South Africa-founded DataProphet has completed a $10 million series A funding round. This, says insiders, sets the AI-as-a-Service (AIaaS) platform on its way to becoming the leading provider of impactful AI solutions for the manufacturing industry.
Knife Capital led the round, joined by South Africa’s IDC and Norican, the world’s largest metal surface preparation and finishing equipment provider. The funding provides DataProphet with the capital to invest further in its award-winning industrial AI product set while facilitating targeted growth in selected geographies and manufacturing verticals.
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Knife Capital had initially invested in DataProphet in early 2018 via its KNF Ventures Section 12J funding vehicle. This latest round is the first investment made by Knife Fund III, the newly launched fund supporting the international ambitions of African scale-ups.
“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,” says Keet van Zyl, co-founder and partner at Knife Capital.
Knife Capital’s Fund III is still open for investment and is backed by the International Finance Corporation, the Mineworkers Investment Company, the SA SME Fund and select family offices, and other credible financial institutions.
DataProphet positions industrials to evolve towards autonomous, energy-efficient production, optimizing manufacturing performance. Its flagship AI solution, PRESCRIBE, has helped customers around the world experience a significant and practical impact on the factory floor, reducing the cost of non-quality by an average of 40% and supporting manufacturers wherever they are on the digital adoption curve.
“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,” adds Frans Cronjé, chief executive of DataProphet.
Justin Larsen, CFO of DataProphet elaborated: “Leading up to the finalizing of this funding round, we’ve made great strides in our product development and gained additional momentum with our existing and new clients. We’ve also won several industry awards, acknowledging the progress that we’re making. These are strong indicators that the business is headed in the right direction.”
The funding announcement follows recent industry awards – the inclusion in CBInsights inaugural list of Top 50 Advanced Manufacturing Start-ups last week and winner of the “Outstanding Innovation Category” at the Global Business Excellence Awards a few weeks prior.
Andrea Böhmert, partner at Knife Capital and executive chairperson of DataProphet, gave her perspective on the critical investment.
She says, “It is fantastic that the launch of Knife Capital’s Fund III allows us to continue supporting DataProphet in its journey to become the leading provider of impactful AI solutions for the manufacturing industry. The optimization 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.”
DataProphet, which has tripled its team since Knife Capital’s initial investment, has successfully built a recognised brand in the Advanced Manufacturing Analytics market on the back of the result it delivers. Its customer base has now expanded to the Americas, Europe, and Asia. With this funding behind it, the company’s growth will be further accelerated.