Portfolio May 21 2021

Centrical opens Australian HQ in Melbourne

Employee engagement and performance management vendor Centrical is expanding into the APAC region with the opening of its Australian headquarters in Melbourne's CBD.   The Australian office is to be headed by Centrical regional director Luke Jamieson, who has been named one of the globe's top CX influencers and thought leaders by Panviva, Engati CX, Thinkers 360 and Survey Sensum. "We are excited to launch Centrical in the APAC region, as this new home brings us much closer to our growing customer base where we already have strong relationships with Australian businesses," said Jamieson. "We believe we are bringing the best practice employee engagement to Australia and with over a decade of helping our customers around the globe with this we feel now is the right time to launch here. "With Australia and New Zealand being lucky enough to be one of the first regions to go back to a new normal, we have seen a rapidly growing need for tools to enable the transition to the new world of work – hybrid, everywhere, empowered and employee growth centric. "We believe not only can we continue to build our brand here, serving and helping customers but we can also help build improved work environments and happier work communities which is why Centrical and the Victorian Government are better together." Centrical's AI powered platform is said to help businesses improve employee engagement, proficiency and performance by blending real-time performance management, microlearning, gamification, and data-driven feedback. Local customers include IAG and Optus. The company is actively hiring a full go-to-market team to support its push into the region and to better accommodate the needs of its growing customer base.

Portfolio May 20 2021

Neocase announces a strategic partnership with Talentsoft

Neocase, the pioneering platform for automating HR Service Delivery announces a new strategic partnership with Talentsoft, the European leader in Human Capital Management. Through this launch, Neocase’s Business Process Management (BPM) module will be fully integrated into the Talentsoft platform, enriching user value through increased automation and workflow capabilities in two distinct areas.  Leveraging its powerful HR workflow capabilities, Neocase enables Talentsoft to streamline and automate key moments throughout the employee lifecycle, from pre/on-boarding, transitioning, and off-boarding, ensuring a friction-free experience from beginning to end. By taking advantage of Neocase’s ready-made workflows, Talentsoft users will achieve faster time-to-value through reduced implementation costs and make real productivity gains by reducing the time spent on administrative tasks. In addition, Neocase is deploying its Electronic Document Management (EDM) solution into the Talentsoft portal.  This extension enables Talentsoft to deliver an improved experience that is both device and location agnostic, allowing for signing, storage and control of employee and HR documents. This partnership is an accelerator for the two providers, who will gain access to new markets in France and internationally, notably by strengthening their existing presence in the US and Canada. Several projects are already underway with clients in France, Benelux and Germany. Didier Moscatelli, CEO of Neocase explains: “We are proud to announce this strategic partnership with Talentsoft which showcases our capacity to enrich the offerings of bigger providers of HR solutions in the market. This alliance of two of the major players in the French cloud-based HR solutions market sends a strong signal and will enable organizations to accelerate their digitization. » Joël Bentolila, CTO of Talentsoft says: “We’re thrilled to be working with the Neocase teams. Thanks to this partnership, Talentsoft is now able to provide an innovative and personalized productivity experience to all its clients. Neocase’s expertise in HR workflow management, applied to our savoir-faire in the SaaS domain, make this partnership a real catalyst for mutual growth and client satisfaction in the Human Capital arena.“ The two providers have put in place an ambitious plan to strengthen the partnership in coming months, including skills transfer and training for internal teams.

