WhiteFox Defense Technologies, Inc., a drone airspace defense and security company, had their flagship product, DroneFox, participate as selected equipment by the U.S. Government for the prestigious Black Dart counter-UAS and Red Teaming exercise last month. It was the first time WhiteFox had performed testing at Black Dart, the largest counter-drone testing exercise in the world. After only a brief training, military personnel were able to operate DroneFox to effortlessly detect, identify and mitigate drone threats that were sent by a contracted Red Team. WhiteFox participated alongside several Department of Defense organizations and civilian companies after passing the rigorous nine-month down-selection process. As UAS pose a unique and complex threat that requires multiple layers of defense to comprehensively protect, public and private entities were encouraged to work together.
Representatives of the U.S. Government saw how WhiteFox engaged with the entities and helped evolve security modeling along with techniques, tactics and procedures. Through the DroneFox user interface, operators were able to perform threat assessments of individual unknown or hostile drones and “whitelist” their own “friendly” drones. The military personnel operating DroneFox then relayed this information to remote personnel performing various ground operations at the exercise.
The Department of Defense has hosted the invitation-only exercise since 2004 to test the capabilities of Department of Defense and civilian companies as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) have become easier to own and use. More than 70 countries now use UAS for government or military applications, according to the Joint Integrated Air and Missile Defense Organization.
FBI director Christopher Wray recently told a U.S. Senate panel that the threat from commercial drones “is steadily escalating” even as Congress gives agencies new tools to address these threats. The comments came just days after President Trump signed into law legislation that gives the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice new powers to detect and mitigate drones that pose a threat to government and other sensitive assets.
Luke Fox, CEO of WhiteFox Defense Technologies, said: “Drones are becoming an integral part of military forces worldwide. They are being used for research and development, in combat missions, as target decoys and reconnaissance. They are also playing a key role in security, search and rescue missions, communications and munitions.
“The demonstrations at Black Dark showed how our technology can support the military in field operations, protect their sensitive assets, and become a pillar of defense against drone threats, enabling soldiers to focus on their missions.”
About WhiteFox Defense Technologies
WhiteFox Defense Technologies, Inc. is a drone airspace security company headquartered in California. WhiteFox builds proprietary software and hardware that enables users and institutions to secure their airspace from drone threats. Pioneering the safe integration of drones into society, WhiteFox develops products that save lives, protect property, and safeguard privacy. WhiteFox’s mission is to keep the sky open for responsible pilots, advancing drone technology for the benefit of society. In a constantly changing industry, WhiteFox is pushing the boundaries of what security means.
To learn more about WhiteFox or schedule a demo, email
DroneFox is a SWaP-C optimized, portable solution which uses a novel method for tracking and taking temporary control of drones: a “master signal” which allows its operator to choose from a dynamic set of responses including land, return to launch, confiscate, and reroute.
Unlike jammers and other non-kinetic products, the DroneFox can select the exact signal it wants to manipulate, without interfering with any others signals—even other drones.
The core WhiteFox technology offers critical infrastructure and personnel the ability to protect against reckless drone use, while enabling “friendly” drones to fly freely and continue the work they’re doing to positively impact society.
About Black Dart 2018
Black Dart 2018 is an annual Department of Defense field demonstration of current and emergent counter-UAS technologies. The event is coordinated and overseen by the Joint Staff J8; Joint Integrated Air and Missile Defense Organization. The training event brings industry personnel, observers from allied nations and military participants from across the Department of Defense.
Completion of a second round of funding could help bring closer to market Progentec Diagnostics‘ new tool for predicting lupus flares and a biomarker-based index that monitors underlying disease activity.
Funding for Progentec’s biomarker-based diagnostic testing was led by venture capital outfits i2E and OCA Ventures, with participation by global healthcare provider NMC Lifesciences. Using technology created by the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, the platform is touted as being able to detect impending flares and track underlying disease movement.
“Today’s funding round is the next step on our journey to making this and other advanced tools commercially available to patients with lupus, a disease that afflicts more than one million Americans, many of whom are women,” Mohan Purushothaman, PhD, Progentec’s CEO, said in a press release. “The Progentec tests will become powerful tools to help patients and healthcare providers stay ahead of lupus.”
NMC Lifesciences brings an integrated multivertical and multibrand private healthcare network that includes 2,000 physicians and 8.5 million patients globally.
“NMC is looking forward to a strong symbiotic partnership with Progentec, delivering value all across the healthcare delivery ecosystem,” said Prasanth Manghat, CEO and executive director of NMC Health, parent company of NMC Lifesciences.
