InstaDeep raises $7m in round led by Tunisia’s AfricInvest

Enterprise artificial intelligence (AI) startup InstaDeep has raised a $7-million Series-A round led by Tunisian private equity firm AfricInvest.

Endeavor Catalyst — the co-investment fund of Endeavor, a non-profit organisation that supports high-impact entrepreneurs around the world — also participated in the round which the startup announced in a statement on Tuesday (7 May).

InstaDeep was founded in 2014 in Tunis, Tunisia by CEO Karim Beguir and Zohra Slim. The startup is now based in London and has offices in Paris, Tunis, Nairobi and Lagos.

The startup applies deep reinforcement learning and other advanced machine learning techniques to create AI systems that can help companies to make better business decisions in the industrial environment.

The funding will be used to further develop InstaDeep’s platform.

InstaDeep was founded in 2014 by CEO Karim Beguir and CTO Zohra Slim

Commenting in the same statement, Beguir said the startup had through its own research, developed a platform that “goes beyond” past AI applications.

“It can tackle challenging optimisation and automation challenges in dynamic and complex environments such as, but not limited to, mobility, logistics, manufacturing and energy.

“We already see that our product is providing real value and ROI (return on investment) for our clients,” he added.

InstaDeep said it aims to continue bringing AI opportunities to Africa through its partnership with AfricInvest, in what Beguir described as a mission to democratise machine learning on the continent.

AfricInvest senior partner Khaled Ben Jilani said InstaDeep has managed to establish an excellent reputation for delivering “solid and unique” AI solutions.

He added that the private equity firm is “excited” to see what the startup can deliver with its support.

Ben Jilani said the firm believes InstaDeep has a bright future ahead and could lead the development of the AI sector throughout the continent and beyond.

InstaDeep is one of the first African startups to publish original AI research at machine learning and computational neuroscience conference Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS 2018).

Last year, the startup was one of eight companies selected at Endeavor’s 84th International Selection Panel.

The latest investment from AfricInvest comes after the funder revealed in May last year that it was busy raising funds to launch a €120-million fund to invest in innovative new ventures across the continent, a top official at the company has revealed (see this story).

Read more: Endeavor selects eight African entrepreneurs to join organisation
Read more: Cathay AfricInvest Innovation Fund to invest ticket sizes of up to €15m in African startups
Read more: Private equity fund Africinvest to launch VC fund targeting startups on continent



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