Business News for the United Kingdom and Turkey
LONDON & MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AIcapabilities—H2O.ai, a leading AI technology software company, has announced that İşbank, officially Türkiye İş Bankası, the largest private bank in Turkey, has selected H2O’s Driverless AI platform to upgrade its Income Prediction, Cash Forecasting and Check Default Prediction applications, to improve the accuracy of the bank’s business planning with on-going AI projects.
In close partnership with İşbank’s San Francisco-based innovation arm Maxitech, who is leading the initiative, İşbank has agreed to adopt the H2O Driverless AI platform after a successful project which saw machine learning (ML) performance improvements, revenue increases and cost reductions on existing application development processes.
Ümit Bilik, Chief Data Officer, Head of Data Management & Artificial Intelligence at İşbank, said, “We are delighted to have selected H2O.ai through the work with Maxitech for this important step towards empowering our AI capabilities. Our selection decision was driven by the proven creation of successful high-performance machine learning models, demonstrable efficiency improvements and H2O.ai’s technical and domain expertise.”
Andrew Morris, Senior Vice President, EMEA, H2O.ai, said, “The decision by İşbank to use Driverless AI is another shining example of how a progressive-thinking finance organization in EMEA is embracing innovative AI and ML technologies to improve the accuracy of its business planning predictions, and be even more competitive in an increasingly challenging market. We look forward to working closely with İşbank, and its innovation arm Maxitech, on the next stage of this IT business transformational initiative.”
During the initial project stage, İşbank saw the following results:
Income Prediction Results:
– 8% performance increase with Automatic Machine Learning (AutoML).
Cash Forecasting Results:
– Increased revenue by optimized cash management across 4000 piloted ATMs with up to 50% reduction in cash forecast deviation.
– Reduced re-training effort of models from five days to six hours.
Check Default Prediction Results:
– With AutoML, a decrease in the time to develop new models from 2 months to 2.5 hours.
– Teams with in-depth AI knowledge can learn/use model in shorter timeframes.
In addition to the primary selection agreement by İşbank, Maxitech introduced İşbank’s software development subsidiary Softtech, which is one of the leading tech companies in Turkey, to H2O.ai. Both parties worked together on assessing how H2O.ai’s Driverless AI platform would enable the business unit to digitally transform its customers in the Turkish marketplace into more AI driven organizations. In 2021, Softtech strategically positions as the visionary for Automated Machine Learning Platform needs in the Turkish market.
İşbank was established in 1924 as the first national bank of Turkey. İşbank serves retail, SME and large corporate customers and provides all kinds of banking services. As of 2021 Q1, İşbank is the largest private bank in Turkey in terms of total assets, total loans and total deposits among privately owned banks in Turkey. The bank has the most extensive private distribution network in the country with 1,198 domestic branches and 6,593 ATMs as of 2021 Q1. Share of non-branch channels in total transactions has increased significantly and reached 96% by 2021 Q1. The number of the bank’s digital (mobile and internet banking) customers, which is continuously increasing, reached 9.4 million. İşbank also operates abroad through its 22 foreign branches (15 in Northern Cyprus, 2 in London, 1 in Bahrain, 2 in Iraq, 2 in Kosovo) and 2 representative offices in China and Egypt as well as 3 wholly-owned subsidiaries in Germany (İşbank AG), Russia (İşbank Russia) and Georgia (İşbank Georgia). İşbank was named the Turkish bank with the highest brand value globally in the “Banking 500 2021” report issued by Brand Finance, a leading global brand valuation and strategy consultancy.
Founded in 2006, Softtech is Turkey’s largest software company with 9 different locations including Istanbul, Ankara, San Francisco, Shanghai and Frankfurt am Main with a professional staff of more than 1500 people. With experience in the banking and the finance sector, our experienced teams develop customer-oriented solutions for our business partners operating in different fields.
Located in Silicon Valley, the epicenter of technology, Maxitech’s mission is to translate leading-edge technologies into life-enhancing innovations for businesses and individuals. Maxitech collaborates with large enterprises to drive their innovation initiatives by connecting them with the best-in-class startups. With more than four years of experience in building successful enterprise-startups partnerships, Maxitech makes innovation a reality.
H2O.ai is a customer obsessed and innovative AI technology company that enables organizations to move faster, make better decisions, and automate operations. Through platforms such as H2O AI Hybrid Cloud and H2O Wave, organizations can rapidly build world-class AI models and applications, putting AI into the hands of business users. Our vision is to democratize AI by making it easier for individuals to build and access world-class and responsible AI. We continue to reimagine what is possible with artificial intelligence and partner with our community to continuously accelerate our pace of innovation. H2O provides leading open-source data science and machine learning software, is used by nearly half of the Fortune 500, and is trusted by over 18,000 organizations and hundreds of thousands of data scientists around the world.