Oklahoma-based Progentec has also acquired LupusCorner, a patient-centered platform for individuals with lupus nephritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. The company hopes to use the LupusCorner infrastructure to create an innovative and comprehensive lupus management platform.
According to Puroshothaman, the addition of LupusCorner and its users will ensure patient participation in the process of creating this platform. LupusCorner uses an array of smartphone-geared tools to help track patient-generated data and health literacy.
“We look forward to advancing the platform and fulfilling the unmet need for lupus diagnostics and management tools,” he said.
Launched two years ago, LupusCorner was designed to help patients better understand their health and medications by providing clear and accurate information via an online platform shared monthly by roughly 45,000 people living with lupus, a disease that causes the immune system to attack the body’s own tissues.
LupusCorner founders Arif Sorathia and Brett Adelman will join Progentec and help direct its efforts.
“Our goal is to empower our users to be active participants in their healthcare and we are excited to be part of Progentec,” Adelman said. “This is a giant step towards uniting patient-generated data with clinical measures to improve patient outcomes.”
Progentec’s mission is to create and commercialize state-of-the-art diagnostic interventions in therapeutic areas with high levels of unmet need. The company used $1.25 million in earlier financing from OCA Ventures, i2E, and Mayo Clinic Ventures to improve algorithms behind the lupus tools.
— New funding brings lupus-detection tools closer to commercialization
— Acquisition of LupusCorner marks a step forward in developing a first-in-class lupus-management platform
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oct. 31, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Progentec Diagnostics, Inc. (“Progentec”), a leader in the development of technological innovations in the field of diagnostics, today announced the completion of a second round of funding led by i2E, along with Chicago-based OCA Ventures and NMC Lifesciences, a leading global healthcare provider. The funding will help bring Progentec’s tool for identifying Lupus flare ups and a biomarker-based disease-activity index closer to commercialization. Technology created by the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) is at the core of the platform being developed by Progentec.
Progentec today also announced the acquisition of LupusCorner, a leading patient-empowerment platform for people with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and lupus nephritis. By integrating LupusCorner’s technology platform and data insights, Progentec is positioned to develop a first-in-class lupus-management platform. The founders of LupusCorner, Arif Sorathia and Brett Adelman, have joined Progentec and will help lead technology, outreach and growth initiatives.
Progentec’s technologies include highly accurate bio-marker based tests to diagnose disease before symptoms begin to show, as well as tests to monitor and predict disease activity levels in Lupus.
“We’ve made tremendous progress in developing a tool for the identification of lupus flare-ups before they occur,” said Mohan Purushothaman, CEO of Progentec. “Today’s funding round is the next step on our journey to making this and other advanced tools commercially available to patients with lupus, a disease that afflicts more than one million Americans, many of whom are women. The Progentec tests will become powerful tools to help patients and healthcare providers stay ahead of lupus.”
“NMC Lifesciences is excited to partner with Progentec,” said Prasanth Manghat, CEO and Executive Director NMC Health Plc. “As a leading global healthcare provider that has put key components in place to build a strong, inter-dependent, integrated, multi-vertical and multi-brand private healthcare network of a team of over 2,000 doctors serving 8.5 million patients in over 17 countries, NMC is looking forward to a strong symbiotic partnership with Progentec delivering value all across the healthcare delivery ecosystem.”
LupusCorner was founded in 2016 with the mission of transforming the lupus patient experience by creating easy-to-use and powerful technologies. Today, nearly 45,000 people with lupus interact with the LupusCorner platform each month.
“LupusCorner is a powerful platform that connects people battling lupus in an online patient community to share information and better manage the disease,” said Brett Adelman, a LupusCorner founder. “Our goal is to empower our users to be active participants in their healthcare and we are excited to be part of Progentec. This is a giant step towards uniting patient-generated data with clinical measures to improve patient outcomes.”
“The addition of LupusCorner and its users furthers our vision of creating a comprehensive disease-management platform and ensures that the patient voice will be a valued part of our process,” said Mohan Purushothaman, CEO of Progentec. “We look forward to advancing the platform and fulfilling the unmet need for lupus diagnostics and management tools.”
The Lupus Foundation of America estimates that there are as many as 1.5 million lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE) patients in the U.S. alone. Seen mostly in women between the ages of 15 and 44, lupus causes the immune system to recognize and attack the body’s own tissues. Lupus sufferers have periods of flares and remission with organs typically affected including the skin, kidneys, lungs and reproductive organs, as well as the cardiovascular system.
