provider of decision sciences and analytics solutions. The year began with the appointment of Ambiga Dhiraj as the new CEO in Feb 2016 who was formerly a Chief Operating Officer. After the news of the founders filing for divorce surfaced, there were also speculations of the Mu Sigma CEO and other investors such as General Atlantic looking to sell their stakes in the company. However, after sailing a turbulent ride, the year 2016 settled for Mu Sigma by having a new CEO- Dhiraj Rajaram, who got a majority ownership in the data analytics company after Ambiga Subramanian agreed to sell her stake.
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Srishti currently works as Associate Editor for Analytics India Magazine. When not covering the analytics news, editing and writing articles, she could be found reading or capturing thoughts into pictures.