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Round led by Accel will accelerate product innovation and meet surging demand following 4x year-over-year customer growth
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Gloat, pioneers of the Talent Marketplace platform that is reinventing work and careers in global enterprises, today announced a $57M Series C funding round led by Accel, with participation from existing investors Eight Roads Ventures, Intel Capital, Magma Venture Partners, and PICO Partners. With total funding of $92M, the company will accelerate product innovation and market expansion as it aims to bring workforce agility to every enterprise and more dynamic careers to every individual.
Gloat was founded in 2015 by Ben Reuveni, Amichai Schreiber and Danny Shteinberg, with the belief that the traditional approach to work, jobs and careers that has been at the heart of enterprise operations since the industrial revolution is now holding businesses and their people back. In an age where the speed of change demands greater agility and adaptability than ever before, enterprises need a more agile operating model. That is why Gloat built the Talent Marketplace – an AI-powered platform that dynamically connects employees with internal work and development opportunities like projects, full-time roles and mentorships that align to their skills and aspirations. The Talent Marketplace helps enterprises break down operational silos and quickly draw on talent from across the business, while democratizing career opportunities for employees and empowering them to navigate more dynamic, experience-driven careers on their own terms.
Leading global enterprises such as Unilever, Schneider Electric, Seagate, Nestlé, Novartis, MetLife, HSBC, and ABInBev are benefiting today from Gloat’s platform. Within four months of deploying Gloat, Seagate Technology saved $1.4 million by efficiently managing and deploying talent. Unilever has been able to resource more than 4,000 business projects (equivalent to over 500,000 working hours), 60% of which included talent from a mix of business functions and geographies. Projects at the consumer goods giant included a new ice cream product launch that broke time-to-market records and launches of dozens of new hygiene products to meet surging demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re living through a paradigm shift in the way leading enterprises are managing talent and work within their organizations. Traditional silos, rigid hierarchies and legacy HR technologies keep employees trapped, with limited opportunities for growth, and slow organizations down,” said Gloat CEO and Co-Founder Ben Reuveni. “The most forward-thinking and future-ready companies are breaking down these silos and embracing a more agile approach to workforce management powered by the Talent Marketplace.”
The urgent need to respond to change amidst the pandemic was an accelerant for many organizations to embrace a more agile operating model with the Talent Marketplace, as Gloat’s customer base grew 4x, ARR grew 5x, employee count tripled, and Gloat’s user base expanded to more than 120 countries. Gloat’s new funding comes as businesses are emerging from pandemic lockdowns and having to once again adapt to a new world of work.
“As companies are adapting their workforces to be more flexible and take advantage of remote workers, new tools are needed to optimise productivity and ensure equality of opportunities,” said Philippe Botteri, Partner at Accel. “Gloat pioneered the Talent Marketplace to solve that, and it’s now becoming a strategic tool for global enterprises. Some of the world’s largest, most forward-looking companies are benefiting from the workforce agility enabled by Gloat’s AI-powered platform. The Accel team is looking forward to partnering with Gloat on the next stage of its journey, bringing this fundamentally new way of developing talent and managing work to every global enterprise.”
Founded in 2015, Gloat is redefining the future of work with its mission to democratize career development, unlock skills, and help enterprises build a future-proof workforce. It pioneered the AI-powered Talent Marketplace being used by the world’s leading global enterprises today. The company was founded by Ben Reuveni, Amichai Schreiber and Danny Shteinberg and is based in New York, with offices across the globe and a large R&D center in Tel Aviv, Israel. www.gloat.com
Accel is a global venture capital firm that is the first partner to exceptional teams everywhere, from inception through all phases of private company growth. Arista, Atlassian, Braintree, Celonis, CrowdStrike, Deliveroo, DJI, Dropbox, Etsy, Facebook, Flipkart, Freshworks, Jet, Kayak, Lynda.com, Qualtrics, Rovio, Slack, Spotify, Supercell, Swiggy, Tenable, UiPath, and Venmo are among the companies the firm has backed over the past 35+ years. We help ambitious entrepreneurs build iconic global businesses. For more, visit www.accel.com or www.twitter.com/accel.
Quickline plans to bring full fibre and all-new 5G technology to half a million premises in rural Britain
LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Specialist, ultrafast broadband provider Quickline Communications Limited (“Quickline”) and Northleaf Capital Partners (“Northleaf”), a Toronto-headquartered global private markets investment firm, today announced that funds managed by Northleaf completed the previously announced acquisition of a majority share in Yorkshire-based Quickline’s holding company, QCL Holdings Limited.
