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How SiMa.ai Is Disrupting The Embedded Edge Market

Making it possible to deliver high-performance machine learning at the edge while simultaneously reducing the power consumption associated with this compute.

an Jose-headquartered SiMa.ai is gearing up to disrupt the $40 billion embedded edge market. SiMa.ai is the brainchild of Krishna Rangasayee, who has previously led the $25 billion+ worth semiconductor business at Xilinx. 

The launch of a new design centre in Bengaluru ties in with the two-year-old startup’s plan to grow beyond Silicon Valley and Serbia, and enable large scale deployment of machine learning.

“We are very excited to start our design centre in India. We have already attracted some of the best minds to lead our efforts in both hardware and software. We plan to scale our team for machine learning and all aspects of our overall solution. India is rich in the talent pool and capabilities, and we are looking for the best innovators to come join us in our journey,” said Rangasayee, founder and CEO, SiMa.ai. 

Analytics India Magazine caught up with Rangasaye to understand what makes SiMa tick.

Behind SiMa.ai

The embedded edge is a $1 trillion+ market. However, the technology is decades old and is long overdue for an overhaul to accommodate today’s computing capabilities needs while managing performance, cost, and power. SiMa brings years of experience in machine learning to scale the adoption of ML at the edge to help customers innovate and bring new capabilities to market.

SiMa also enables high performance with low compute power, and has created disruptive ML solutions 30x better than alternatives. It currently works with market leaders in robotics, security, health, and autonomous systems. 

Rangasayee said as machine learning scales in both the cloud and the edge, a lot of attention is paid to performance but not enough on power dissipation. “For machine learning to scale in adoption at the edge, it is extremely critical that attention be paid not only to performance but also to power,” he said.

“We are one of the key innovators in delivering high-performance machine learning to the edge at the lowest power possible. We are one of the few companies conscious about power and offer an efficient, sustainable machine learning solution,” he added. 

SiMa brings together different backgrounds, and skillsets to build a highly complicated program that is primarily software-centric but weaves in deep expertise in ML, silicon, and systems in a purpose-built platform. 

Currently, SiMa has 60+ innovators across California, Eastern Europe and India. 

See Full Story at Link.

Source: AnalyticsIndia Magazine

Microsoft and Oracle announce cloud partnership for Poland

Software producers Microsoft and Oracle will form a partnership to make cloud services more accessible in Poland, the companies have said.

The partnership is an extension of a 2019 agreement between the two firms on close collaboration on an integrated cloud platform for Polish customers.

The cloud technical alliance will allow the use of cross-cloud solutions across Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud by Polish enterprises, financial institutions and public entities at a single point of service, according to a press release from Microsoft.

This enhanced collaboration will reduce integration costs for customers and eliminate any disruption caused by a migration to the cloud, the statement added.

Polish customers will be able to combine cloud services such as analytics or artificial intelligence available under Oracle Cloud and Microsoft Azure with the cloud database services of both vendors, in particular - with the Oracle Autonomous Database.

The CEO of Oracle Polska, Tomasz Bochenek, quoted in the press release, said that the Polish market "is becoming increasingly mature and after a rather long phase of careful approach to cloud technologies, it has recently started to clearly catch up."

In May 2020, Microsoft signed an agreement with Poland's National Cloud Operator, thanks to which a regional technology hub will be created in Poland, the company's first data processing region in Central and Eastern Europe. The investment is to be worth USD 1 billion.

According to the CEO of the Polish branch of Microsoft, Mark Loughran, the development of a Polish Digital Valley will help Poland’s economy and strengthen the country’s economic resilience by providing intelligent cloud solutions, big data processing power and compliance with regulations.

Altimetrik Opens New Office in Poland to Support Growth in Europe

Altimetrik, a leading digital business enablement company, today announced the opening of a new office in Wrocław, Poland to meet customer demand and support expansion in Europe. 

“Establishing this kind of presence as a technology hub in Poland was a strategic decision that will service our growing client needs,” says Raj Sundaresan, Altimetrik’s CEO. “Our emphasis on digital business, innovation, product and data engineering are a perfect match for the strong Polish technology sector and its proximity to both established talent pools and centers of business.”

