DataProphet fuels expansion plans after R103m funding

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DataProphet’s team of machine learning specialists.
DataProphet’s team of machine learning specialists.

Artificial intelligence (AI) start-up DataProphet is eyeing international expansion after raising $6 million (R103.4 million ) in a Series-A funding round from Venture Capital firm, Knife Capital, the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC) and foundry engineering firm Norican Group.

Founded in 2014 in Cape Town, DataProphet enables manufacturers to step towards autonomous manufacturing through its AI as a service offerings, which include the DataProphet Prescribe platform, which helps manufactures to continuously optimise production without the human analysis typically required.

Two years ago, DataProphet received funding from Knife Capital to boost its innovation capabilities. The company has now raised $6 million in a syndicated funding round from Knife Capital, joined by IDC and Norican Group.

The funding according to the company will be used to strengthen the operational footprint of DataProphet internationally and to fast-track its strategy of scaling, supported by its strategic partners across geographies and industry verticals.

Earlier this year, DataProphet forged a partnership with Norican aimed at accelerating the adoption of AI in the foundry industry.

DataProphet says the funding will help it transform from a South African start-up to a global player.

“South Africa will remain our engineering and operational hub as we have access to great talent,” says Frans Cronje, CEO and co-founder of DataProphet.

“DataProphet, however, is an international business, with hubs located around the world. This funding round will enable DataProphet to develop local-based sales and also boost support for customers and partners across the world.”

Denmark-headquarteredNorican Global manufactures industry automation equipment.

DataProphet’s partnership with Norican will see the two companies developing meaningful AI projects for foundry environments.

The results of the partnership, according to DataProphet, will see projects developed into commercial AI application services used in customers’smart factory plans and processes.

With AI playing an important role in helping the manufacturing sector achieve the goals of the fourth industrial revolution, the funding is key to future AI projects that will allow manufacturing plants to be more responsive to the evolving market demands.

Norican is in the process of rolling out the DataProphet applications to their full brand portfolio.

Anders Wilhjelm, CEO of Norican Group, says: “Applying AI to the foundry industry will reduce energy consumption, increase yield and reduce waste.

“What started as a commercial co-operation with DataProphet has developed into a partnership, and now we will also become a shareholder. We know foundries and how they work, DataProphet really knows AI, so we are truly excited about what our partnership with DataProphet can achieve.”

Andrea Bӧhmert, managing partner at Knife Capital, points out: “We are excited to continue 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.”

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