We have previously mentioned that the South African venture capital sector is seeing an increase in investment activity. We have previously covered the Knife Capital / KNF Section12J fund and highlighted the importance of these funds actually deploying investor capital.
Knife Capital has announced a new deal. As per the press release:
DataProphet is a Cape Town based machine learning company that develops and implements bleeding-edge product development solutions to a wide range of industries, with a specific focus on the manufacturing sector. They assist data-heavy businesses to discover the insights and predictive capabilities hidden in their data.
The company has now received a multi-million dollar funding round from Knife Capital – a leading venture capital firm with offices in Cape Town and London. Knife Capital invests via a consortium of funding partnerships, including SARS section 12J Venture Capital Company KNF Ventures and Draper-Gain Investments.
The funding will be applied to boost the company’s innovation capabilities and accelerate global expansion. DataProphet has already successfully delivered on many local and international projects. Key clients and revenue drivers are largely international and the company has earned a reputation of competing at the highest level, outperforming blue-chip corporates on project deliverables in many instances.
Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already helping manufacturers achieve yields that they hadn’t thought possible through intelligent automation and much more dynamic control methods. These technologies are key to achieving the goals of Industry 4.0 and allowing manufacturing plants to be far more responsive to the market demands without incurring additional costs.
“Those that don’t adapt will fall behind, to be replaced and supplanted by newer and more dynamic companies that use machine learning to drive their growth,” says Frans Cronje, MD and Co-Founder of DataProphet. “We are delighted to welcome another credible investment partner like Knife Capital on board to become actively involved in strategic elements of the business and to open up their market access networks in pursuit of growth,” said Cronje. DataProphet previously raised funding from private investment group Yellowwoods.
The Cape-based startup has established itself as an aspirational work environment for AI and machine learning talent in South Africa and has become a magnet for these key resources. ”DataProphet 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. We were impressed with every aspect of the business during our due diligence and subsequent deal closing process, and look forward to the scale-up journey as part of the team” says Andrea Bӧhmert, Investment Partner at Knife Capital.
Knife Capital’s investment in DataProphet comes at a time when the manufacturing industry is being revolutionised by combining emerging technologies such us the Internet of Things, AI, and machine learning. In applying advanced machine learning to optimise and control manufacturing processes, DataProphet’s customers have realised substantial savings and increases in yield. In one client’s case, DataProphet’s AI solution doubled their profit within the first month of it going live. DataProphet now plans to bring these benefits to a wider client base.
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