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Artificial Intelligence Breakthroughs Lead to Unprecedented M&A Growth, Reveals Hampleton Partners’ Report

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Hampleton Partners’ latest analysis of the Artificial Intelligence M&A market reveals that over 150 deals were disclosed in 2018, up from 105 deals in 2017. The first half of 2019 is also showing impressive AI-related M&A momentum, with 65 deals already recorded and a total of near 100 deals forecast for the half-year only. In terms of market value, AI is forecast to grow from $21.46 billion in 2018 to $190 billion by 2025 – in other words, to grow nine-fold over the next seven-year period[1].

Heiko Garrelfs, sector principal, Hampleton Partners, said:
“Q1 2019 has set the pace for the rest of the year, with record-breaking M&A transaction volumes in two of three artificial intelligence sub-sectors. With the growth and competitiveness of many industries now dependent on the development of these AI technologies, strategic investors across all sectors and continents are stepping up their acquisitions and investments.

“Artificial intelligence is one of the fastest-moving sectors, thriving off great momentum and yielding game-changing outcomes.”

Artificial intelligence has moved from the experimental into the developmental phase of the innovation cycle. As the application of AI grows increasingly widespread across almost all verticals, several industries are now dependent on AI advancements to ensure their growth and competitiveness, including autonomous vehicles, IoT, healthtech, e-commerce, insurance and smart cities.

These industries look for artificial intelligence that can propel their next technology push, improve efficiency and productivity, streamline business models, and reduce latency and fragmentation.

Machine data analysis and edge AI
The first quarter of 2019 has proven a record period in M&A transaction volume for the machine data analysis sector with 46 deals.

Machine data analysis has recently shown an inclination towards Edge AI – i.e. running AI algorithms on edge devices such as smartphones or cars, rather than communicating with a central cloud or server – which allows devices to safeguard privacy, avoiding the purported insecurity of cloud-based data systems.

Edge computing also allows devices to process information locally and respond more quickly, which is vital for the development of Internet of Things (IoT) and autonomous vehicle technology, where immediate response is a necessity.

Computer vision
Computer vision experienced a stellar half-year in 2H 2018, mainly owing to growth in hot trends such as facial recognition, check-out-free retail or motion analysis, all of which enable the collection of more insights and provide information for future market opportunities.

Facial recognition is fast becoming a dominant form of biometric authentication, with early commercial applications in security, retail, payments and consumer electronics – Apple’s latest smartphone technology for Face ID logins and payments being one of the commercially popular use-cases. Retailers are also adopting the technology to recognise returning customers – a strategy used to offer special discounts as part of loyalty programmes.

Furthermore, as increasingly smart city infrastructure adopts security cameras, video analytics can be widely applied using facial recognition to detect and track offenders or suspects in public spaces.

Language analysis and conversational AI
Global tech companies east and west have focused heavily on Conversational AI. Google’s integration of Duplex – its new AI-driven automated reservation-making system – into the Pixel 3 smartphone, transformed the Google handheld device into an AI powerhouse.

However, Apple’s Siri has lagged far behind Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant in terms of voice recognition ability and development. It was no surprise, therefore, that in February 2019 Apple acquired PullString, a speech recognition software development SaaS which enables businesses to build interrelated applications for IoT devices.

Many companies believe the problem is not the speech recognition technology itself, but the lack of focus and reasoning within these systems. As a result, intent detection – i.e. the ability to determine from context what the user wants – has become the new research focus area for speech recognition start-ups who are willing to challenge the hegemons and fill in the gaps in big tech AI.

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Credorax Partners With Cisco to Boost Payments Gateway to the Next Level

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Today, Credorax announced that it has partnered with Cisco to upgrade its data-center network’s capabilities, capacity and latency. The agreement enables Credorax to adopt Cisco’s advanced data-center networking technology, including an automation, visibility and management system. Credorax has also agreed to beta-test Cisco’s advanced and future monitoring and management products.

Credorax’s system is already considered one of the fastest in the world with its cutting-edge high throughput, low latency, and multi-continent redundancy, and Cisco’s technology will allow Credorax to push the envelope even further in terms of decreasing transaction latency and increasing throughput. Cisco’s software solution for centralized management and monitoring of network components will play a significant role in Credorax’s solutions, simplify their roll-out of new products and reduce ongoing cost of ownership.

As a licensed merchant acquiring bank, Credorax helps merchants accept payments easily with its recently launched Source gateway. The platform offers telecom-grade (99.999%) availability for processing payments as well as a host of payments products and services, including cards and alternative payment methods, hosted payment pages, advanced KYC screening, smart fraud solutions, and sophisticated business intelligence and data tools.

Cisco is at the forefront in building the network platform that can now deliver a connected, autonomous, and programmable digital platform for Credorax customers.

Cisco-Israel General Manager, Oren Sagi said about the collaboration: “Cisco is committed to do its utmost to provide its customers with the most innovative technologies while maintaining uncompromising quality. We are excited to collaborate with Credorax and help them develop the fastest and most reliable payments gateway possible. I am confident that this project is the first milestone for a successful cooperation between the two companies.”