Indeed, Poland’s technology market has proven to grow at a stable rate of 5-10% annually. Poland is also a top nearshoring destination with some 15,000 new software engineers graduating every year. That includes some of the brightest in the world, with Poland ranking No. 3 globally, according to Top Coder.

This should give Altimetrik the human capital needed to grow a significant DevSecOps practice as the market becomes less reactive and more security-focused in earlier stages of app development. There is opportunity for Altimetrik to develop tailored solutions that support end-to-end implementation and client education on threats and mitigations.

“We maintain Altimetrik’s incredibly high bar for recruitment requirements,” says Jarek Wawro, Altimetrik’s Head of Engineering and Poland Technology Center. “We are seeing substantial interest from our U.S.-based clients in expanding operations to Eastern Europe. Our Poland team is able to help them better tackle challenges with EU compliance, security, business, IP, copyright, and all other aspects required to ensure business success. This important work should help lay the foundation to attract new clientele native to the region.”

Altimetrik’s Wrocław office employs 60 and looks to expand the company’s focus into Data Science and Machine Learning, as Poland’s talent market is mature and nimble enough to meet the increasing need for data analytics and inference. There is ample experience in mature technologies and frameworks, as well as in data-specific solutions and niche languages that can provide new opportunities for customers.

Source: BusinessWire

Ukrainian Gaming Week 2021 Attracts Top Tier Exhibitors and Sponsors

Ukraine is about to experience its first major gambling and gaming exhibition in over 10 yearsUkrainian Gaming Week 2021 (UGW 2021). The large-scale event, which signals the revival of the country’s gambling industry, will take place on 24-25 March this year.

UGW 2021 has attracted widespread interest from international industry leaders since its initial announcement last year. The event will showcase both Ukrainian and international gaming companies as well as innovative solutions to aid in the rebuilding, development and scaling of the country’s gambling industry.

The exhibition aims to help with the revival of the country’s gambling industry. The Ukrainian Government placed a blanket ban on gambling in 2009 following a tragic gambling hall fire that took the lives of nine people. The ban was overturned in August 2020 in a landslide 248-95 vote from the Ukrainian Parliament.

UGW 2021 will be hosted by KyivExpoPlaza – a 6,000 sq.m exhibition centre in the immediate outskirts of the Capital City of Kyiv. All organization will be handled by Smile-Expo, an internationally established event organizer that has been operating around the globe for over 15 years.

UGW 2021 Attracts Exhibitors From Across The World

Exhibitors include players from across the industry, such as equipment manufacturers, software and game developers, furniture suppliers, platform providers and many more players necessary for functioning gambling industry. Almost all exhibition stands have been reserved, so expect some surprise participants. Here is a non-exhaustive list of participants:

  • Slovenian technology developer Spintec, which designs and manufactures innovative and high-quality products for the gambling industry. Some of its many cutting-edge products include automated modular electronic games, virtual multi-gaming stations and a variety of automated, virtual and live gaming solutions.
  • International slot machine and casino game developer Merkur Gaming. The company is a subsidiary of Germany’s widely-known Gauselmann Group – a proven and reliable partner for gambling and gaming operators across the globe
  • Technology provider WIN SYSTEMS, whose casino, electronic roulette and slot machine management solutions grant operators the freedom to tailor their venues to the needs of their clients.
  • Gambee, which specializes in the design and manufacturing of electronic table games and slot machines. The company, which is famous for its high quality and easy-to-use-solutions, supplies clients in over 45 countries across the globe.

UGW 2021 Supported By Renowned Sponsors

No event of this calibre can exist without big-name sponsors to help realize its lofty ambitions:

  • Gambling market innovator and software developer IGT will act as an exclusive sponsor for UGW 2021. The company offers a wide range of products. Those include stationary slow machines, electronic table games, software solutions for casinos and lotteries and much more. Currently, IGT is working with governments and regulators in over 100 countries.
  • International developer and software solutions provider APEX will also act as an exclusive sponsor. The company’s high-quality product range is far too long to list in its entirety. Yet, it includes slot machines, electronic multiplayer games, casino equipment and management systems, cash control systems and more.
  • Multichannel sportsbook and casino platform provider Digitain, which will act as a Badge Sponsor. The company’s portfolio includes a modular API for integrating digital products, sports betting and statistics.
  • Leading software provider BetConstruct is going to act as a Lanyard Sponsor for UGW 2021. The company provides software solutions for sports and esports betting, gaming software and management platforms.

