General Electric digital exec jumps to analytics firm Uptake

NEW YORK, Feb 21 (Reuters) - U.S. analytic software firm Uptake Technologies is set to announce it has hired one of General Electric Co's top digital executives as it pursues a potential trillion-dollar market for systems that analyze data from industrial equipment, according to people familiar with the matter.

Ganesh Bell, former chief digital officer at GE and chief executive officer at GE Power Digital, will become president of Chicago-based Uptake later this month, these people said. An announcement was expected Wednesday.

Uptake, co-founded in 2014 by Groupon Inc co-founders Brad Keywell and Eric Lefkofsky, is among a number of companies creating software to make power plants, jet engines, wind farms and other industrial machinery run more efficiently and reliably.

Uptake has raised more than $250 million in venture funding from Revolution, GreatPoint Ventures and Baillie Gifford. Its latest series D round of funding in November gave the company a $2.3 billion valuation.

Uptake's customers include Berkshire Hathaway Energy , which deployed its software on U.S. wind turbines.

Bell was among the executives leading industrial-internet software development at GE, concentrating on GE's power unit. GE has sold its Predix software platform and applications to utilities and other industries. GE said last year it would narrow its focus to aviation, healthcare and power.

Uptake's software analyzes data in agriculture, construction, mining, aviation, railways, vehicle fleets, energy and wind power, and oil, gas and petrochemicals, according to the company.

Before GE, Bell held executive roles at enterprise software companies including ServiceSource International Inc, SAP SE and PeopleSoft, which was acquired by Oracle Corp.

Research firm IDC estimated in a recent report that spending on internet of things technology, including hardware and software, will reach nearly $1.4 trillion annually by 2021, up from $800.6 billion last year. (Reporting by Alwyn Scott; Editing by David Gregorio)