Avataar Ventures leads $22 mn funding in IT operations provider Appnomic
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Appnomic Systems Inc., a startup focussed on providing solutions for downtime and outages in information technology operations, has raised $22 million (Rs 156 crore at current exchange rates) in a funding round led by growth-stage venture capital firm Avataar Venture Partners.

Appnomic has also appointed technology industry veteran Nitin Kumar as its chief executive officer, it said in a statement. Besides, it named Cuneyt Buyukbezci as marketing chief and Girish Muckai as chief risk officer.

Kumar will take over from current CEO and company founder D Padmanabhan, who will now function as Appnomic’s chairman.

Avataar managing partner Mohan Kumar said Appnomic will use the funds to expand its global presence and market reach.

Appnomic CEO Nitin Kumar said the company’s platform was “years ahead” of other traditional monitoring and cognitive operations players because of its implementation of artificial intelligence and machine learning models.

“Organizations integrating self-healing systems have a competitive advantage over those that do not. Appnomic has multiple patents in the self-healing domain and continues to innovate in this arena. The new team and I have great plans to scale this business in 2020,” the new CEO said.

Kumar has previously worked with firms such as Hewlett-Packard, Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Marketing chief Buyukbezci, meanwhile, has run marketing and product strategy at companies such as HP Software, Sun Microsystems and CA Technologies. Muckai has 20 years of experience in commercial roles around software-as-a-service, artificial intelligence and machine learning, security and networking. He has previously worked with companies such as Passage AI and Juniper Networks.

Appnomic was founded in 2006, and says it uses unsupervised AI to learn how a client’s system works under normal circumstances. Following that, it creates a dynamic baseline that then examines the system’s behaviour and flags any anomalies and their circumstances under which they occur.

The company claims its clients have seen up to a 60% reduction in false-positive alerts, as well as a 60% reduction in developer time spent on solving problems.

In September 2012, Appnomic raised $5 million in a Series C round of funding from Norwest Venture Partners. At the time, the startup said that it would primarily use the funds for expanding the company’s market operations in the United States and enhancing its products and services.

Avataar’s Mohan Kumar previously worked at Norwest. He quit the VC firm late last year and floated Avataar along with former Freshworks Inc. chief operating officer Nishant Rao. Appnomic was one of six companies that Avataar acquired from Norwest this year.

Avataar is raising a $300-million VC fund that will invest in growth-stage companies in business-to-business (B2B) and software-as-a-service (Saas) sectors. In September, it roped in global private equity investment firm HarbourVest Partners LLC as its single Limited Partner.

AI startup funding deals

AI startups have seen a massive surge of investor interest and funding in the last few years, as companies and clients across sectors seek to address pain points in their operations through the application of machine learning and other related technologies.

Earlier this month, Observe.ai, an artificial intelligence-based startup that focusses on voice conversations for customer service, raised $26 million (around Rs 184.16 crore) in its Series A funding round from investors such as Scale Venture Partners, Nexus, Steadview Capital, 01 Advisors and Emergent Ventures.

Last month, Cogniphi Technologies Pvt. Ltd, an artificial intelligence-based cognitive tech startup, raised an undisclosed sum in a strategic investment from UST Global Inc. UST Global said its investment in the Kerala-based company will help accelerate the development of Cogniphi’s artificial intelligence and vision platform.

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