Cape Town’s DataProphet receives additional R75m in funding

Focused on artificial intelligence and autonomous manufacturing technologies, DataProphet has secured a further $4.5 million in Series-A funding from existing investors.

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“The funding provides DataProphet with the capital to invest further in its award-winning industrial AI product set while facilitating targeted growth in selected geographies and manufacturing verticals,” the company said in a statement.

The new funding is in addition to the $6-million committed to the company in 2020 in a round led by the same investors, led by Knife Capital, bringing the Series-A investment to $10.5-million (around R165-million). Other than Knife Capital, the Series-A funding also includes investments from South Africa’s Industrial Development Corp (IDC) and Norican, a global foundry and engineering equipment company.

Frans Cronje, CEO of DataProphet, has said the company is specialising in helping industrial companies “evolve towards autonomous, energy-efficient production, optimising manufacturing performance”. Its flagship product is called Prescribe, which helps companies “experience a significant and practical impact on the factory floor, reducing the cost of non-quality by an average of 40% and supporting manufacturers wherever they are on the digital adoption curve”.

“We will use this additional funding to continue to accelerate and expand into new markets, build new relationships that are aligned with our machine builder strategy, and further our global expansion. Another important pillar is bringing in top talent to build on this momentum,” Cronje said in the statement. The company now has customers in Africa, the Americas, Europe and Asia.

The first investment from Knife Capital came to DataProphet back in 2018 via its KNF Ventures Section 12J funding vehicle. The latest round is the first investment made by Knife Fund III, the newly launched fund supporting the international ambitions of fast-growing African start-ups. Fund III, which is still open for investment, is backed by the International Finance Corp, the Mineworkers Investment Company, the SA SME Fund and various family offices.