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CX New Launch and Funding News

ADP Unveils Fund, Orquesta Secures More Capital, and Nexusflow Lands Seed Fund

CX New Launch and Funding News

ADP Launches ADP Ventures, Its Corporate Venture Capital Fund

ADP, the Roseland, New Jersey-based provider of human capital management (HCM) solutions, has launched ADP Ventures, its corporate venture capital arm and innovation lab. With its stated mission to enhance and strengthen ADP’s core business, ADP Ventures seeks to create offerings in new adjacent segments and geographies while also developing new assets to monetize markets and segments beyond HCM.

“Our mission is to empower businesses and their employees,” says Maria Black, president and CEO of ADP. “ADP Ventures will allow us to further invest to provide clients with unmatched support throughout the HCM journey, from hire to retire, and most importantly, that critical space in between where we hope to inspire people as they fulfill their potential.”

ADP Ventures intends to focus on early-stage strategic investments with co-investors and will target a small, leading subset of the most innovative new companies. ADP recently completed investments in two startups this year: Cocoon, a leave management software provider that focuses on improving the employee leave experience by automating the most challenging parts of compliance, claims, and payroll calculations; and Fringe, a marketplace of services that facilitates programs such as lifestyle benefit stipends, well-being, rewards and recognition, and peer-to-peer gifting.

Also, as part of its strategy, ADP Ventures will invest in and partner with early-stage and scaling tech startups that advance ADP’s innovation strategy. To this end, ADP Ventures has invested in SemperVirens Venture Capital, a leading early-stage venture capital fund that invests in technology transforming work, health, and financial wellness.

“The world of work is changing at an unprecedented pace, and many entrepreneurs are focused on advancing speed to innovation in this space,” says Sreeni Kutam, president of global product and innovation at ADP. “ADP Ventures is investing in the total human experience, in technology that empowers people at work and beyond work, whether it’s collaboration, health and well-being, talent acquisition, financial wellness, or HCM analytics.”

The partnership with SemperVirens also brings direct access to the firm’s executive advisory board of more than 140 experts, which will advise founders on scaling their products, sales strategies, and key partnerships.

Dutch Startup Orquesta Raises €800K for LLM Platform

Orquesta, the Amsterdam-based startup and developer of one of Europe’s first platforms to integrate large language models (LLMs), has secured €800,000—equivalent to more than $844,000—in an oversubscribed pre-seed funding round for its LLM operations and integration platform.

The funding round was led by AI investor Curiosity VC. It was supported by Spacetime, the investment office of Dutch entrepreneur Adriaan Mol, as well as by Golden Egg Check Capital, Magnetic Fund, Mollie CEO and CTO Koen Koppen, and other angel investors.

Related Article: Generative AI Investment Accelerating: $1.3 Billion for LLM Inflection

Founded by Sohrab Hosseini and Anthony Diaz, Orquesta has developed a technology specifically tailored for software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies and software teams. The platform, set to launch at the beginning of November 2023, will enable businesses to integrate, streamline, and monitor diverse LLMs without the need for coding or for dealing with the challenges of maintaining complex and ever-evolving integrations. SaaS companies will also be able to access a unified gateway with Orquesta to incorporate LLM models from providers such as OpenAI, Azure, Google, Hugging Face, and Cohere.

Orquesta co-founder Hosseini says the platform will be a boon to the users of LLMs, the AI model and algorithmic basis for chatbots such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard.

“The accelerated development of new AI functionalities leads to increased fragmentation, complexity, and a need for speed within the technology landscape for our clients,” notes Hosseini. “This prevents the already scarce talent of our clients from focusing on strategic work and growth. With one LLM gateway, including all the necessary tooling, Orquesta is their partner to remain competitive.”

Cybersecurity Generative AI Startup Nexusflow Raises $10.6 Million Seed

Nexusflow, the generative AI startup targeting the cybersecurity industry, has raised $10.6 million in a seed round led by Point72 Ventures, with participation from Fusion Fund and several AI luminaries in Silicon Valley.

Enabling enterprises to own advanced AI models while keeping their sensitive data secure, Nexusflow synthesizes fragmented data from various knowledge sources and software tools, streamlining security operations workflows. The Palo Alto, California startup helps companies make sense of cybersecurity data and unlocks the potential of security products for security operations and engineering.

Related Article: The Need for Resilience: A Conversation with Rubrik—Futurum Tech Webcast

“Nexusflow specializes in curating high-quality data for data-centric AI,” says Jiantao Jiao, CEO and co-founder of Nexusflow. “We also leverage our expertise in generative AI systems to ensure efficient implementation and scalability, resulting in significantly lower costs compared to OpenAI’s GPT-4.”

Nexusflow was founded by Jiao and Kurt Keutzer, both computer science professors at the University of California, Berkeley, along with Jian Zhang, Ph.D., and former SambaNova Systems director of machine learning.

Sri Chandrasekar, managing partner at Point72 Ventures, says the Nexusflow team brings a unique skillset that addresses the challenges faced by cybersecurity enterprises today. “We believe they represent the next frontier of generative AI research and are thrilled to support them on their journey,” Chandrasekar remarks.

Author Information

Alex is responsible for writing about trends and changes that are impacting the customer experience market. He had served as Principal Editor at Village Intelligence, a Los Angeles-based consultancy on technology impacting healthcare and healthcare-related industries. Alex was also Associate Director for Content Management at Omdia and Informa Tech, where he produced white papers, executive summaries, market insights, blogs, and other key content assets. His areas of coverage spanned the sectors grouped under the technology vertical, including semiconductors, smart technologies, enterprise & IT, media, displays, mobile, power, healthcare, China research, industrial and IoT, automotive, and transformative technologies.

At IHS Markit, he was Managing Editor of the company’s flagship IHS Quarterly, covering aerospace & defense, economics & country risk, chemicals, oil & gas, and other IHS verticals. He was Principal Editor of analyst output at iSuppli Corp. and Managing Editor of Market Watch, a fortnightly newsletter highlighting significant analyst report findings for pitching to the media. He started his career in writing as an Editor-Reporter for The Associated Press.

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