Kenyan startup KOSA AI raises pre-seed funding round to tackle “AI bias”

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Kenyan startup KOSA AI, an automated responsible AI systems platform, has raised an undisclosed pre-seed funding round to help it grow.

Founded by Layla Li and Sonali Sanghrajka in Nairobi, KOSA AI enables organisations across healthcare, hiring and HR, credit and risk, and insurance to build or deploy more inclusive technologies. 

With companies across the world increasingly adopting AI solutions, a challenge to enterprise AI adoption is the limited in-house expertise to build and develop AI models, and manage data complexities. One consequence of this is AI bias – affecting large and small enterprises alike.

AI bias is the manifestation of systemic prejudice and unfairness in the results of artificial intelligence algorithms. This can arise from incorrect training or real-world data that is used to develop the AI, or from the conscious or subconscious bias of developers creating the AI. 

KOSA AI helps solve this challenge, helping enterprises to detect, audit, and explain bias in their AI models – and then implement corrective steps to address or mitigate the bias. Additionally, the startup can support the enterprise in monitoring their AI models post-deployment for any drift towards bias. 

To scale its platform, the startup has raised a pre-seed funding round led by EchoVC Partners and also including APX, Dale Matthias, Fineday Ventures, TheContinent Venture Partners and Arch Capital. 

“We view KOSA as a multi-vertical, layered approach to participating in the AI sector. Our investment thesis is centered on backing two exceptional founders, tackling a difficult – yet inevitable – problem; in a massive opportunity set,” EchoVC said in a statement.

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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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