Gem Leads Blockchain Investment for 2016 Securing $7.1M In Series A Funding

Gem Leads Blockchain Investment for 2016 Securing $7.1M In Series A Funding

Gem, a leading blockchain platform provider, announces today that it has closed $7.1 million in Series A funding, led by Pelion Venture Partners and participated in by KEC Ventures, Blockchain Capital, Digital Currency Group, RRE Ventures and more.

“We believe blockchain technology will transform how people and companies interact,” says Micah Winkelspecht, CEO and founder of Gem. “It will underpin entire industries and one day produce a blockchain economy that will form the underlying architecture of our daily lives.”

According to a recent report by technology-focused boutique investment bank Magister Advisors, the blockchain and bitcoin ecosystem received nearly $1 billion in funding since 2013, and that number is expected to increase by another $1 billion in 2017. Gem is the first blockchain company in 2016 to announce a formal round of funding. Gem’s investors are attracted to its fully customizable platform that refines blockchain technology into a data management application that can be applied cross-industry.

Ben Dahl, a partner at Pelion Venture Partners who led the funding round and has also joined Gem’s Board of Directors said: “We have been monitoring the blockchain industry looking for a company that could bridge the divide between enabling developers and their projects, while also advancing blockchain use cases in larger enterprises. After spending time with Gem team and their customers, we became convinced they have the foresight, traction and leadership necessary to connect the enterprise with the efficiencies and benefits of blockchains.”

“It was obvious to us immediately the Pelion team shared our vision for the future of blockchains and what would be required to get there,” said Gem Founder and CEO, Micah Winkelspecht. “We’re excited to have Ben and Pelion join the team and help us do something special.”

Gem was founded by blockchain thought leader, open-source contributor, and community organizer Micah Winkelspecht and launched at TechCrunch Disrupt SF’s Startup Battlefield in 2014. After launching a multisignature API for developers, the company is now working to promote the integration of blockchain technology in finance, healthcare, and other data-reliant industries.

Jeff Parkinson, partner of KEC Ventures said: “I’m really excited about blockchain ledger systems, and Gem is a great example of a company that’s fully leveraging the potential of that technology to transform the services industry.”

Scott Kriz, CEO of Bitium has also been appointed to Gem’s Board of Directors. Gem has raised $10.4 million in total funding and is based in Venice, CA.

Game of Thrones Star Esmé Bianco Portrait on Display in London

Game of Thrones Star Esmé Bianco Portrait on Display in London

Talented artist Christian Furr’s stunning art collection “Hidden Treasures” is being displayed at Campbell’s Master Framers and Art Gallery in South Kensington, London.

Amongst the collection includes the painting ‘Flesh and Blood’ – a superb example of contemporary figurative art. The artwork is the last in Christian’s Men and Women series, painted between 2007 and 2011.

The “Hidden Treasures” collection, which must be seen in the flesh to be fully appreciated, is being exhibited until February 15 2016.

Christian features the Game of Thrones star Esmé Bianco in his ‘Flesh and Blood’ painting. Esmé was spotted by Christian, prior to her role in the hit TV series, ten years ago at Terry de Havilland’s 2005/06 London Fashion Week show, where she was modelling.

Speaking about why he chose Esmé to sit for his paintings, Christian Furr said “Esmé, with her red hair, had a twenty-first century edgy look combining the future and the past.”

“Esme’s look is reminiscent of 1940’s screen icons such as Deborah Kerr, who featured as the muse in the film The Life and Times of Colonel Blimp. The model on the right is a friend of Esme’s that has a different type of look that contrasts well.”

The actress, who shot to fame in 2011 playing Ros in Game of Thrones, was not featured in George R. R. Martin’s original book series, and in fact was only meant to feature in the pilot episode of the TV series. In an interview with HBO, Esmé explained that the show’s creators, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, enjoyed her performance so much they decided to write her in as a recurring character.

Esmé Bianco said, “Sitting for Christian was an absolute pleasure. He is not only an extraordinarily gifted painter, but a very kind and charming gentleman. I feel very honoured to have been featured in several of his beautiful paintings.”

Christian continues, “I chose to feature two women in this work with different types of poses and attitudes to reflect how most relationships are not static. Esmé gazes out of a window at life outside, unconcerned and intrepid in her pose where the girl on the right looks more introspective and protective.”

“The image of the lion on the wall is vulnerable too. The three of them set up a pyramid-like composition like the Karpman Drama triangle.”

