Happenings
  • The Top 100 AI Startups Of 2019: Where Are They Now?

    Dec 20, 2019

    In February 2019, CB Insights announced our third annual AI 100 — a list of the 100 most promising AI startups across the globe. We take a look at where these companies are now.

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  • Azafran Capital Adds New Partner, Jock Percy

    Dec 19, 2019

    NEW YORK, NY, December 19, 2019 — Azafran Capital Partners, an early stage venture fund investing in companies ($2M to $8M) that are using deep learning and machine learning, emphasizing voice, acoustics and imagery datasets in the health, wellness, IoT/automation and enterprise spaces, is pleased to announce the addition of Jock Percy as Partner.

    Jock Percy is widely recognized as a leading entrepreneur and visionary, with deep expertise in finance, technology, networks, trading, and market connectivity. Most recently Jock was founder and CEO of Perseus, the world’s leading ultra-low latency global connectivity and hosting platform for high-speed, high-performance applications, including a world first, high precision time as a service globally.

    Over his 22 year career, Jock has orchestrated numerous successful technology business M&A deals in both the corporate (BT, Sharp) and startup arenas including Perseus, which was sold to GTT (NYSE:GTT), as well as FXecosystem which he co-founded, patented and sold.

    “We are thrilled to have Jock Percy join the Azafran Capital Partners team,” notes Azafran Managing Partner, James F. Kenefick. “Jock is a perfect fit, bringing a like-minded passion that matches the Azafran focus and ethos, plus decades of experience at the highest levels and deep experience as a data-driven and successful entrepreneur in the finance, technology and networking markets,” added Kenefick.

    Jock has served on a number of corporate boards is a longtime member of Young Professionals Organization (YPO). Hailing from New Zealand, he has a PhD from the University of Canterbury and UCL and has been a lifelong Rugby player and supporter.

    About Azafran Capital Partners

    At Azafran Capital, our mission is to identify + invest in + support transformational entrepreneurs, their inventions and business models – helping them advance and succeed. We see this as a moment in time where voice, acoustics and imagery are center stage. From customer care to health care, entrepreneurs across the globe are developing incredible, groundbreaking solutions and technologies to take advantage of the base layer elements.

    Azafran’s partners and senior team are seasoned entrepreneurs, operators and investors who are both forward looking and data backed. Our team’s combined experience has produced over $9B of M&A value, 127 M&A transactions, and 13 start up exits with over $700M in capital raised.

    As proven entrepreneurs and investors, we invest early in innovative teams solving challenging problems disrupting large markets with deep technology, embedded in end to end solutions. Our focus is on founders and companies building end to end solutions emphasizing voice, acoustics and imagery datasets in the health, wellness, IoT/automation and enterprise spaces.

    For more information please visit www.AzafranCapitalPartners or contact:

    James F. Kenefick, Managing Partner
    jfk@azafranpartners.com
    (w) +1 212.913.0700 ext. 301
    413 West 14th St., Suite 200
    New York, NY 10014

  • Why Voice-Based Technology is the Future of Excellent Customer Experience

    Dec 16, 2019

    If it seems like everywhere you turn, you’re being hit with yet another statistic or story about how voice tech is the future. Consider this your wakeup call: it’s time to start paying attention.

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  • Google AI chief Jeff Dean interview: Machine learning trends in 2020

    Dec 13, 2019

    At the Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS) conference this week in Vancouver, Canada, machine learning took center stage as 13,000 researchers explored things like neuroscience, how to interpret neural network outputs, and how AI can help solve big real-world problems.

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  • Bank Of America's Virtual Assistant Now Has More Than 10 Million Users

    Dec 12, 2019

    It’s not only fintechs that can lure millions of customers their way. Bank of America’s voice-activated virtual assistant Erica now has more than ten million users.

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  • AirAsia shutters call centres to go all-in on chatbot and voice AI

    Dec 12, 2019

    The future of customer service is messaging and voice-based artificial intelligence, according to the airline.

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  • Researchers train AI to map a person’s facial movements to any target headshot

    Dec 9, 2019

    What if you could manipulate the facial features of a historical figure, a politician, or a CEO realistically and convincingly using nothing but a webcam and an illustrated or photographic still image?

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  • The United States Of Artificial Intelligence Startups

    Dec 7, 2019

    Startups across 42 US states are applying artificial intelligence tech across industries like marketing, healthcare, retail, and more.

    Funding to artificial intelligence startups is soaring. Last year, VCs invested a record $9.3B into US AI startups — more than 8x funding levels just 5 years prior ($1.1B in 2013).

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  • AI is Taking Over the World — Just Not in the Ways We Feared

    Dec 6, 2019

    As technology continues its rapid innovation, it’s not difficult to envision a future in which machines will become more intelligent and stronger than their human predecessors, eventually taking over the world — just like our sci-fi nightmares come to life, right?

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  • Picovoice Debuts Platform for Building Voice Assistants Without the Cloud

    Dec 3, 2019

    Most voice interaction relies on the cloud. Audio gets recorded, digitized, then sent to the cloud for processing before the user hears a response. Picovoice builds around the idea of maintaining the same functions of a standard voice engine, but all operated locally, known in the industry as on the edge as opposed to in the cloud.

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Insights

The content and distribution of Azafran’s INSIGHTS newsletter is focused to our LP, incubator, research, investment and partner ecosystem. As we look to build a two-way dialogue benefitting our collective efforts, each month we highlight important news and our approach to the emerging intersection of deep technology, end to end solutions and platforms driven by voice, acoustics/sensory and imagery.

The content and distribution of Azafran’s INSIGHTS newsletter is focused to our LP, incubator, research, investment and partner ecosystem. Below are highlights from the last two issues, please sign up to receive access to past and new issues as they are published.

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  • Issue 18 - The Impact of Deep Tech + Imagery on the Future of Healthcare

    In the second issue of our Special Report Series, we turn our focus to the imagery modality and the impacts already being felt in the future of healthcare.

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  • Issue 18 - tagSpace: Augmented Reality for the Masses, now Covid Ready

    tagSpace (Azafran Portfolio I) provides a no-code solution for location-based Augmented Reality - With a focus on markets such as music festivals, events and experiences, tagSpace has pivoted to also helping fight the spread of Covid-19.

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