by Moxye Staff

Chicago-based Uptake Technologies, a fast-growing predictive analytics startup has announced the hiring of General Electric Co’s (GE.N) top digital executives Ganesh Bell as its president. Uptake will  pursues a potential trillion-dollar market for systems that analyze data from industrial equipment.

Bell was GE’s first-ever chief digital officer and was the CEO of GE Power Digital, focusing on energy, Internet Of Things, cloud and big data.

Prior to joining GE in 2014, Bell was the chief products officer and EVP at ServiceSource and helped lead the company to an IPO.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity for Ganesh and me to leverage our strengths and accelerate Uptake’s growth in this trillion-dollar industrial IoT market,” Brad Keywell, Uptake’s co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. “By staying true to our founder-led vision while adding a globally recognized and impactful leader, we will prove that our collective efforts are greater than the sum of the parts.”

Uptake has been one of Chicago’s most high-profile and well-funded startups in recent years. It has raised around $260 million since launching in 2014, and it’s backed by Steve Case and Ted Leonsis’ venture firm Revolution, GreatPoint Ventures, New Enterprise Associates and others. The startup has around 750 employees.

The company’s growth hasn’t come without some speed bumps, however. Uptake laid off more than 50 workers in January. And prior to that, Caterpillar, one of Uptake’s early investors and pilot customers, restructured its investment deal and redeemed its investment in Uptake. In December, Valor Equity also announced it had ended its investment in Uptake.

Uptake, which builds predictive analytics software that helps companies in rail, energy and other sectors know when their machines are going to fail, in many ways competes directly with 125-year-old GE. And the Chicago startup is no stranger to scooping up GE employees. Last October, Uptake announced it hired Michael Donohue and Tom Anderson, two former GE c-suite executives, to its executive team.

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