Source: GamblingNews

Ukrainian tech startup Scalarr raises $7.5 million to fight fake ads

Ukrainian startup Scalarr has attracted $7.5 million to expand to the Asian market, cofounder Inna Ushakova wrote on Facebook on Feb. 11.

The company, which develops software to protect advertisers from online scammers, has raised money from the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development and three investment funds, TMT Investments, OTB Ventures and Speedinvest.

Scalarr’s software helps mobile application developers to detect fake ads created to siphon off their money. To fight online fraud, the company uses artificial intelligence.

Globally, ad fraud is a growing problem because scammers are coming up with new ways to make money on fake ads. For example, they can hide online ads under others. Users only see the ad at the top, but when they click, they click on two or more. Advertisers have to pay the fraudsters for each additional click that has no human behind it. Fraudsters also can use bots to generate fake clicks.

The startup has worked with big names like international online retailer Joom, Russia’s largest tech firm Yandex and game developer Goodgame Studios. According to Ushakova, the startup saved its clients nearly $22 million in 2020 by detecting fraudulent ads before the advertiser paid for the clicks.

Ushakova said Scalarr’s rivals use a less effective approach — they try to detect fraud by looking for a list of suspicious activities. Although such lists are constantly updating, it’s hard to keep up with the fraudsters, according to Ushakova. She said only machine learning could keep track of always changing tricks and help accurately detect fake ads.

According to Ushakova, fraud is evolving all the time. “It’s like a Tom and Jerry game. They are ahead of you and we are trying to catch them,” she said.

Investors seem to be happy to work with the Ukrainian startup. “Inna (Ushakova) is a great founder. I admire how passionate she is about the company and its existing and upcoming products,” Alexander Pak, investment director at TMT Investments, told the Kyiv Post. Pak said that Scalarr’s tech is important because it saves money for advertisers and app developers.

Ushakova founded Scalarr with her partner Yuriy Yashunin in 2016. Before that, they directed mobile marketing agency Zenna where they first realized how dangerous fraudulent ads could be. Zenna’s team couldn’t find a satisfactory service to fight ad fraud so they decided to build their own tech. Now the company employs 35 people and has offices in Kyiv, Kharkiv, San-Francisco and Wilmington.

Source: KyivPost

Robot software and augmented reality developer attracts $2 million

Augmented Pixels, a tech startup with Ukrainian roots, has received $2 million in investment, bringing its total funding to $7 million, according to the company’s founder and CEO Vitaliy Goncharuk.

The startup, which develops virtual and augmented reality software, received money from both new and existing investors, whom the company hasn’t disclosed.

In the past, the startup raised the money from Investment Capital Ukraine, Aventures Capital, 408 Ventures, Steltec Capital, The Hive, and T. Ravi among other investors.

The company plans to expand its team in the United States, where it’s based, and to further develop its navigation software. The company works on enabling robots to navigate in space on their own without GPS, and on 3D mapping, a technology used to turn real objects into their three-dimensional virtual representations — these can be buildings, small indoor objects, theatrical stages and others.

The technologies developed by the company promise to “significantly reduce the cost of operations in logistics, facility management and other markets,” Goncharuk said in the company’s statement on Feb. 1.

Goncharuk founded the company in 2010 in Ukraine’s southern city Odesa. Since then, the startup has been working with electronics giants LG, Intel and Qualcomm, as well as other companies.

The company’s headquarters moved to Palo Alto, California, in 2014, but two of its development offices remain in Ukraine, where it employs up to 80 people.

In 2016, Augmented Pixels was acknowledged as one of the largest contributors to computer vision — a field of science focused on how computers can gain high-level understanding from digital images or video — along with giants like Apple, Google, Microsoft and Sony.

Source: KyivPost

Danish Wirtek signs non-binding acquisition agreement as a major milestone

Wirtek has entered into a comprehensive non-binding agreement (Letter of Intent) to acquire a profitable, growth-oriented software company providing outsourcing services that complement and further build-out Wirtek's service offerings.