About Progentec Diagnostics, Inc.Progentec Diagnostics, Inc. (“Progentec”) is committed to exploring and commercializing state of the art diagnostic interventions along with digital and social infrastructure to improve access and outcomes for patients in therapeutic areas with a high level of unmet need. By collaborating with research institutions and individuals around the world, Progentec works towards bringing the latest technological innovations to the field of diagnostics. Progentec’s work is rooted in the belief that better diagnostics would not only help in ensuring cost-effective management of diseases, but also help tremendously in reducing the mortality and morbidity associated with these diseases.
About LupusCorner LupusCorner is a health management platform for people living with lupus systemic erythematosus and lupus nephritis. With an assortment of smartphone-optimized tools, LupusCorner supports the tracking of patient-generated data, health literacy, and community.
Moving Analytics is a startup trying to address socio-economic factors that make it difficult to complete rehab in a traditional brick-and-mortar facility through a tech-enabled home rehab system.
By KEVIN TRUONG
Every year, millions of people suffer from a cardiac health event, and even though rehabilitation programs have been shown to double a patient’s chances of living another five years, they suffer from high attrition and low participation rates.
Moving Analytics is a startup trying to address socio-economic factors that make it difficult to complete rehab in a traditional brick-and-mortar facility through a tech-enabled home rehab system.
“The sorry fact is that only 15 percent of patients today participate in rehab because to do so they would have to visit a hospital 36 times,” Moving Analytics CEO Harsh Vathsangam said.
“There are two implications for this, one is that even with reimbursements hospitals lose money on rehab and these patients are those that represent the highest rates of readmission.”
The company has developed Movn, a digital cardiac rehab and secondary prevention program that they claim is able to triple participation rates at one-fifth the cost of the the existing standard of care.
The Los Angeles, California-based company won the MedCity INVEST Twin Cities Pitch Perfect competition earlier this month and in a phone interview Vathsangam expanded on the origins of the company and where it hopes to go in the future.
The startup’s technology has its roots in research conducted at the Stanford University School of Medicine that developed a series of treatment plans and algorithms laying how best to manage patients at home with different cardiac symptoms.
Where Moving Analytics comes in is by updating that largely paper-based system with modern and adaptive technology including a mobile application, blood pressure cuff and a wireless scale.
“What we’ve done since is create a 2.0 version, with a tech platform meant to make delivery of the program seamless,” Vathsangam said.
That digital health program includes five major segments: exercise, diet adjustment, medication adherence and customization, stress management an smoking cessation.
“The trick is that for each patient it’s not a standard menu, it changes based on how they feel and how well they stick to their care plan,” Vathsangam said.
For now the company is focused on working with risk-bearing health systems and hospitals looking to lower costs and transition to value based care contracts.
Still, as a small 8-person startup in healthcare, the company has to deal with extended sales cycles that can be difficult to work around. However, Vathsangam said adoption is growing and he hopes to be in 20 hospitals by the end of the year.
Part of the reason the company decided to participate in Pitch Perfect was to create a level of validation with top notch investors that can used to create buzz and momentum ahead of a planned Series A fundraise next year.
“We want to get at least 1 million patients in the U.S. every year through rehab and every decision we make is guided by that North Star metric,” Vathsangam said. “Cardiac rehab is like a lifesaving drug that’s not being used because of issues like costs and distance.”
Balto Software of St. Louis, which uses artificial intelligence to make call-center representatives more effective, announced Thursday that it has raised $1.2 million in capital.
Chris Kontes, president and founder, said that with the money in hand, Balto is “aggressively hiring” for sales and engineering positions. The firm currently employs 13 people.
The investment round was led by Stage Venture Partners of Los Angeles and includes money from seven early-stage funds and two individuals.
The other funds are TIA Ventures and Venture for America Seed Fund, both based in New York, SaaS Ventures of Bethesda, Md., and three Chicago funds: Harbor Street Ventures, Sandalphon Capital and OCA Ventures. The individual investors are William Murphy, chief technology officer at New York-based Blackstone Group, and San Francisco entrepreneur Miles Laster.
Balto was founded in 2017 by entrepreneurs with experience at TopOpps, another St. Louis software firm. Balto’s artificial intelligence software analyzes sales representatives’ conversations in real time to help them avoid mistakes and close more sales.
Zendesk has mostly confined itself to customer service scenarios, but it seems that’s not enough anymore. If you want to truly know the customer behind the interaction, you need a customer system of record to go with the customer service component. To fill that need, Zendesk announced it was acquiring Base, a startup that has raised over $50 million.
The companies did not share the purchase price, but Zendesk did report that the acquisition should not have a significant impact on revenue.
