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Home Finance South African AI Startup DataProphet Secures $6m to Expand Globally
Finance - News around Africa - Profiles - Startup - August 25, 2020

South African AI Startup DataProphet Secures $6m to Expand Globally

  • South African AI company DataProphet, helps businesses automate their activities, has raised a US$6 million Series A funding to expand globally.
  • DataProphet first received VC financing from Yellowoods Capital in 2016, before a further round led by Knife Capital was raised in 2018.
  • DataProphet’s US$ 6 million Series A includes South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Norican Group, a leading foundry engineering and machinery company and knife Capital.
South African company DataProphet, which uses artificial intelligence ( AI) to help businesses automate their activities, has raised a US$6 million Series A funding to expand globally.
DataProphet was founded in 2014, when two friends at Cape Town University, d, wanted to use their AI expertise to launch their own company.
The business has grown into a remarkable one, with the company’s AI-as-a-service, DataProphet PRESCRIBE, proactively recommending improvements to management strategies for a manufacturing plant to continually maximize output without any expert human analysis.

DataProphet first received VC financing from Yellowoods Capital in 2016, before a further round led by Knife Capital was raised in 2018. Knife Capital is a follow-up partner in this latest round, a US$ 6 million Series A which also includes South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and Norican Group, a leading foundry engineering and machinery company.

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The funding will be used to improve DataProphet ‘s operating presence globally and to rapidly map the policy of expanding through geographies and business verticals through its strategic partnership.

A partnership between Norican and DataProphet was revealed earlier this year to speed up the implementation of AI within the foundry industry. This collaboration followed a series of joint innovation projects conducted with Norican brand DISA.

“Applying AI to the foundry industry will reduce energy consumption, increase yield and reduce waste. What started as commercial cooperation with DataProphet, developed into a partnership, and now we will also become a shareholder,” said Anders Wilhjelm, chief executive officer (CEO) of Norican Group.

“We know foundries and how they work, DataProphet really knows AI, so we are truly excited about what DataProphet and we can achieve together.”

Frans Cronje, CEO and co-founder of DataProphet, said South Africa would remain the startup’s engineering and operational hub, as it provided access to great talent.

“DataProphet however, is an international business, with hubs located around the world. This funding round will enable DataProphet to develop locally located sales and support for customers and partners across the world,” he said.

Christo Fourie, head of new industries at the IDC, said the capacity to capture, store and use data to improve the speed and quality of industrial decision-making was at the heart of the future state of Industry 4.0.

“Combining the AI capabilities of DataProphet with the vast number of manufacturers the IDC has funded and have access to, could fast-track the company’s growth while also extracting efficiencies from within our current investment portfolio,” he said.

Knife Capital managing partner Andrea B says that her company is excited to start helping DataProphet through this funding round.

“Since our initial investment in 2018, DataProphet has emerged as a global thought leader in its field and as such is a prime example of the kind of cutting edge technologies South African entrepreneurs are capable of developing with global relevance in a fast-growing market. The expansion capital allows DataProphet to prove out their offering on a global stage,” she said.

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