The expected acquisition is closely aligned with Wirtek's newly published Accelerate25 strategy and will further expand Wirtek's access to international clients, international sales channels, and will add approximately 40 new colleagues to Wirtek.

The acquisition, when and if completed, will have a substantial positive effect on both revenue and EBITDA for Wirtek during the financial year 2021 and in the entire Accelerate25 strategy period.

The final closing of the acquisition is planned for beginning of April 2021 and is conditional upon a satisfactory due-diligence result.

Cash and share-based payment

Payment for the acquisition will be given partly in cash and partly in Wirtek shares. A significant part of the share-based payment will be directly linked to the financial results of the acquired software company over the next years.

Wirtek has as an integral part of the acquisition entered into conditional agreements to purchase existing Wirtek shares to cover up to 100% of the shares needed for the share-based payment. These conditional agreements have been entered into with the Board of Directors, who are willing to support the completion of the transaction.

The pricing of the shares used in all the agreements has been calculated based on the current pricing of Wirtek shares on the Nasdaq First North Growth Market.

Further details about the acquisition will be published after the final closing. Wirtek is a Danish IT outsourcing company.

Source: StreetInsider

Romanian IT company Zitec sees 50% higher revenues in 2020

Zitec, one of the biggest Romanian companies in the IT & digital marketing market, specialized in developing digital transformation solutions and services, increased its revenues by 50% year-on-year in 2020, to EUR 10.5 million.

Throughout 2020, Zitec continued to develop projects for clients in Europe and the US, helping them streamline their business and reduce the impact of the pandemic on their businesses.

The company also reported better results in the segments of customized software solutions and cloud solutions, developed by both Microsoft and Google, registering a growth of 300% in 2020 and reaching the value of EUR 2 million.

The positive results in 2020 were also possible due to the maturity of Zitec's partnerships with Google, Microsoft, and Adobe (Magento Commerce).

Last year, the company also focused on increasing its team through an exclusively online recruitment process. Thus, the company ended the year with 187 employees, 22% more than in December 2019.

Zitec plans to continue its hiring process this year while growing segments such as software development, cloud and e-commerce solutions, mobile applications and blockchain solutions, web design, and digital marketing.

Source: Romania Insider

Romanian software development firm Tremend seeks 150 remote experts

Romanian consulting and software development company Tremend will recruit 150 remote software engineers this year.

The company seeks to hire specialists in technologies such as Java, Python, PHP, Angular, React, C ++, Android, iOS and QA, as well as Project Managers and Business Analysts.

The company's turnover went up by 40% to EUR 21 million in 2020. This year, the company aims for a turnover of EUR 30 mln. The main growth engines are stepping up operations in the US, UK and Benelux, and increasing the number of customers due to partnerships with Mastercard, Salesforce, and Microsoft.

Tremend has two offices in Romania, in Bucharest and Brasov, and international offices in Atlanta (United States), Brussels (Belgium), London (UK), and Luxembourg.

After consolidating its team in the Brasov office in the past years, which currently has 40 specialists, Tremend now plans to expand its team in the Benelux region with up to 25 new colleagues.

Tremend is one of the fastest-growing Romanian companies, according to Deloitte and Financial Times rankings. The company's founders and managing partners are local entrepreneurs Ioan Cocan and Marius Hanganu.

Source: Romania Insider

Business Romanian recruitment automation software company accelerates expansion in North America

SmartDreamers, a Romanian company that develops recruitment automation software, has appointed Tom Strauss as Vice President of Sales for the Americas, effective February 15.

With this appointment, SmartDreamers aims to accelerate its expansion in the North American market.

Tom Strauss previously worked for iCIMS, and its subsidiary, Jibe, where he held multiple senior executive roles over the past decade, most recently as a Sr. Account Manager Enterprise Sales.

"Tom's extensive experience will be an incredible addition to the team," says Adrian Cernat, CEO & Founder of SmartDreamers. "As VP of Sales, Tom will further accelerate our operations across North America. We are privileged to already work with leading global companies, and we look forward to helping others in digitally transforming their TA ecosystems."