Portfolio May 17 2021

Native mobile app Poq joins the MACH Alliance

Leading SaaS provider, poq, is first native mobile app platform to be certified by best-of-breed technology ecosystems body, MACH Alliance Poq, today joins the MACH Alliance, the group of independent tech companies dedicated to advocating for open, best-of-breed technology ecosystems, demonstrating poq’s commitment to the MACH model. Its membership validates the strategic approach of its cloud-based platform development to enable easy integration of native mobile apps with other commerce systems and services, and facilitate seamless customer journeys. The MACH Alliance is rooted in the common belief that the interoperability and open architecture of modern software will propel current and future digital experiences. Customer experiences are increasingly going ‘mobile-first,’ resulting in $32 billion spent on in-app purchases across iOS and Google Play globally in Q1 2021. As the biggest quarter since records began, this figure is also 40% up year-on-year from the pandemic-induced online levels of 2020. “Poq offers a strongly differentiated, MACH-based platform for building mobile retail experiences. With many retailers being mobile-first, poq’s MACH-based platform is perfect for retailers looking to differentiate,” said Kelly Goetsch, president of the MACH Alliance. “We are extremely excited to see that our strategic vision for creating the world’s first native retail toolkit has been recognised by the MACH Alliance as compatible with their goals to drive open and flexible architecture patterns in the industry — something we emphatically agree with. We are delighted to be joining the industry’s most advanced technology ecosystem body and to sit alongside some fantastic tech partners, whom we’ve long admired,” said Jay Johnston, Chief Executive Officer, poq. “Our membership further reinforces the increased demand we’re seeing from organizations who want to create best-in-class commerce experiences that include a digital flagship native mobile app, while retaining end-to-end business and tech visibility, agility and control.” Poq recently introduced Elevate, a MACH-based SDK, designed to empower retailers wanting to turbocharge their digital commerce strategies and capitalize on the growth of online shopping with a mobile-first approach by enabling best-in-class, integrated app commerce development with fully interoperable, best-of-breed MACH Alliance ecosystem partners.

Portfolio May 17 2021

Novacyt test for variants of concern included in NHS framework

Clinical diagnostics company Novacyt announced on Monday that its ‘SNPsig’ SARS-CoV-2 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) genotyping portfolio has been included in the NHS England framework for detecting Covid-19 ‘variants of concern’. The AIM-traded firm also announced the launch of two new PCR assays to detect SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. It explained that the national framework was for testing of all positive SARS-CoV-2 samples from NHS and high-throughput ‘Lighthouse’ laboratories in England. SNPsig COVID-19 20I/501Y.V1 + E484K is a CE-marked assay to detect 20I/501Y.V1, the variant of concern originally identified in the UK, as well as VOC-21FEB-02 and all SARS-CoV-2 variants carrying the E484K escape mutation. SNPsig SARS-CoV-2 E484K Easy, meanwhile, is a research-use-only, streamlined workflow solution for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 variants carrying the E484K escape mutation for use with the company's q32 rapid-PCR instrument. That assay comes with pre-filled cassettes, and includes one pipetting step to decrease operator complexity and improve cycle times. “We are very pleased to be included in NHS England's VoC Framework, which allows our SNPsig range of products to be used at any NHS and Lighthouse laboratories, subject to local verification, as we continue to support diagnostic testing across the UK, and globally, through our extensive portfolio,” said chief executive officer Graham Mullis. “We remain committed to developing new tests to match the rapid evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 virus with our real-time bioinformatics surveillance programme and accelerated product development. “Our SNPsig portfolio for detecting variants of interest and variants of concern now includes 12 individual assays to support scientists and clinicians in the ongoing fight against Covid-19.” At 0859 BST, shares in Novacyt were up 8.38% at 438.93p.

Portfolio May 17 2021

Pharming celebrates the 10th annual “hae day”