The settings for the paintings in the series were largely high end hotels and include various themes about life and the relationships between men, women and love. Paintings within paintings or mirrors and windows that appear in Furr’s artwork are designed to represent alternate realities.

Christian, who was notably the youngest artist to be commissioned to paint an official portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, also commented on the method in his artwork. “I am conscious of balance and dynamics in all my works and for this reason I apply a method of making this work that is based on an aspect of the golden ratio. This means that in theory the painting should work upside down and in every position. I create the paintings, turning them every way whilst working.”

“I don’t like to put specific meaning on any of my works. I just like to give clues, signifiers and let the viewer do the rest. Although they may be influenced by my own sub conscious ideas, the works must exist in their own right and have their own life for whoever is viewing them.”

Christian’s Hidden Treasures collection will be on display until February 15 2016 at Campbell’s Master Framers and Art Gallery, 35 Thurloe Street, London, SW7 2LQ.

The 2011 painting Flesh & Blood by Christian Furr featuring Esmé Bianco is oil on canvas, measuring 914 x 914 mm, is priced at £8,400.

Trintech Continues Streak of 8th Consecutive Quarter of Record Customer Bookings and Growth

Trintech Continues Streak of 8th Consecutive Quarter of Record Customer Bookings and Growth

Leading Enterprise Class Financial Record-to-Report Software Provider Achieves 111% YOY Growth in Q3 Bookings Driven by its Award Winning Cadency® Cloud Solution

Dallas, TX –Trintech, the leading global provider of integrated Record to Report software solutions for the office of finance, announced that it continues to extend its market leadership in the Enterprise Class market as evidenced by its eighth consecutive quarter of record bookings. During the third quarter of its fiscal 2016, which ended on October 31, 2015, Trintech recorded 111% year-over-year growth of its Cloud-based software. The company’s strong growth continues to be fuelled by leading global organizations in the Americas, EMEA and Australia adopting Cadency®, its enterprise-class Record to Report software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution.

“Trintech continues to be the preferred solution for enterprise-class companies to maximize the value within their financial Record to Report process,” said Robert Michlewicz, EVP at Trintech. “We partner with our clients to address their immediate financial process needs, while providing them with a platform that helps lower their risk profile and deliver efficiency and effectiveness into their R2R process both today and well into the future.”

Enterprise class companies are following the guidance of leading advisory firms and ERP vendors (such as SAP) that the most effective way that they can transform the finance organization to improve the quality of their financial close while simultaneously addressing the ever changing regulatory environment is by addressing the Record to Report process.

Trintech’s cloud-based solutions automate and control the financial close accounting process within corporations, often referred to as the “last mile of finance.” The company serves more than 900 customers in 100 countries across a wide variety of industries that include retail, travel and hospitality, high-tech, financial services, pharmaceutical, energy, telecommunications and manufacturing. Over 37 percent of the Fortune 100 are Trintech clients, comprising over 250,000 users around the globe and more than one billion transactions in the cloud annually, making it the de facto standard for enterprise Record-to-Report software solutions.

On September 30th, Trintech received an investment from Vista Equity Partners. The investment will help propel Trintech’s global expansion and further enhance the capabilities of its market leading Cadency and ReconNET solutions.

“The significant investment that Vista makes in each of its portfolio companies translates into huge value for its customers’ in terms of technology, processes and service,” said Paul Byrne, Trintech’s CEO. “Vista’s support will help us accelerate our customer bookings even faster and enable Trintech to capitalize on the rapidly growing enterprise Record to Report market.”

About Trintech

Trintech is the leading provider of financial software solutions for the Record-to-Report process. Over 900 clients in 100 countries – including half of the Fortune 50 and the FTSE® 100 – rely on our solutions to optimize resources, reduce costs, manage risk and monitor activities across the entire finance organization worldwide. Trintech’s Cloud-based Cadency® software manages all aspects of the financial close – from automating and managing balance sheet reconciliation, journal entries, to governance, risk and compliance, and financial reporting. ReconNET™ streamlines daily operational reconciliations such as bank and credit card transactions. Trintech has offices located across the US, UK, Australia, France, Ireland, the Netherlands and the Nordics, with partners in South Africa, Latin America and across the Asia Pacific region. TRINTECH.

Finance professionals lag behind in exploiting analytics technology to add strategic value

Finance professionals lag behind in exploiting analytics technology to add strategic value

7 January 2016 – Finance professionals are failing to exploit analytics technology to add greater strategic value and trail behind other organisational departments in their adoption levels.