SmartDreamers provides recruitment marketing automation software used by enterprise and fast-growing companies to centralize, automate, and accelerate talent marketing processes. Companies such as L'Oreal, Siemens, UiPath, Infosys, and Genpact, currently use the SmartDreamers platform.

Source: Romania Insider

Romanian IT group Bittnet buys 25% of software developer Softbinator Technologies

Announced in Q4, Bittnet (BNET), a Romanian group of companies with activities in the IT and digital education sectors, will take over a 25% stake in local software development company Softbinator Technologies.

The value of the transaction amounts to about USD 2 million, to be paid through a mix of cash and equity.

Softbinator Technologies, a product development company in fields such as fintech, edtech, healthtech, e-commerce, IoT, RPA, artificial intelligence/robotics, and blockchain, has two development centers in Bucharest and Constanta, which bring together over 80 software engineers.

The company estimates that it will reach a turnover of RON 12 mln (EUR 2.47 mln) in 2020, double compared to last year. It also expects a net profit of RON 3.2 mln (EUR 660,000), up by 44% compared to 2019.

For Bittnet, the investment in Softbinator represents the starting of a new area in IT services: software development. 

Bittnet listed its shares on the Bucharest Stock Exchange in April 2015. Since then, it has carried out several acquisitions, using funds drawn from the capital market. The group currently has a market capitalization of RON 139 mln (EUR 28.6 mln).

IBA Group opens Development Center in Wroclaw, Poland

On February 1st, IBA Group announced the opening of its development center in Poland. Legally registered on January 22, IBA Poland is located in Wroclaw, one of the three major IT hubs of Poland. Poland became the sixth country where IBA Group set up a development center and the 13th country where IBA Group established its presence.

The expansion is driven by an increasing demand for IT services in Central Europe and the IBA Group’s strategy to be close to its clients. IBA Group chose Poland as a location for the company’s development center because of the intellectual potential and favorable geographic position. The country borders on the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine, where IBA Group has offices. 

Wroclaw, the capital of Lower Silesia, is the largest academic center in Poland. The total number of students in Wroclaw is 112,000, including more than 15,000 in IT and IT-related fields. Almost 36,000 people currently work in the Wrocław IT industry. The city is considered to be one of the most developed and innovative IT ecosystems in the country, and the Polish Silicon Valley. Wroclaw is 350 km away from Prague and 150 km from Dresden.

IBA Group intends to bring the experience and technology know-how of all its centers of excellence to Poland. IBA Poland will focus on enterprise applications, including mobility solutions, business analytics, Big Data, Machine Learning, and SAP services.

Sergei Levteev, IBA Group Chairman, said: “We opened a new development center in the time of global economic downturn. However, I believe that the decision will be beneficial for both our customers and us. The pandemic accelerated digital transformation and increased demand for software development services. Poland is not a new destination for IBA Group, as our developers have been implementing projects for a global IT leader in cooperation with Polish IT developers and traveling to Poland, working as a part of an international team.” 

At the initial stage, IBA Poland employees will be working from home. The company is planning to hold an office warming party in a new office as soon as the pandemic abates.


SumUp acquires Lithuanian mobile banking platform Paysolut

Global payments player SumUp has acquired the Lithuanian-born core banking system provider Paysolut. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition is the “natural extension” of a two-year partnership between the two companies. In 2019 SumUp was granted an electronic money institution license by the decision of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania and says it has since “invested heavily” into growing its presence there, as well as its office in Vilnius. 

At the same time, the UK company has pursued a strategy of building up its core banking offering and penetrating markets driven by small retailers. Over the past two years, SumUp has acquired the accounting software Debitoor, e-commerce tool Shoplo and POS software Goodtill.

All that said, it will be business as usual for the Baltic startup, which was founded in Vilnius and is now headquartered in London. No changes to Paysolut’s daily operations or strategy are foreseen, and management will maintain operational independence. But with SumUp’s support, the company will expand its team and “offer a new level of quality products” with a more global reach.

“We are happy that solutions created in Lithuania will become more important in the world,” said Vytenis Pavalkis, Paysolut’s co-founder and CEO.

