Stellenbosch-based AI start-up receives R60m funding

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 17 Apr 2024
AI solutions provider Spatialedge has secured funding of R60 million to further revolutionise the retail sector.
AI solutions provider Spatialedge has secured funding of R60 million to further revolutionise the retail sector.

Spatialedge, a Stellenbosch-based data and applied artificial intelligence (AI) solutions start-up, has secured R60 million in funding from the Hlayisani Growth Fund.

In a statement, the company says the funding marks a milestone in its mission to transform the retail industry.

Established in 2017, it operates out of Stellenbosch in the Cape Winelands.

Spatialedge says it enables organisations to build and operationalise machine learning solutions, so as to deliver business value faster through its suite of decision tools and team of engineers who integrate the solutions into core business systems.

According to the company, it has experienced exponential growth, surpassing R300 million in revenue, and established a track record with many of Africa’s largest multinational enterprises.

“We have worked directly with our customers for seven years, researching, developing and delivering cutting-edge, tailored solutions that solve real-world business problems,” says Retief Gerber, CEO of Spatialedge.

“With this recent investment boost, we are now able to accelerate the process of releasing these solutions into the market and make them accessible to more customers.”

According to Gerber, the fresh capital will enable the business to expand its research and development efforts and enhance its product line-up.

“Our portfolio of products is years in the making and has been meticulously crafted and refined through extensive real-world application,” states Gerber. “This hands-on experience has not only proven the effectiveness of our technologies but has also allowed for continuous improvement based on direct feedback and ever-evolving market needs.”

Gerber adds that the AI solutions developed by the business are focused on optimising enterprise operational decision-making, including optimal pricing of retail products, capital allocation, labour scheduling and markdown optimisation.

“These solutions are underpinned by a core platform that accelerates the development of machine learning models and streamlines the process of promoting these models to a production environment,” comments Gerber.

The Hlayisani Growth Fund is a South African fund focused on investing in high-growth, high-impact African technology companies.

The fund is aimed at growth-stage firms that have proven their business model and are looking to expand locally and internationally. It aims to support businesses that demonstrate a potential for industry leadership and sustainable innovation.

As the R700 million Hlayisani Venture Fund II that launched in Q1 of 2023 approaches its closing stage, the Hlayisani Growth Fund’s R60 million investment in Spatialedge signifies a belief in the company’s potential to continue leading the charge in retail technology innovation, says Spatialedge.

Mathew Palin, partner at the Hlayisani Growth Fund, says: “Spatialedge exemplifies the type of forward-thinking and impactful companies we aim to support with the Hlayisani Venture Fund II.

“Their proven track record with major brands and commitment to advancing the big data and AI landscape aligns perfectly with our investment philosophy. We are confident Spatialedge is well-positioned to continue to have a significant impact in the industry. We look forward to supporting them on their journey and helping them reach new heights.”