Pharming Group N.V. ("Pharming" or "the Company") (Euronext Amsterdam: PHARM) (NASDAQ: PHAR) supports the 10th annual "hae-day :-)", the global awareness day for hereditary angioedema (HAE), a rare life-threatening condition. On 16 May, the HAE community unites to raise awareness of HAE among the public and medical community to ensure every patient receives faster and more accurate diagnosis, and the care they need to manage the condition. National member organizations and HAE patient groups around the world support the event, led by HAE International (HAEi), the global umbrella organization for the world's HAE patient groups. Sijmen de Vries, Chief Executive Officer of Pharming, commented: "We are proud to support the 10th annual hae-day :-) to raise awareness of HAE and better quality of live for patients and their families around the world. HAE is a rare genetic disorder that causes severe swelling of tissues, which can be fatal. Patients are also frequently misdiagnosed due to symptoms resembling more common conditions. Pharming remains dedicated to making a positive difference to patients with this rare life-threatening condition so they can receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate medical care." About HAE Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare genetic disorder. The condition is caused by a deficiency of the C1 esterase inhibitor protein, which is normally present in blood and helps control inflammation (swelling) and parts of the immune system. Deficient C1 inhibitor does not adequately perform its regulatory function and, as a result, a biochemical imbalance can occur and produce unwanted peptides that induce the capillaries to release fluids into surrounding tissue, thereby causing swelling or edema. HAE is characterized by spontaneous and recurrent episodes of swelling (edema attacks) of the skin in different parts of the body, as well as in the airways and internal organs. Edema of the skin usually affects the extremities, the face, and the genitals. Patients suffering from this kind of edema often withdraw from their social lives because of the disfiguration, discomfort and pain these symptoms may cause. Almost all HAE patients suffer from bouts of severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea caused by swelling of the intestinal wall. Edema of the throat, nose or tongue is particularly dangerous and potentially life-threatening as it can lead to obstruction of the airway passages. Although there is currently no known cure for HAE, it is possible to treat the symptoms associated with angioedema attacks. HAE affects about 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 50,000 people worldwide. Experts believe a lot of patients are still seeking the right diagnosis: although HAE is (in principle) easy to diagnose, it is frequently identified very late or not discovered at all. The reason HAE is often misdiagnosed is because the symptoms are similar to those of many other common conditions such as allergies or appendicitis. By the time it is diagnosed correctly, the patient has often been through a long ordeal.

Portfolio May 11 2021

Jamf snags zero trust security startup Wandera for $400m

Jamf, the enterprise Apple device management company, announced that it was acquiring Wandera, a zero trust security startup, for $400 million at the market close today. Today’s purchase is the largest in the company’s history. Using a set of management services for Apple devices, Jamf provides IT at large organizations. It is the leader in the market, and snagging Wandera provides a missing modern security layer for the platform. Jamf CEO Dean Hager says that Wandera’s zero trust approach fills in an important piece in the Jamf platform tool set. “The combination of Wandera and Jamf will provide our customers a single source platform that handles deployment, application lifecycle management, policies, filtering and security capabilities across all Apple devices while delivering zero trust network access for all mobile workers,” Hager said in a statement. Zero trust, as the name implies, is an approach to security where you don’t trust anybody regardless of whether they are inside or outside your network. It requires that you force everyone to provide multiple forms of authentication to prove their identity before they can access company resources. The need for a zero trust approach became even more acute during the pandemic when employees have often been working from home and have needed access to applications and other company resources from wherever they happened to be, a trend that was happening even prior to COVID, and is likely to continue after it ends. Wandera, which is based in London, was founded in 2012 by brothers Roy and Eldar Tuvey, who had previously co-founded another security startup called ScanSafe. Cisco acquired that company, which helped protect web gateways as a service, for $183 million back in 2009. The brothers raised over $53 million along the way for Wandera. Investors included Bessemer Venture Partners, 83North and Sapphire Ventures. Sapphire co-founder and managing director Andreas Weiskam had this to say about the company: “I’ve had the pleasure of working with co-founders (and brothers) Eldar Tuvey and Roy Tuvey for the last several years now and I can honestly say they’re great entrepreneurs and leaders, having built a real company of consequence.” He added, “They’ve created a unique security product which addresses mobile threats by leveraging the increasingly important zero trust network. By joining the Jamf family, the two will help shape the future of the zero trust cloud. And it goes without saying that this is a big win for the customers, especially for those in the Apple ecosystem.” Under the terms of the deal, Jamf is paying Wandera $350 million in cash, then paying them two $25 million payments on October 1, 2021 and December 15, 2021. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter, assuming it passes regulatory scrutiny.