Source: TechEU

Romania-born UiPath raises €623M at €29 billion valuation; prepares for IPO

Robots are here to stay. The more you learn about their potential, the faster it’ll help your business to grow. And this is exactly what this Romania-born company UiPath has been doing. It develops robotic process automation and artificial intelligence software. In a recent development, the company has announced that it has raised $750M (approx €623.2M) in its Series F round of funding at a valuation of $35B (approx €29B).

Investors in this round

The round was co-led by existing investors Alkeon Capital and Coatue. While existing investors also participated in this round including Altimeter Capital, Dragoneer, IVP, Sequoia, Tiger Global, and funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc.

Abhi Arun, Managing Partner at Alkeon Capital, says, “Automation has become a strategic imperative that is fundamentally changing the way organisations operate. We are excited to co-lead this round of funding, as well as continue to team up with the UiPath team during an important phase for the company.”

What does UiPath aim to achieve?

UiPath was founded in 2005 as a 10-people team based in Bucharest, led by Daniel Dines. Initially, it outsourced automation libraries and software to some of the world’s biggest companies.

Marius Tîrcă joined the company in 2004 as a software engineer, according to his Linkedin profile. He is currently the co-founder & CTO of UiPath. 

UiPath is on a mission to unlock human creativity and ingenuity by enabling the fully automated enterprise and empowering workers through automation.

“Bill Gates used to talk at Microsoft about a computer in every home. I want a robot for every person,” says Daniel Dines.

The company designs and develops robotic process automation software. It offers foolproof development tools, automation of intricate processes, enhanced control, cloud and on-premise deployment, robust governance, and multiple robots on a single virtual machine. 

The company moved its headquarters to New York in 2017 so that it could be closer to its international customer base. 

Currently based in New York, the company claims it Automation Platform is designed to transform the way humans work, providing customers with a vast set of capabilities to discover automation opportunities and build, manage, run, engage, measure, and govern automation across departments within an organisation.

Source: SiliconCanals.com

Life is Hard buys Romanian e-commerce firm Innobyte Solutions; stock price soars

Romanian software developer Life is Hard [listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange: LIH] will propose to its shareholders to approve the takeover of local e-commerce solutions developer Innobyte Solutions.

Shareholders will be asked to approve the deal at an extraordinary general meeting scheduled for February 24, Life is Hard said in a statement filed with the Bucharest Stock Exchange, BVB.

The value of the planned transaction was not disclosed.

Following the deal, Life is Hard aims to complement its portfolio with web development services tailored for small and medium-sized companies, it added. 

The two companies are now in the due-diligence period, during which they will define the terms of the transaction.

Founded in 2009 in Bucharest, Innobyte Solutions posted a turnover of 1.8 million euro ($2.18 million) in 2020. The company is owned by Romanian entrepreneurs Catalin Somfalean and Catalin Bordei.

Life is Hard was established in 2004 in the northwestern city of Cluj and is listed on the alternative trading system of Bucharest Stock Exchange, AeRO. Romanian entrepreneur Ioan-Catalin Chis is its majority shareholder with 62.8%, while general manager Erik Barna holds 13.05%. The remainder is owned by various legal entities and individuals.

Source: SEENews

Romanian Tellence Technologies to hire more than 100 and open 3 new offices in Iasi, Timisoara, and Cluj

Bucharest-based software solutions and services provider Tellence Technologies plans to open offices in Iasi, Timisoara, and Cluj this year, the company announced.

The opening of the new offices will generate more than 100 job opportunities in various software technologies.

"We are confident in the plan to increase our activities, including in the big cities of Romania. This strategy aims to capitalize on local talent, especially in important universities. We have already started recruiting programmers in Iasi, Timisoara, and Cluj. Tellence continues its expansion plans in 2021, with projects that will generate over 100 new job opportunities for specialists in various software technologies," said Leo Radu, general manager and co-founder of Tellence.

Established in 2012 and headquartered in Bucharest, Tellence Technologies offers software services for telecommunications, cybersecurity, media, automotive, satellite communications, semiconductors, and other sectors.

The current context offers opportunities for IT companies that want to expand their business and facilitates remote working conditions for employees, the company said.