Quickline’s management team, as well as Bigblu Broadband (AIM: BBB.L) and Harwood Capital have retained minority stakes in the company.
The acquisition further underscores Quickline’s reputation as a frontrunner in complex, rural connectivity requirements. Quickline’s strategy includes a plan to invest more than £500m to provide ultrafast and gigabit-capable broadband connectivity in rural Northern England and beyond.
Quickline expects to provide ultrafast broadband accessibility to more than 500,000 rural premises in the coming years by expanding its market-leading, gigabit-capable, next-generation hybrid network. New 5G capabilities will be a first of its kind in the UK, with the start of a large-scale, full fibre rollout to complement this in remote areas.
To reduce the digital divide, Quickline will use an innovative hybrid approach of utilising 5G and a fibre to the premise (“FTTP”) network for a cost effective, technical solution. This has enabled Quickline to secure four multi-million-pound Building Digital UK (BDUK) contracts to supply next-generation internet access in places that other operators have largely ignored.
Quickline is also working alongside local authorities and UK Government to help remote communities, with subsidies providing much-needed assistance in the promotion of large-scale investment in gigabit-capable networks. Quickline is at present upgrading digital infrastructures across North Lincolnshire, Lincolnshire, West and North Yorkshire.
Sean Royce, Quickline’s newly appointed CEO, said: “This is a major turning point in Quickline’s history and sets us even further apart from other ultrafast broadband providers.
“Receiving this kind of investment from Northleaf provides us with the ability to supply life-changing gigabit-capable broadband to hundreds of thousands of rural customers that previously were unable to access the internet at speed. We look forward to working alongside Northleaf to create this unique hybrid next-generation network, provide hundreds of jobs and build a business that provides new breakthroughs in internet connectivity for broadband users in remote pockets of the UK.”
Roderick Gadsby, Head of Northleaf’s infrastructure activities in the UK and Europe, said: “We are delighted that the acquisition has been successfully completed. Quickline is an excellent fit with our communications infrastructure investment strategy and offers our investors exposure to an attractive and growing sector.
“The evolution of the industry is being led by the likes of Quickline, which has experienced rapid growth in recent years. Quickline plans to utilise both full fibre and 5G fixed wireless technologies to accelerate the deployment of gigabit-capable broadband in remote UK regions which will provide critical infrastructure to rural communities in its target markets.”
Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman said: “I welcome this substantial investment in Quickline. It will help us build back better by connecting more than half a million rural homes and businesses to top-of-the-range broadband speeds by 2025.
“Boosting connections in rural communities is crucial to our plans to level up Britain, and we’re working alongside commercial providers to plug in hard-to-reach homes and businesses through our £5 billion Project Gigabit scheme.”
Cllr Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access at North Yorkshire County Council, which established its own high-speed internet service provider NYnet in 2007, added: “We are committed to continuing to bring access to superfast broadband for our residents and businesses across North Yorkshire with our SFNY project. The latest phase of the programme being delivered by Quickline is vital as we extend connectivity to more premises in the most rural areas of the county.
“Communities are currently experiencing first-hand our and Quickline’s commitment to securing the future of digital connectivity in all our towns and villages. The transformation, especially in our more secluded communities is a key factor for improving our economy and employment prospects.”
Notes to editors
Quickline is focussed on delivering improved broadband connectivity in rural areas of the north of England and beyond where a significant digital divide remains and many hundreds of thousands of premises are in desperate need of increased broadband speeds.
Quickline is a Yorkshire-based internet service provider, with its heritage in fixed wireless but its network includes increasing amounts of full fibre connectivity, as well as rural-delivered 5G technology. Its aim is to be the leading UK-dedicated, rural broadband infrastructure provider, delivering innovative, flexible and hybrid solutions that can address the millions of premises unlikely to be served commercially by full fibre networks for many years to come. For more information on Quickline, visit www.quickline.co.uk.
About Northleaf Capital Partners
Northleaf Capital Partners is a global private markets investment firm with US$16 billion in private equity, private credit and infrastructure commitments under management on behalf of public, corporate and multi-employer pension plans, endowments, foundations, financial institutions and family offices.
Northleaf’s 150-person team, located in Toronto, Montreal, London, New York, Chicago, Menlo Park and Melbourne, is focused exclusively on sourcing, evaluating and managing private markets investments globally. Northleaf’s portfolio includes more than 400 active investments in 40 countries, with a focus on mid-market companies and assets. For more information on Northleaf, visit www.northleafcapital.com.
For Quickline media enquiries:
t: + 44 (0)7845 807569
For more information on Northleaf:
Investor and media inquiries:
t: +1 416 477 6623
t: +44 20 7321 5752