These are the findings of research carried out by Source for Consulting in partnership with leading business applications and service provider, Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced). The report is based on a survey of executives in a variety of roles from 297 UK mid and small-sized organisations.

Advanced’s survey reveals that just 2% of finance professionals have fully implemented analytics software and over a third (35%) are yet to consider doing so. Only a higher percentage of respondents from HR functions (68%) admitted they had not contemplated how specialist technology could assist them. The research suggests that analytics is most likely to be used, at least partly, within marketing departments (48%) and amongst senior decision makers (44%).

Analytics enable finance teams to collaborate more effectively with other departments by providing unique, actionable information. By replacing the time-consuming process of consolidating and extracting data from spreadsheets, analytics software can quickly deliver reports as and when a business demands them.

Simon Fowler, Managing Director of Advanced Business Solutions (Commercial division) says, “Senior managers now expect finance professionals to analyse large volumes of data with greater speed whilst understanding the wider impact on a business. But due to being restricted by spreadsheets they can often be seen as more of a hindrance than a help which is a perception they must change.

“Modern analytics technology can quickly gather relevant information and provides a level of insight that isn’t possible using traditional methods, enabling finance workers to add greater strategic value and reposition their relationship within an organisation.”

The respondents put forward a number of suggestions as to why businesses should invest in analytics. 86% stated ‘to enhance decision-making ability’ was a significant reason. Other main reasons put forward included to improve understanding of why things have happened (69%), to realise financial benefits (62%), having access to information more quickly (58%) and to reduce time spent on producing reports (45%).

Fowler adds, “Financial information is largely structured, so it’s important for businesses to integrate their chosen analytics software with a leading financial management solution. Ensuring tight integration between different systems also provides increased confidence in the underlying data which is vital to leverage the full benefits of analytics.”

Advanced offers a variety of financial management solutions and is continually developing its software to meet the increasing need for analytics technology. The business’s leading scenario planning, procurement and spend analytics systems assist organisations to better predict business outcomes, reduce costs and improve operational efficiency.

To read the report, ‘Advanced Analytics’, click here.


Notes to Editors

About Advanced Business Solutions

Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced) provides leading integrated business applications and services that enable public, private and third sector organisations to retain control, improve visibility and gain efficiencies whilst continually improving corporate performance. Advanced prides itself on getting close to its customers by understanding their businesses and responding to their evolving needs.

Advanced’s software systems comprise core accounting/financial management, procurement, supply chain management, human resource, payroll and customer relationship management systems. These systems are integrated with a range of collaborative, document management and business intelligence solutions to extend the value and effectiveness of front and back office departments.

Management information systems for school and academies are provided through Advanced’s subsidiaries, Advanced Learning and Compass Computer Consultants. Advanced also provides specialist vertical solutions for the not-for-profit, sports, arts, live events and legal markets. All solutions can be delivered as a managed or bureau service.

Customers are from both the public and private sectors and include Companies House, Newcastle City Council, NHSScotland, Norfolk Constabulary, Edge Hill University, WH Smith, Royal Bank of Scotland, Aer Lingus, National Express Group, DFS, Liverpool FC, Goodwood, CIPD and RSPB.

Advanced Business Solutions is a division of Advanced Computer Software Group Limited, a leading supplier of software and IT services to the health, care and business services sectors. In 2014, the Group won Tech Company of the Year in PwC’s UK Tech Awards. Advanced was also ranked in the Deloitte UK Fast 50, which recognises the 50 fastest growing technology companies in the UK and ranked in the top 300 technology companies in Deloitte’s EMEA rankings.

Latest regulatory information management survey from Gens & Associates offers global top 150 life sciences companies a unique opportunity to rank their RIM progress against an emerging world-class standard and their peers

Latest regulatory information management survey from Gens & Associates offers global top 150 life sciences companies a unique opportunity to rank their RIM progress against an emerging world-class standard and their peers

The 2016 survey, ‘Pursuing World Class RIM: Strategy, Measures and Priorities’, launched today, is the 3rd in a ground-breaking global RIM research series by ProductLife Group’s research partner

Paris, France – January 8th, 2016 – Up to 60 of the top 150 life sciences organisations globally are expected to complete the latest regulatory information management (RIM) study, launched today by Gens & Associates, ProductLife Group’s strategic research partner.

This year the study, Pursuing World Class RIM: Strategy, Measures and Priorities, will offer participants an unprecedented chance to rank themselves against their peers for their progress in the field.

