After another weekend of global COVID-19 escalation, the Australian sharemarket continued to dislocate this morning.

At the time of writing, the ASX Small Ords index was down another 7.5 per cent.

But amid the doom and gloom, a handful of tech stocks made announcements that helped drive their share prices higher in morning trade.

Among the leaders was AI platform BrainChip Holdings (ASX:BRN), which announced a distribution agreement with Japan-headquartered SocioNext.

Under the terms of the deal, SocioNext will offer a version of its SynQuacer multi-core processor that includes Brainchip’s Aikido AI software which will be integrated into the product.

Brainchip’s platform provides an artificial intelligence solution based on neural network patterns of the human brain.

The two companies expect engineering samples of the integrated product to be available by the third quarter of 2020. Shares in the company were up 15 per cent in morning trade to 3.8c. Since the market mayhem began February 24, shares in BrainChip have fallen from a level around 6c.

Also climbing was clean-tech minnow BuildingIQ (ASX:BIQ), which said it signed a letter of intent with US-based SNAPS Holding Company.

SNAPS plans to make a $5.9m investment in BuildingIQ via a private share placement and promissory notes. If approved by shareholders, the deal will give SNAPS a 66.7 per cent shareholding in BuildingIQ, which says it will remain listed on the ASX.

The letter of intent is non-binding, and “subject to a period of due diligence and contingent on the execution of definitive agreements between the parties”, the company said.

And food-service platform Dragontail Systems (ASX:DTS) was also the beneficiary of some deal news. The company said it entered into a binding subscription agreement for a “two-stage equity raising, to raise up to $19.25m via the issue of convertible preference shares”.

The investment is being made by US company Eldridge, and Alceon, Dragontail’s largest Australian-based shareholder. Shares in Dragontail jumped more than 20 per cent in morning trade to 10c.