Tempo Automation, a manufacturer for prototyping and low-volume production of printed circuit board assemblies, has raised $45 million in Series C funding, led by existing investor Point72 Ventures. The investment will accelerate development of Tempo’s proprietary factory automation software to further increase speed and accuracy for manufacturing high complexity PCB assembly. “Tempo is reinventing electronics manufacturing by putting software automation at the center of what they do,” said Sri Chandrasekar, Indian American partner at Point72 Ventures and board member at Tempo Automation. “Tempo’s interconnected smart factory is modernizing the manufacturing process, which allows them to deliver a far superior customer experience. We see considerable market opportunity for Tempo, and we are pleased to support their continued growth.” As technology companies compete to bring groundbreaking innovations to market quickly and gain first-mover advantage, they seek to reduce the time from concept to prototype to product launch. Tempo’s smart factory and proprietary software enable design engineers to ensure precision, speed, and transparency for PCBA. In 2018, Tempo opened a 42,000-square-foot smart factory in San Francisco’s Design District and released a host of automation software updates that have enabled electrical engineers to design, test, and deploy their products in a fraction of the traditional development cycle time.

QPharma’s Suhail Mughal Wins NJBIZ Digi-Tech Innovator Award

QPharma, a provider of commercial and compliance services to the life sciences industry, announced that CTO Suhail Mughal has been named to NJBIZ’s inaugural list of Digi-Tech Innovator Award winners. Mughal, a seasoned technology veteran who has served with QPharma for more than three years, has played an instrumental role in cementing the company’s reputation as a leader in commercial and compliance solutions for life sciences, the firm said. NJBIZ introduced the award to “showcase talented individuals who introduced significant innovations in the technology and digital space that contributed significantly to the productivity and performance of their organizations.” Mughal was recognized for his contributions to the development and enhancement of QPharma’s market-shaping Titanium platform. Titanium is a Software as a Service platform that serves as a life sciences company’s System of Record to house, manage, and analyze data in the cloud. Mughal, who joined QPharma in 2015, held previous positions that included senior technology roles at Veeva, Pharm3r, and A&E Television Networks. He is a graduate of Drew University. “I join my colleagues in warmly congratulating Suhail on this well-deserved honor, and thanking him for his outstanding contributions to QPharma’s success,” said Patrick P. Den Boer, president and CEO of QPharma. “This honor is a testament not only to Suhail’s hard work, but also that of his entire team, in positioning Titanium® as a leading solution for life sciences commercial and compliance excellence.”

Nextdoor Raises $123 Million at $2.1 Billion Valuation

Nextdoor, a social network aimed at local neighborhoods, has raised $123 million in a round of funding led by Riverwood Capital. This takes Nextdoor’s total raised to more than $400 million since its inception and gives it a valuation of $2.1 billion — around $600 million more than its reported valuation at its last round of funding in late 2017. “Around the world, there is a universal yearning for the connectedness of proximity,” explained Nextdoor CEO Sarah Friar, who replaced co-founder Nirav Tolia back in October. “Neighbors everywhere still love and care about belonging and contributing to a tangible, real place, as evidenced by Nextdoor’s continued growth and expansion throughout the U.S., Europe, and Australia.” With another $123 million in the bank, the company plans to invest in recruitment and “cement Nextdoor as the essential local platform for neighbors around the globe,” according to a press release issued by the company. This will include pushing further into Europe, where it claims it’s growing 300% faster in 2019 so far than it did last year.

SeekOut Announces $6 Million in Series A Funding

SeekOut announced Series A funding of $6 million led by Madrona Venture Group, with participation from existing investor Mayfield. SeekOut’s AI-powered search engine gives recruiters the tools to find the best fit matches in the talent pool. By automating the candidate search and understanding past hiring patterns, SeekOut makes every recruiter a search expert and simplifies the task of zeroing in on the right candidate. “As a VC, every day I see the challenges teams face in hiring the best talent to realize their vision. Among the numerous investments being made in HR Tech, the SeekOut solution stood out for us as serving a critical need faced by every company, across industries,” said S. Somasegar, managing director, Madrona Venture Group. “As every company goes through the digital transformation, the need for technical talent is growing leaps and bounds. The SeekOut team deeply understands these challenges and has the expertise and drive to address them. I’ve been following the company for several years and am so impressed with their customer focus, innovative technology, and growth.” As part of the funding, S. Somasegar will join the SeekOut board. SeekOut was founded by Anoop Gupta, CEO and former Distinguished Scientist at Microsoft, and Aravind Bala, CTO and former engineering leader for Bing search engine. As engineering leaders, both acutely faced the problem of hiring tech-talent in building their own teams. “The competition for talent has never been more intense. The companies who will win know they need to use the most advanced solutions to find the best candidates. We're delighted by the feedback we receive from our customers daily who tell us they find more qualified candidates faster with SeekOut,” commented Anoop Gupta, co-founder and CEO. “This funding will help us further develop our solution to help companies find the best talent to meet their vision and goals.”

By GIOVANNI ALBANESE Jr., India-West Staff Reporter

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