Source: Romania Insider

US-based ThoughtWorks buys Romanian software developer Gemini Solutions

US-based global technology company ThoughtWorks said that it has agreed to acquire Romanian software development and consulting services firm Gemini Solutions for an undisclosed sum.

This acquisition is expected to significantly improve ThoughtWorks' ability to support and service clients, especially in Europe, the Chicago-based company said in a press release.

The transaction is expected to close in early February, subject to the satisfaction of closing conditions. 

The Gemini Solutions team will provide nearshore support for ThoughtWorks’ clients in the UK and Germany as well as continued support for existing clients in North America, France and Germany.

Serban Tir, previously the chief technology officer of Gemini Solutions, will serve as general manager of ThoughtWorks Romania.

"The team will form a key part of ThoughtWorks’ global as well as European expansion plans. We have been seeking a premium partner to help increase our nearshore delivery capability and capacity especially in Europe and Gemini Solutions is a strong fit," ThoughtWorks president and CEO Guo Xiao said.

Gemini Solutions was founded in 2005 in San Francisco by Romanian entrepreneurs Theo Nissim and Florin Parlea, a group of Silicon Valley Romanian technologists. The company's main activity is in Romania, where it has over 170 team members working in offices located in Bucharest, Cluj and lasi.

Founded in 1993, ThoughtWorks currently provides software design and delivery, and tools and consulting services through 43 offices in 14 countries. 

Source: SEENews

Booksy: The Polish ‘Uber of beauty and wellness’ scoops £51M, plans UK expansion

Booksy, an appointment booking app for the beauty and wellness industry, has recently secured a $70 million (approx £51 million) funding in the Series C round. 

The round was led by Cat Rock Capital, with participation from other investors like Sprints Capital, OpenOcean, Piton Capital, VNV Global, Enern, Kai Hansen, Zach Coelius, and Manta Ray Ventures.

The funding will be used to support fast-paced expansion plans across North America, the UK, and other markets as well. In the UK, the company plans to continue taking on the likes of Treatwell.

“At Booksy, our mission is to bring peace of mind to scheduling, giving time back for living life fully,” said founder and CEO Stefan Batory. This latest round of funding enables us to reach even more salons and service providers across the US, and in all the regions we operate, which in turn helps them reach more customers.”

Marketplace for scheduling and managing appointments 

Founded by Polish serial entrepreneurs Stefan Batory and Konrad Howard in 2014, Booksy is the beauty marketplace for finding, scheduling, and managing appointments. 

The platform allows users to automatically schedule at a time that suits them, resulting in 38% of customers booking after-hours and increasing appointment frequency by 20%, generating more revenue for the service provider. 

Source: UKTech.news

Grass Valley to build new Centre of Excellence in Poland

Company has undergone a strategic review which it says identified a "pressing need for technology vendors to adapt to a shift in customer buying patterns from hardware to software solutions."

Grass Valley has announced plans to build a new centre of excellence in Warsaw, Poland as it undergoes a company-wide transformation.

The new CoE will combine with the company’s existing CoE in Montreal, Canada as well as an expanded team in Malaysia.

To optimise manufacturing efficiency, Grass Valley said it intends to consolidate hardware manufacturing capabilities across its product portfolio. The company will also improve business efficiency by streamlining and reducing the overall number of facilities it operates, keeping customer-facing resources close to where its customers work and live, and enabling its teams to work remotely.

The plans follow a strategic review of Grass Valley as a standalone company which is says identified how accelerated change and disruption in the media industry has created a pressing need for technology vendors to adapt to a shift in customer buying patterns from hardware to software solutions.

“Our industry is changing, and digital transformation is upon us,” said Tim Shoulders, CEO and president of Grass Valley. “At Grass Valley, we’ve listened to our customers and believe we must reimagine our business to remain their partner of choice as they navigate the dynamic marketplace and meet their evolving needs. To be the industry-leading, cloud-first solutions provider, we have created a bold plan that enables us to continue supporting our customers wherever they are based and whatever products and services they rely on.”

Source: TVB Europe

Ohio-based Hyland Software fires nearly 150 employees, will hire in Poland and India

Ohio-based Hyland Software, a perennial "top workplace" in Northeast Ohio, has laid off nearly 150 employees in its product delivery department. The mass axing "came out of left field," according to a former employee, and was communicated to unsuspecting remote workers in a pre-recorded Zoom message Wednesday morning.  