Moshe Selfin, Credorax CTO & COO stated: “We’re thrilled join forces with Cisco. We have always strived to provide best-class service to our customers, and are confident that by incorporating Cisco’s network platform for data capacity and processing speed into our NextGen payments and acquiring platform, we are offering our merchants the best technology on the market.”

In an era of demanding customers and changing expectations, e-commerce merchants simply can’t survive without the best-in-class cross-border payments processing capabilities. Being both a technology company and an acquiring bank, Credorax has built a full suite of NextGen products and services to help merchants grow their business online. And now with Cisco’s support, Credorax has augmented its offering even further.

 

SOURCE Credorax

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MetricStream Wins “GRC Product of the Year” at the 2019 Risk Technology Awards Hosted by Risk.net

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MetricStream, a market leader in governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) apps and solutions, announced today that its Enterprise GRC Solution has been awarded the “GRC product of the year” at the 2019 Risk Technology Awards, hosted by Risk.net.

“We’re honored to win this award,” said Gaurav Kapoor, Chief Operating Officer, MetricStream. “We believe that it validates the strength, breadth, and depth of our GRC/IRM offerings, as well as our focus on continuous innovation—reflected most prominently in our GRC cloud, advances in predictive analytics, automation, and AI. Our mission is to enable organizations to ‘Perform with Integrity™’. To that end, we’re deeply committed to forging long-term partnerships with our customers and supporting them throughout their integrated GRC journeys.”

The annual Risk.net awards recognize the need for innovative technology solutions to manage risk in a highly dynamic and complex business environment. The average financial services firm faces a plethora of risks, ranging from cyber threats and regulatory pressures, to fintech related disruptions and money laundering issues. As these risks grow more interconnected, siloed approaches to GRC are rapidly giving way to more integrated solutions.

The MetricStream Enterprise GRC platform provides a single, unified system to manage, coordinate, and track multiple types of GRC activities. The solution cuts across organizational silos, enabling a holistic and collaborative approach to GRC. Users can efficiently roll up operational risk, audit, compliance, Cyber and third-party risk information from across the enterprise, and transform it into actionable business intelligence to support decision-making. With support for mobility, real-time reporting, advanced risk analytics, and regulatory notifications, the MetricStream solution helps users manage complex risk requirements in an efficient manner.

Top industry analysts have consistently recognized MetricStream as a leader in GRC/IRM. The company’s wide range of solutions and underlying GRC platform are leveraged by leading financial services firms worldwide, including large global banks, mid-sized banks, private equity investors, investment banks, wealth managers, insurance firms, asset management companies, federal financial agencies, and clearing corporations.

 

SOURCE MetricStream

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MPOWER Financing rated Top international student lender by Nerdwallet and U.S. News

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MPOWER Financing, a mission-driven fintech that provides financial access to higher education for high-promise international and DACA students, was recognized by both Nerdwallet and U.S. News & World Report as the top student loan provider for international students.

Nerdwallet, a comparison website for personal finance products, awarded MPOWER a 5-star rating for its student loans, indicating that its products are “among the very best for consumer-friendly features.” Nerdwallet also commended MPOWER for offering loans that are “ideal for international and DACA students without a co-signer or U.S. credit history.” MPOWER’s loans are available to students from around the world for both graduate and undergraduate degrees at more than 350 top universities in the U.S.and Canada.

U.S. News & World Report recognized MPOWER Financing as the “best lender for international students.” This determination was made on the basis of MPOWER’s product offerings, cost, customer servicing ratings, eligibility, and other features. U.S. News also detailed that MPOWER’s underwriting process considers a student’s academic success and career path – a process that is enabled by MPOWER’s use of big data analytics and artificial intelligence.

“I was having a tough time obtaining education loans from India without collateral,” wrote Kaushik Krishnan, one of MPOWER’s early students. “MPOWER was truly life changing for me. I’ve since graduated from my Masters program, found a job, and paid off my loan.”

“MPOWER allowed me to achieve my dream,” said Sol Bee, a South Korean student. “I was admitted to Berkeley in Fall 2016, but I couldn’t afford it at the time. MPOWER empowered me to be who I wanted to be by allowing me to take control of my finances and my life.”

“We’re honored by the industry recognition we’ve received, and the hundreds of heartfelt stories we get from students whom we have the privilege to serve,” says Manu Smadja, Co-founder and CEO of MPOWER. “We’re working hard to further improve our customer experience and to remain the best international student lending product on the market.”

MPOWER Financing, headquartered in Washington, D.C., and with offices in Bengaluru, New York City, and Toronto, is a mission-driven fintech company and provider of global educational loans. It is the only student lender in the world that leverages both overseas and domestic credit data, as well as future earning potential, to serve high-promise international and DACA students. MPOWER Financing works with over 350 top universities and colleges across the U.S. and Canada to provide financing to students from over 200 countries. Since 2014, it has received over $1B in loan application volume on its platform. MPOWER Financing helps students build their credit histories and provides them with personal finance education and career support to help prepare for life after school. The team is backed by Zephyr Management, Goal Structured Solutions, Gray Matters Capital, Lloyd Crescendo Advisors, 1776, Village Capital, Potentia, Breega, VARIV, DreamIt, Fresco, Chilango, Common Sense Fund, K Street, and University Ventures.

 

SOURCE MPOWER Financing

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