SA’s DataProphet closes $10m Series A round to accelerate growth

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South African startup DataProphet, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help manufacturers autonomous their operations, has completed its US$10 million Series A round to accelerate its growth globally.

DataProphet was formed in 2014 when two friends at the University of Cape Town, Frans Cronje and Daniel Schwartzkopff, decided to use their knowledge of AI to start their own business.

That business has developed into an impressive one, with the company’s AI-as-a-service, DataProphet PRESCRIBE, proactively prescribing changes to a manufacturing plant’s control plans to continuously optimise production without the expert human analysis typically required. 

The startup announced the first US$6 million of its Series A round, secured from IDC and Norican, back in 2020, and has now confirmed the closure of the round at US$10 million with additional funding provided by Knife Capital, which first invested in DataProphet in 2018.

The funding provides DataProphet with the capital to invest further in its award-winning industrial AI product suite while facilitating targeted growth in selected geographies and manufacturing verticals. Its customer base has already expanded to the Americas, Europe and Asia, and with this funding behind it the company’s growth will be further accelerated.

“I am excited about the continued support DataProphet has received from Knife Capital. Going forward, 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, CEO of DataProphet, said.

Andrea Böhmert, partner at Knife Capital and executive chairperson of DataProphet, said it was “fantastic” that the launch of Knife Capital’s Fund III allowed it to continue supporting DataProphet in its journey to become the leading provider of impactful AI solutions for the manufacturing industry. 

“The optimisation 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,” she said.

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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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