The layoffs reduce the department by an estimated 1/8th, with software developers, quality assurance specialists and testing engineers all unceremoniously getting the boot. Hyland is seen as a "shining star" among tech companies headquartered in Northeast Ohio, (a region which desperately wants to become an innovation hub), but the layoffs yesterday confirmed for many current and former employees that the company's corporate values are waning, its #hylandlife reputation souring.  

"This has shaken up the culture of Hyland and absolutely compromised our trust in the company," one employee said. They and others said the company was coming off a record profit year. 

Hyland has not yet responded to multiple requests for comment, but the Mayor of the City of Westlake, Dennis Clough, issued a brief statement. 

“The City of Westlake has been told by Hyland Software that the company is in the middle of a restructure but is doing well overall," it read. "The city extends best wishes to the employees who were informed that their jobs would be eliminated.” 

*Update: Hyland sent the following statement Thursday evening. 

"Hyland is in the midst of a multi-year strategic initiative to build a cloud-first platform for the future while supporting our customers’ success today. A component of this strategy is to hire more than 300 additional technologists and increase our overall employee count by 15 percent in 2021. As we focus on innovating our platform and strategically expanding our global footprint, we have made the difficult decision to eliminate some positions on our current Product Delivery team. We are providing affected employees with assistance in their transitions." 

Current and former employees who spoke to Scene anonymously said that the layoffs felt like a betrayal, especially after Hyland has invested considerable financial resources into HR and marketing to create a corporate brand that emphasizes a "family" culture. CEO Bill Priemer joined Hyland as the VP of Marketing in 1997 and touted the "family" dynamic of Hyland in a recent local magazine profile

For employees within the large product delivery department, two Zoom meetings were announced Wednesday morning with the vague header "Product Delivery Update." Those who were given a link to a 10 a.m. meeting were greeted with a pre-recorded message from Hyland's Chief Product Officer John Phelan giving them the bad news. 

The 10:30 a.m. folks were also greeted with a scripted message. It assured them that their positions were safe but noted that a restructuring was afoot. This would include, among other things, local layoffs and a significant ramping up of workforces overseas at Hyland's offices in both India and Poland. 

Over the past 24 hours, employees — virtually all of whom have been working from home during the pandemic — have experienced a "collective freak-out," said one employee. They are scrambling to figure out new responsibilities on existing projects with the realization that massive workloads loom, all while trying to delicately ascertain who was "separated," the preferred lingo of Hyland HR. 

One employee noted to Scene that while "ethics" was removed from Hyland's core values in 2020, "family" still remains. ("We care deeply for one another and help each other achieve maximum personal potential while maintaining a healthy work-life balance," the Family entry on Hyland's core values page reads.) It was in that spirit that multiple employees reached out to Scene to decry what they viewed as a rotten way to part with their colleagues, many of whom had been at Hyland for 10 or more years. 

"Hyland has been acquiring companies left and right for the past few years, making money hand over fist for its majority owner [the private equity firm Thoma Bravo]," one former employee said. "And with acquisitions, you always suspect that people will be let go. It's unrealistic to expect otherwise. But it's the method that has people spooked. You might expect this at a GE, but not at a company with humble beginnings like Hyland." 

The lack of clear communication from Hyland leadership has led to rampant speculation and conspiracy theorizing. Back in June, 2020, CEO Bill Priemer announced that due to Covid cost-cutting measures, employees wouldn't be able to roll over vacation time from 2020 to 2021. Did he know that layoffs would be forthcoming? 

The most common view, employees said, was that Hyland simply made the decision to save money. After all, software developers in Katowice, Poland, make, on average, less than half the annual salary of developers in Cleveland. (Though the office scuttlebutt holds that, relative to other local tech companies, Hyland's programmers and engineers are criminally underpaid.) 

"From a numbers stand point, maybe it makes sense," one current employee said. "I guess you'd expect a company to look out for its own bottom line over its employees. But you have to understand, Hyland's whole thing is that we're not a company. We're a family. Well, we got screwed." 

Source: Cleveland Scene

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