“Although a lot of companies are doing good work with RIM, no one is doing it really well yet,” says Steve Gens, founder of Gens & Associates. “So we wanted to define what world-class RIM looks like and provide a way for companies to measure themselves against other, similar-sized organisations.”

The important global survey is the 3rd in a series of RIM studies conducted by Gens & Associates in partnership with ProductLife Group (PLG), and the 30th study it has performed in the life sciences industry.

While Gens’ previous RIM studies have focused on the top 70 life sciences organisations, the 2016 survey is open to global 150 companies, in recognition that smaller yet fast-growing organisations are now also investing more heavily in RIM. Participants will span Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific region.

Gens says. “There is now a high expectation of increased efficiency and productivity in how they manage information – but without any compromise to quality and compliance. This year our aim is to look beyond the status of companies’ investment, direction and use of solution providers, to world-class measurements of success for RIM. Participating companies will gain a peer standing, as well as insight into how they can achieve world-class status.”

The comprehensive survey, which will be open to participants for the first 12 weeks of 2016 (allowing maximum time for teams to collate their responses collaboratively), has been designed with direct input from a cross-section of life sciences companies.

“Eighteen individual companies attended global design sessions in different countries to refine the measures of what good looks like,” Gens says. “This says a lot about how important this is to companies. We know that in many cases life sciences organisations are using the results of our research to direct their RIM strategies and investment plans.”

More than 100 target companies have been invited to complete the survey between now and mid-March. Participants will be given free access to the full results in mid-April, as well as details of their own ranking. They will also be offered a private debriefing session. A white paper containing highlights of the findings will be published in June 2016.

Commenting on the launch of the 2016 survey, Adam Sherlock, CEO at ProductLife Group, said, “We are delighted to be expanding the scope of the research this year, which we know commands great attention and interest across the life sciences sector. This ongoing research series is an important barometer in a vital area for our customers, and our partnership with Gens & Associates for this work is of immeasurable value to those companies. We eagerly await the results.”

About ProductLife Group

ProductLife Group is a trusted partner that helps clients stay ahead of the changing R&D landscape. We provide support across all stages of the product life cycle and have experience in working with companies in every segment of the life sciences industry. With an established presence across Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific; with extensive capabilities in key markets; and with more than two decades of serving the industry, ProductLife Group has a solid platform from which to provide clients a range of services, consulting, and outsourcing solutions. PLG empowers clients to focus on innovation and business growth strategies and to make strong, informed decisions every step of the way. What’s more, we wrap it all up with partnership flexibility, for a truly customised experience that helps clients scale their initiatives cost-effectively.

By taking advantage of the power of deep domain expertise, established relationships, intelligent collaborations, and a flexible delivery framework, ProductLife Group delivers exceptional service to clients. Our goal is to develop long-term relationships by being responsive and relevant and by consistently delivering value. We cultivate a trusting, consultative environment and are positioned to operate as an extension of clients’ businesses, with a shared interest in their long-term success.

More at or follow us on Twitter at @ProductLife_EU

About Gens and Associates

Gens & Associates is a leading independent boutique management and organisational consultancy specialising in strategic planning, organisational transition management, benchmarking, and regulatory information management strategy. Our primary focus is the global healthcare industry where we have worked with 85% of the top 60 bio-pharmaceutical companies worldwide. We help our clients increase their organisational performance and business results by leveraging and maximising their people and core information assets. More at

UK Cybersecurity Startup Crypta Labs Appoints Dr Helen Marsden to Advisory Board

UK Cybersecurity Startup Crypta Labs Appoints Dr Helen Marsden to Advisory Board

Crypta Labs, an award winning UK-based mobile security company developing a Quantum (True) Random Number Generator used to seed encryption on mobile devices, has appointed Dr Helen Marsden to its Board of Advisors.

In her capacity as a board adviser, Dr Marsden will draw upon her extensive experience working on research and development projects, as well as her experience in liaising with partner academic, government and pan-government institutions. Dr Marsden also takes a keen interest in how technology (particularly mobile) can be used to improve healthcare, believing that data security is of crucial importance in this arena, saying, “The Internet of Things has a huge potential to revolutionise healthcare, but with it comes with the potential for sensitive data security breaches and even malicious hacking of devices, with potentially fatal outcomes. Recent examples, such as the FDA warning on Hospira infusion pumps and the disabling of the wireless capabilities of Former Vice President Dick Cheney’s pacemaker, indicate an increasing awareness and concern around medical device vulnerabilities. Manufacturers of technological devices have a responsibility to design security into their system from the outset.”

