DataProphet, a South African AI-as-a-service firm has announced that it raised $10m in a Series A funding round led by an existing investor, Knife Capital.
Other investors include – IDC and Norican. Knife Capital began investing in DataProphet in early 2018 via its KNF Ventures Section 12J funding vehicle. It also led the $6 million funding round in 2020.
The AI-as-a-Service company of machine learning specialists works with manufacturers globally to optimize their production KPIs via existing plant data and machinery.
The startup positions industrials to evolve towards autonomous, energy-efficient production, optimizing manufacturing performance. Its flagship AI solution, PRESCRIBE, has helped customers around the world experience a significant and practical impact on the factory floor, reducing the cost of non-quality by an average of 40 percent and supporting manufacturers wherever they are on the digital adoption curve.
According to DataProphet, the funding raised will be to invest further in the company’s award-winning industrial AI product set while facilitating targeted growth in selected geographies and manufacturing verticals.
“Accelerating the international expansion of DataProphet, given the leading nature of its technology, is exactly the mandate of our new Fund – and it couldn’t be more fitting for our first investment to be a follow-on investment from our existing cohort,” comments Keet van Zyl, co-founder, and partner at Knife Capital. Knife Capital’s Fund III is still open for investment and is backed by the International Finance Corporation, the Mineworkers Investment Company, the SA SME Fund, select family offices, and other credible financial institutions.
“I am excited about the continued support DataProphet has received from Knife Capital. Going forward, we will use this additional funding to accelerate and expand into new markets, build new relationships aligned with our machine builder strategy, and further our global expansion. Another important pillar is bringing in top talent to build on this momentum.” says Frans Cronje, CEO of DataProphet.
This is the first investment made by Knife Fund III, the newly launched fund supporting the international ambitions of African scale-ups.
Justin Larsen, CFO of DataProphet, elaborated: “Leading up to the finalizing of this funding round, we’ve made great strides in product development and gained additional momentum with our existing and new clients. We’ve also won several industry awards, acknowledging the progress that we’re making. These are strong indicators that the business is headed in the right direction.”
Andrea Böhmert, Partner at Knife Capital and Executive Chairperson of DataProphet, gave her perspective on the critical investment. “It is fantastic that the launch of Knife Capital’s Fund III allows us to continue supporting DataProphet in its journey to becoming the leading provider of impactful AI solutions for the manufacturing industry. The optimization of manufacturing performance in the context of Smart Manufacturing is still in the early adoption cycle. The DataProphet team is world-class, as validated by the third-party recognition it receives, and as such perfectly positioned to further entrench its leadership position in this fast-growing sector.”