South Africa-based artificial intelligence (AI) startup DataProphet has raised US$6 million Series A funding round. The round of funding was led by led by existing investor Knife Capital with participated from Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC) and Norican Group.
Founded in 2014 by two friends Frans Cronje and Daniel Schwartzkopff from University of Cape Town.
DataProphet proactively prescribes changes in manufacturing plant’s control schedules which enables factories to continuously optimise production without the expert human analysis typically required.
DataProphet first secured Venture Capital funding in 2016, from Yellowoods Capital, before another round, led by Knife Capital, was raised in 2018.
The funding will be used to strengthen the operational footprint of DataProphet internationally and fast-track the strategy of growing through and with their strategic partners across geographies and industry verticals.
Earlier this year a partnership between Norican and DataProphet was announced to accelerate the adoption of AI in the foundry industry. This partnership followed a number of joint innovation projects carried out with Norican brand DISA.
“Applying AI to the foundry industry will reduce energy consumption, increase yield and reduce waste. What started as a 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.
Knife Capital managing partner Andrea Bӧhmert said her company was happy to support DataProphet in 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.
Christo Fourie, head of new industries at the IDC also was excited about DataProphet’s propects in the future, “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.