While Base might not be as well known as Salesforce, Microsoft or Oracle in the CRM game, it has created a sophisticated sales force automation platform, complete with its own artificial intelligence underpinnings. CEO Uzi Shmilovici claimed his company’s AI could compete with its more well-heeled competitors when it was released in 2016 to provide salespeople with meaningful prescriptive advice on how to be more successful.
Zendesk CEO Mikkel Svane certainly sees the value of adding a company like Base to his platform. “We want to do for sales what Zendesk has already done for customer service: give salespeople tools built around them and the customers they serve,” he said in a statement.
If the core of customer data includes customer service, CRM and marketing, Base gives Zendesk one more of those missing components, says Brent Leary, owner at CRM Essentials, a firm that keeps close watch on this market.
“Zendesk has a great position in customer service, but now to strengthen their position with midmarket/enterprise customers looking for integrated platforms, Base adds a strong mobile sales force automation piece to their puzzle,” Leary told TechCrunch.
As he points out, we have seen HubSpot make a similar move with HubSpot Apps, while SugarCRM, which was recently sold to Accel-KKR, could be shopping too, with its new owner’s deeper pockets. “This is almost like a CRM enterprise software Hunger Games going on,” he joked. But he indicates that we should be expecting more consolidation here as these companies try to acquire missing pieces of their platforms to offer more complete solutions.
Matt Price, who previously had the title of senior vice president for product portfolio at Zendesk will lead the Base team moving forward.
Base was founded in 2009 and boasts more than 5,000 customers. It’s worth pointing out that Base was already available for sale in the company app marketplace, so there was some overlap here, but the company intends to try to move existing customers to Base, of course.
Zendesk has indicated it will continue to support all Base customers. In addition, Base’s 125 employees have been invited to join Zendesk, so there will be no blood-letting here.
Cybersecurity Firm Extends Seed Round Following Strong VC Interest
Denver, Sept. 10, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — OverWatchID, a Denver-based market leader in cloud-based converged identity security solutions, today announced it has closed its seed funding round at $2.5 million, raising $4.5 million to date. The funding round was led by WestWave Capital and Silicon Valley Data Capital and included IrishAngels Ventures, OCA Ventures, Rockies Venture Club and Copper River Advisors.
“Each day, stolen credentials and privilege abuse account for millions of dollars in losses for our businesses, and the market for cloud-based converged identity security solutions has grown exponentially in the last year,” said Andy Funk, co-founder and CEO of OverWatchID. “This new investment, coupled with having WestWave Capital and Silicon Valley Data Capital as partners, allows OverWatchID to accelerate our growth and invest in continuing R&D so we can help our clients stay one step ahead of attackers.”
Since its founding in 2016, OverWatchID’s patent-pending platform has provided converged identity security solutions to Frontier Airlines, the eighth-largest carrier fleet in the country, managed service providers like Datavail and Unitas Global and many other enterprise clients. OverWatchID’s rapid, frictionless deployment has reduced subscription, implementation and administration costs by up to 80 percent when compared to legacy vendors. The company previously announced its seed round had closed in May 2018 and reopened the round following exceptionally strong interest from WestWave Capital and Silicon Valley Data Capital.
“OverWatchID is ready to disrupt the $27 billion identity security market through their holistic identity security platform specifically built for today’s cloud environments,” said Warren Weiss, managing general partner, WestWave Capital. “Amidst a crowded field of legacy stand-alone vendors focused solely on very large enterprise companies, OverWatchID has emerged as the clear leader in the identity security market. We look forward to working with the OverWatchID team as they make identity security available for companies of all sizes.”
“The identity security market is projected to be more than $35 billion by 2020, and OverWatchID’s identity security platform is well positioned to play a big role,” said Jim McLean, founder of Silicon Valley Data Capital. “We are very excited to help lead this funding round and are excited to participate in OverWatchID’s next growth phase.”
OverWatchID is “Identity Security ReinventedTM.” OverWatchID leverages more than 20 years of enterprise development experience in identity security and delivers a feature-rich platform that comprises privileged access management (PAM), single sign-on (SSO), multifactor authentication (MFA) and cloud access security brokering (CASB). OverWatchID’s patent-pending technology provides an assurance of security efficacy far beyond legacy PAM systems, and its rapid, frictionless deployment reduces subscription, implementation and administration costs by up to 80 percent. OverWatchID is headquartered in Denver, Colorado.
LinkedIn Top Startups ranks the most sought-after startups where professionals want to work and stay. The Top Startups methodology is fueled by a combination of LinkedIn data with an editorial lens. Rather than relying on questionnaires, it measures the behavior of over a half billion of professionals on LinkedIn focused on four core areas: employment growth, engagement, job interest, and attraction of top talent. The timeline measured was July 2017 through June 2018.