Dr Marsden said of her appointment, “It is a pleasure to be working with such an innovative technology company, to develop a truly unique product at the cutting edge of cybersecurity. The security challenges presented by the Internet of Things is an issue which needs our full attention, and I believe Crypta Labs are best placed to deliver an effective solution.”

Dr Marsden’s professional background is scientific, having worked in both pharmaceutical corporates (GSK, Merck KGaA) and academic institutions (the Medical Research Council), specialising in clinical research. More recently, Dr Marsden has developed her scientific expertise for a more commercial application, and is founder and director of Angel investment and consultancy group, HI-ventures, which supports SMEs by designing and implementing clinical research activities.

Commenting on the appointment of Dr Marsden as a Board Advisor, Crypta Labs’ CEO Joe HQ Luong said, “We are thrilled to have Helen joining the Advisory Board at Crypta Labs. Helen brings with her over 13 years’ experience in both the government grants sector and helping tech startups. She joins us a critical time where we are looking to launch our product this year.”


Crypta Labs is a mobile security startup, developing a Quantum Random Number Generator; this is a true random number using the quantum property of light. Random numbers are used to seed encryption. Crypta Labs is the only company in the world, that they know of, which is commercialising the QRNG on a mobile device.

– Winner Cyber Security Awards for Cyber Security Startup of the Year 2015
– Finalist at the Citi Mobile Award Challenge 2015
– TechUK and InfoSec Top 10 Most Innovative Cybersecurity Startup 2015
– Cambridge Wireless Discovering Startups Finalist

Crypta Labs is currently fundraising through Angels Den to build their own Quantum Random Number Generator.

Userful to showcase stunning video wall solution at ISE 2015 trade show

Userful to showcase stunning video wall solution at ISE 2015 trade show
Userful, a leading provider of digital display software, will be exhibiting its network video wall, the world’s first to deliver 4k and larger content over the network in real-time at Integrated Systems Europe 2015. Userful will be giving demonstrations of its latest release which provides additional features including any angle rotation of individual displays for eye-catching, artistic video wall layouts. Able to support a video wall of up to 25 displays form a single Core i7 PC, Userful is the new benchmark for flexibility, affordability and simplicity in video walls. Userful will be exhibiting at ISE 2015 with its partner ViewSonic, a world-leader in digital display solutions. The exceptional Userful Network Video Wall paired with industry-leading ViewSonic ultra-slim displays creates the ideal digital signage solution for anyone with any budget.

The trade show, taking place from February 10-12, 2015, is the annual marketplace for professional AV and electronic systems integration held in Amsterdam, NL. Attendees will have the chance to experience the unique Userful Network Video Wall in action. It is the first solution to be able to run multiple video walls throughout a building from just a single PC or server.

“We are very excited to partner with Userful at ISE 2015,” said Brian Wei, Marketing Director, ViewSonic Europe Ltd. “This year, we’ll be showing off our latest 3.5mm super narrow bezel IPS panels featuring full HD 1080p resolution and wide, 178/178 viewing angles to deliver powerful and impactful video walls. The displays also benefit from multiple connectivity options including HDMI and DVI-D. ViewSonic offers customers a stunning video wall that is simple to install and handle thanks to four handles on the back of the display. Userful Network Video complements our hardware perfectly and brings our brilliant 4K video wall to life, making the pair an ideal solution.”

The solution can be arranged in artistic, angled designs or in a standard grid configuration of up to 25 displays. The solution is ideal for a wide range of use cases including lobbies, museums, restaurants, stadiums, transportation hubs, retail stores, education campuses, control rooms, meeting rooms, briefing centers, broadcast centers, among many others.

“We are inviting you to come and see a solution that is truly one of a kind,” said Tim Griffin, founder and CTO of Userful. “Demand for video walls is growing dramatically, but in the past video walls have come with many challenges–cost and complexity being the two biggest. This solution significantly reduces the cost of deploying a stunning video wall. The fact that we do this using industry standard hardware and an local area network gives customers unique simplicity and flexibility advantages.”

To become a Userful partner, or to learn more about the unique Userful Network Video Wall solution, visit ViewSonic’s booth 10-R116 in the Amsterdam RAI at ISE 2015. Book an appointment with a Userful representative at the trade show, or sign up for a personalized webinar by emailing or calling +1.866.873.7385, ext 795.

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