SA’s Revelate uses AI to help firms bridge gaps


South African startup Revelate is creating a range of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to help companies bridge gaps in capacity or expertise.

Such is the impact, the startup is already cashflow positive having only launched in July, and is likely to show net profits within the first quarter of next year.

Revelate creates artificial intelligence solutions that range from basic self-learning, statistical models to advanced, pattern-recognition models. Chief executive officer (CEO) Cindy Lombaard told Disrupt Africa flexibility was part of the company’s mantra, with its products dynamically learning and evolving with the business in question.

“No two businesses are alike, and we make sure that we capture that uniqueness in our solutions – all our solutions are bespoke and customised to your needs,” she said.

AI methodologies such as pattern recognition, neural networks and network interaction analysis can be used to monitor the real-time transactional data of a business.

“If there are any transactions that show changes in normal behaviour, the AI models will identify them, and immediately notify the user,” Lombaard said.

“These changes can assist the user to identify numerous risks or opportunities – which can range from changes in customer demand or preference relating to retail spending patterns, fraud in the credit environment to network load predictions in the cell phone industry. We also supplement this with real-time dashboards that provide a visual representation of the patterns and predictions.”

Companies using Revelate to bridge gaps from a capacity or an expertise point of view.

“They might understand how to use their data but do not currently have the capacity to use the data to its full potential,” Lombaard said. “On the other hand, they might have data but without the necessary expertise to draw commercially viable insights from it.”

This could be due to a lack of expertise around infrastructure, technology or AI methodologies, with Revelate partnering with companies to bridge those gaps.

“You are the expert of your business and we bring our expertise in data mining for solutions, a partnership we believe is powerful,” Lombaard said. “This means we are industry agnostic and are looking at anything from credit risk models, insurance models and optimisation of targeted direct marketing strategies.”

Revelate was only formed in July, having realised there were several organisations, small and large, that understood the benefit of using artificial intelligence but did not have the capacity or expertise to take the next step.

“There are a few great local and international companies that offer similar service offerings, but we believe that with the growing demand for AI, there will be an abundance of work for all to collaborate and participate in,” said Lombaard.

That has certainly proven to be the case. Revelate raised a seed funding round earlier in the year, is already cashflow positive and does not foresee any immediate additional funding requirements.

“In the case where we need to expand faster than planned due to increased demand, additional funding might be required to fund the growth – but that is always a good problem to have,” Lombaard said.

“We were fortunate to have a contract from day one, and have subsequently signed another client. We quickly realised that companies want to get involved, but that legacy infrastructure and data across different platforms pose a barrier.”

The Revelate product offering assists companies to bridge this gap and provides them with an easy-to-use API plug-in to its hosting service.

“This allows them to start using state of the art AI methodologies and technology in a fraction of the time it would traditionally take to redevelop the infrastructure internally,” Lombaard said.

The startup is currently only operating in South Africa, but its most recent partnership has increased its exposure to several markets across Sub-Saharan Africa.

“We are planning to expand our services globally. As our services can be hosted in the cloud it can easily be accessed from anywhere in the world,” said Lombaard.

Getting the startup off the ground has not been without its challenges, mostly around creating a brand identity and building up the associated trust with current and potential clients.

“Coming from a predominantly analytical background, we also had a steep learning curve developing our sales skills, but were very fortunate to have a network of connections that we’ve established throughout the years to assist us and get us off the ground,” Lombaard said.

“Our next big challenge is to create a clear and consistent message that potential customers can relate to and understand.”


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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