“We are excited to be recognized by LinkedIn as a 2018 Top Startup,” said Josh Smith, co-founder and CEO of Solovis. “As a company, we are committed to driving technology innovation, delivering transformational value to our clients in the institutional investing industry, and creating a challenging, fun work environment that inspires employees and attracts the top talent in our industry. It’s an exciting time to be part of Solovis.”
Genvid Technologies has raised $10 million in funding for its interactive streaming engine. The money came from Horizons Ventures, the private investment arm of Hong Kong business magnate Li Ka-shing.
The interactive streaming engine enables customers to monetize livestreams through sponsorships and in-stream purchases. Genvid CEO Jacob Navok said in an interview with GamesBeat that the company will use the funds to try to triple the company’s growth in the next couple of years.
New York-based Genvid uses its cloud streaming technology to create new kinds of services, such as interactive streams for esports tournaments that are broadcast to platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, and others. It can, for instance, enable viewers to spectate an esports match where they can change which esports athlete they are following on the fly. Advertisers can also show unique ads to the viewers based on the viewers’ likes.
“Our earliest business to take off will be the esports tournament business,” Navok said. “We have a series of esports tournaments coming that our customers will announce.”
Genvid will specifically use the money to grow its current stack of technologies as well as build new media, bespoke offerings and platform teams. Furthermore, the company will continue its international and vertical expansions, moving beyond esports into mobile, arcade and VR gaming across the U.S., European Union, Japan and China, as well as new opportunities in real sports and the wider media.
“Customer interest in our solutions is growing every day,” Navok said. “Our patented, cross-platform interactive streaming engine can be used directly on popular platforms like Twitch, and across infrastructures and engines such as Amazon Web Services, Unreal and Unity. And we are thrilled to bring on Horizons Ventures, whose tremendous track record among investments includes Facebook, Siri, Zoom, Waze, Spotify and now Genvid.”
Navok said that Genvid is also creating new businesses based on the interactive streaming technology. Some are sports-related projects that allow viewers to interactive with live sports streams. Other projects are related to gaming content that is being developed with Genvid from the ground up. And lastly, Genvid is working on a new live television format where a user can change what happens in the live show.
“Streaming is one of the biggest opportunities for media, telecom and sports companies,” said Jonathan Tam of Horizons Ventures, who will be joining Genvid’s board, in a statement. “With our
deep experience in the media and telecom space, particularly in the United States, Europe and China, we saw applications for Genvid’s technology across companies in our network. Now we’re
going to help them grow and scale even faster.”
Navok also said that Unity developers who integrate the Genvid software development kit starting in September will be able to introduce interactive streams in their games.
“Our main goal is to make it as easy and attractive as possible for developers to create awesome viewer-facing content” said Genvid chief operating officer Chris Cataldi, in a statement. “This new deal, coupled with the easy to use and always improving Genvid plugin for Unity, are prime examples of why developers choose Genvid to power their interactive broadcast programming.”
Navok said Genvid’s technology was most recently used earlier this month at Evo 2018 by Chilean game developer AOne Games for live tournament broadcasts of its new Unreal Engine 4-based fighting game Omen of Sorrow.
Genvid interactivity was available directly on Twitch through a Twitch Extension, which enabled users (in the case of this tournament, the casters using instant replay) to toggle on/off in real time the character hitboxes, player inputs and heads-up display.
Additional functionality such as viewer cheering and display of win/loss probability are already in the works for future tournaments, with more dates and details to be announced soon.
“We’re building a strong network of partners among media and telecom firms, in some cases negotiating reseller agreements and in other cases we’re doing joint prototyping and research,” Navok said. “The sports field is particularly interesting for us because we’ve seen a lot of innovation on data, which means that it can be coupled with our broadcast technology to create interactive experiences.”
Genvid is also announcing the establishment of Genvid Technologies Japan K.K., the company’s latest international office located in Tokyo, Japan. Navok said that Genvid’s technology has proven popular among Japanese developers and media companies, and the new subsidiary will be growing staff to market and support the activities.
In early September, Genvid’s tech will be used for the esports title Blitz Freak in the Red Bull Gaming Sphere Tokyo arena. And ActEvolve, a Japanese indie game developer using Unity, will also use Genvid.
“We’re very focused on having an international business,” Navok said.
Genvid was founded in 2016. Beyond Horizons Ventures, the investors include Makers Fund, March Capital Partners, and OCA Ventures. Genvid previously raised $6 million in April, and to date it has now raised $20 million. The company has 26 employees, and it is hiring.
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