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Taking on the business scenario-planning giants, Pigment raises a $25.9M Series A led by Blossom Capital – TechCrunch

Realizing that modern, complex businesses can no longer be adequately managed using spreadsheet-style programs, the founders of Pigment decided there had to be a better solution. Their business forecasting platform has now raised a substantial Series A of $25.9 million, led by Blossom Capital. Also participating was New York-based FirstMark Capital and Frst, as well […]…

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Realizing that modern, complex businesses can no longer be adequately managed using spreadsheet-style programs, the founders of Pigment decided there had to be a better solution. Their business forecasting platform has now raised a substantial Series A of $25.9 million, led by Blossom Capital. Also participating was New York-based FirstMark Capital and Frst, as well as angel investors including Paul Melchiorre, former CEO of business planning giant Anaplan, and David Clarke, the ex-CTO of Workday, another business planning incumbent.

Those last two investors are significant because Paris-based Pigment competes with both Anaplan and Workday. Also of note is the fact that another planning product, Adaptive Insights, was sold to Workday for $1.6bn.

Pigment has so far secured large-scale enterprise and pre-IPO start-up clients for its beta product, including a major European bank – although it declines to name any of its clients so far.

Pigment says it aims to overhaul the painful experience of using error-prone spreadsheets and inflexible software to do business forecast forecasting, instead presenting a dashboard-like approach in real-time through charts, simulations and continuous modeling.

Eléonore Crespo, co-founder and co-CEO of Pigment said in a statement: “We’re a bit like Minecraft for business strategy – with that kind of creative, organic potential for the user. Standard planning solutions are basically mechanical, treating a business like a machine with levers that you just push and pull.”

Ophelia Brown, partner at Blossom Capital, said: ‘Existing planning software was built around 20th-century models of how to do business. Pigment is a 21-st century platform that reflects the way successful companies need to work today – socially and environmentally conscious, proactively scanning the horizon for risks and opportunities, and capable of unlocking new opportunities in an increasingly complex and uncertain world.”

Pigment was founded in 2019 by Crespo, a former data analyst at Google and investor at Index Ventures, and Romain Niccoli, the former CTO and co-founder of Criteo – the ad-tech company which IPO’d on NASDAQ in 2013.

Pigment says it aims to overhaul the painful experience of using error-prone spreadsheets and inflexible software to do business forecast forecasting, instead presenting a dashboard-like approach in real-time through charts, simulations and continuous modeling.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/12/03/taking-on-the-business-scenario-planning-giants-pigment-raises-a-25-9m-series-a-led-by-blossom-capital/

taking-on-the-business-scenario-planning-giants,-pigment-raises-a-$25.9m-series-a-led-by-blossom-capital-–-techcrunch

Ventureburn

ZwartTech launches Talent Foundation to equip Africans with digital skills

Lagos-based ZwartTech has announced the launch of its new edtech, Zwart Talent Foundation (ZTF) in a statement on 30 July 2021.

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Lagos-based ZwartTech has announced the launch of its new edtech, Zwart Talent Foundation (ZTF) in a statement today.

The foundation aims to equip young Africans with ICT skills necessary to close the growing African skills gap. The project has also set aside 70% of recruitment positions for African women.

87% of African CEOs are concerned about the digital skills gap

According to a report by PwC, featured in 2020’s Digital Skills Insights publication, 79% of global CEOs are worried about the availability of digital skills in their workforces, with 87% of African CEOs sharing the same concern.

“We launched the Zwart Talent Foundation to help Africans quickly combat poverty by giving them the chance to acquire tech skills as well as connecting them to international job opportunities. This will enable them to earn more and boost their economic status,” commented Nelson Tosin Ajulo, Chairman of ZTF in a statement.

ZTF’s three-pronged approach to tackling this skills gap means participants are led through the process from initial skills training to launching successful, sustainable careers.

The foundation aims to equip 2 000 Africans with critical ICT skills and recruit them into global companies over the next five years.

