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AI

Byju’s debuts innovation hub for edtech ventures

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India’s Byju’s has created a new innovation hub, dubbed Byju’s lab, where it hopes to bringing together AI and machine-learning experts with educational technology researchers to create new edtech solutions.

The Bengaluru, India-based company has grown to more than 100 million students (and 6.5 million paid subscriptions) with its kids educational games platform, and it has been on a buying spree as it expands well beyond India’s borders.

Byjus’s bought U.S.-based AR game maker Osmo for $120 million in 2019. It also raised $150 million (following a $540 million round) for its global expansion that year. This year, Byju’s launched its Disney-based learning app for U.S. children, and it bought the kids online reading platform Epic for $500 million. And it bought Tynker’s for an estimated $200 million. The acquisitions map back to Byju’s goal of investing $1 billion in the U.S. edtech market over the next three years.

The new hub will redefine the role of tech in learning and transform powerful ideas into solutions. It will hire AI and ML specialists in the United Kingdom, the U.S., and India.

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With a vision to propel and shape the future of education, the new venture will incubate new ideas, provide cutting-edge technologies and deliver breakthrough solutions across Byju’s ecosystem of learning products.

The company said that technology in education is not just about automation, but also about harnessing it in the best way possible to empower students into becoming lifelong learners. It believes that by innovating for the future we will sustain the present, and Byju’s Lab stems out of this philosophy to aid in redefining the role of technology in learning and transforming powerful ideas into solutions.

Byju’s Lab is yet another step in the company’s efforts to continue innovating with the aim to transform learning experiences for children around the world. It is doing so by leveraging cutting edge technologies such as augmented reality, artificial intelligence (AI), computer vision capabilities, gamification and more.

Dev Roy, chief innovation and learning officer at Byju’s said in a statement, “The role of online learning is not just to replicate offline classes in digital space but to make it more interactive, engaging, and personalized. By combining the ability of computing, technology, and data, we at Byju’s Lab, want to explore the power of information and technology to create a more personalized, enhanced, and democratized learning. As a global company, we are looking to harness a global talent pool to build innovative tools and leverage new technologies to positively impact the learning experiences of children across the world. As we continue to grow and experiment, we will operate at the intersection of business and technology to make innovation real and relevant for our end customers. We are looking at strengthening our team and look forward to working with bright and curious minds to transform the way children learn.”

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Categories
AI

Capital One Ventures partners with Securonix on cloud-native security analytics in $24M deal

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As more enterprises move to the cloud, the field of threat analysis is evolving by shifting to a cloud-native architecture. Over time, this will lead to human researchers augmented by AI and machine learning.

That’s essential for a company like Capital One, which is rushing to scale defenses as its cloud presence expands. To catalyze that new analytics model, the financial giant’s venture arm today announced it has invested $24 million in Securonix, a security startup that has developed a cloud-based security information and event management (SIEM) platform.

“Cloud-native and scalable architectures are the direction where this market is going to go, and Securonix is built cloud-native from the ground up,” Capital One Ventures Partner Jay Emmanuel said. “We believe this is the architecture that will lend itself to the scale and the resiliency that’s going to be required in a few years.”

Securonix has created a SaaS-based security analytics suite of tools that reduces infrastructure costs and allows for greater scalability. Those tools gather data that is fed to the company’s 450 security analysts who help track vulnerabilities and attacks.

But according to Securonix CEO Sachin Nayyar, the company is beefing up its AI and machine learning capabilities to augment that work so more of it can be automated.

“Cybersecurity provides the most velocity and variety of data that you will see in any part of the organization,” Nayyar said. “And we all know that cyber analysts have been drowning in this.”

Emmanuel said Capital One knows it needs greater automation to meet the growing pace of cyberattacks.

“We believe it’s going to evolve into being more AI and machine learning-driven,” he said. “There’s going to be a significant amount of machine assistance to the human operators in threat detection and incident response activity.”

The SIEM space has become highly competitive. Nayyar says Securonix has been growing rapidly because it offers three advantages: a foundation built on data analysis; a cloud-based approach to security; and a low price point for customers, thanks to the lack of additional infrastructure needed.

While the latest funding will help continue this work, Nayyar said the partnership with Capital One is just as critical. Capital One Ventures is taking a seat on the board and Securonix will be working closely with Capital One to explore product enhancements and use cases related to monitoring cyberattacks.

Nayyar also hopes to use that development partnership to springboard into other security areas, such as IoT and mobile.

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