DataProphet, a South Africa-based AI-as-a-service company, has raised $10 million in its series A funding round.
The funding round was led by Knife Capital. Other participants in the funding round include South Africa’s IDC and Norican (one of the world’s largest metal surface preparation and finishing equipment providers).
Knife Capital made its initial investment in DataProphet in 2018. The investment company has then planned to use its $50 million Knife Fund III to push for a global expansion of the firms in its portfolio.
DataProphet was founded in 2014 by Frans Cronje and Daniel Schwartzkopff. The company provides machine learning and AI technologies for use in the manufacturing industry. DataProphet aims at optimizing manufacturing procedure with its technology.
“I think the way we differentiate ourselves is that we approach this from a holistic factory control where implementing our PRESCRIBE solution can enable a customer to realize this full site optimization. […] And there’s a second aspect: The solution we’ve got to enable customers to realize yield is an end-to-end prescriptive solution. What I mean by that is that it has the capacity to integrate some of the lowest data levels in factories. And we don’t see that in our competitors,” Cronje said.
DataProphet works with a 50-person team, and serves clients spread across the automotive, semiconductor, rubber and foundry businesses. DataProphet render its services to manufacturing plants based in Japan, China, India, Europe, South Africa, the U.S, and South America.
Speaking on the company’s intentions for the funds raised, the founder, Frans Cronje said:
“This is where we’ll be applying a lot of this fund: to support international sales. […] And they’ll support functions needed in markets away from the major engineering hub, South Africa. So part of the investment will be used to develop a European sales office and subsequently a U.S.-based sales office to support customers and partners abroad.”
Keet van Zyl, co-founder and Partner at Knife Capital, noted that DataProphet’s push for global expansion is one of the forces that drives it towards investing in the company.
“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,” Keet van Zyl said.