The Zwart Academy

Participants are first trained through the Zwart Academy in cybersecurity and Javascript for six months at no cost, giving them the necessary foundation to complete a one-year internship with Zwart Tech on completion.

“We have also realised that the quality of ICT education in Africa is inadequate. Considering this, students who join the Foundation will become Junior Developers in less than three years compared to attending a university and spending four or five years on the same course,” stated Ajulo.

Zwart Recruit

Zwart Recruit aims to support African ICT developers by connecting them with international companies looking for employees specialising in digital skills.

The Zwart Hub

The Hub is an accelerator programme that takes startups from concept to scaling their business on a global scale through mentorship and support from successful, experienced startup owners and investors.

While the global skills gap is worrying, considering automation may render many digital jobs obsolete in the near future, ZTF’s approach is different, according to Ajulo.

“Our approach is not only innovative, but it also saves time and will help tackle inequality faster, bridging gaps between social classes. The Academy training program involves a lot of practicals and it is free,” she concluded.

Read more: Edtech Go1 is SA’s first unicorn after closing $200m round

Read more: Transforming B2B payments could grow Africa’s local businesses [Opinion]

Featured image: Zwart Talent Foundation Chairman, Nelson Tosin Ajulo (Supplied)

“We launched the Zwart Talent Foundation to help Africans quickly combat poverty by giving them the chance to acquire tech skills as well as connecting them to international job opportunities. This will enable them to earn more and boost their economic status,” commented Nelson Tosin Ajulo, Chairman of ZTF in a statement.

Source: https://ventureburn.com/2021/07/zwarttech-launches-talent-foundation-to-equip-africans-with-digital-skills/

zwarttech-launches-talent-foundation-to-equip-africans-with-digital-skills

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Reduced microbial stability linked to soil carbon loss in active layer under alpine permafrost degra

Credit: NIEER Chinese researchers have recently discovered links between reduction in microbial stability and soil carbon loss in the active

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Chinese researchers have recently discovered links between reduction in microbial stability and soil carbon loss in the active layer of degraded alpine permafrost on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP).

The researchers, headed by Prof. CHEN Shengyun from the Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources (NIEER) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and XUE Kai from University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, conducted a combined in-depth analysis of soil microbial communities and their co-occurrence networks in the active permafrost layer along an extensive gradient of permafrost degradation.

The QTP encompasses the largest extent of high-altitude mountain permafrost in the world. This permafrost is different than high-latitude permafrost and stores massive soil carbon. An often ignored characteristic of permafrost is that the carbon pool in the active layer soil is more active and directly affected by climate change, compared to deeper layers.

Triggered by climate warming, permafrost degradation may decrease soil carbon stability and induce massive carbon loss, thus leading to positive carbon-climate feedback. However, microbial-mediated mechanisms for carbon loss from the active layer soil in degraded permafrost still remain unclear.

In this study, the researchers found that alpine permafrost degradation reduced the stability of active layer microbial communities as evidenced by increased sensitivity of microbial composition to environmental change, promoted destabilizing network properties and reduced resistance to node or edge attacking of the microbial network.

They discovered that soil organic carbon loss in severely degraded permafrost is associated with increased microbial dissimilarity, thereby potentially contributing to a positive carbon feedback in alpine permafrost on the QTP.

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The results were published in PNAS in an article entitled “Reduced microbial stability in the active layer is associated with carbon loss under alpine permafrost degradation”.

This research was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Strategic Priority Research Program (A) of CAS and the Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research Program.

Triggered by climate warming, permafrost degradation may decrease soil carbon stability and induce massive carbon loss, thus leading to positive carbon-climate feedback. However, microbial-mediated mechanisms for carbon loss from the active layer soil in degraded permafrost still remain unclear.

Source: https://bioengineer.org/reduced-microbial-stability-linked-to-soil-carbon-loss-in-active-layer-under-alpine-permafrost-degra/

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