London headquartered InstaDeep, an Enterprise AI startup, announced on May 3rd, 2019 that it had raised $7 million in Series A funding. The leading pan-African private equity firm, AfricInvest, led the investment, with participation from Endeavor Catalyst, a New York-based co-investment fund under Endeavor.
The funding supports the development of a scalable product platform aimed at empowering enterprises with better decision-making using Artificial Intelligence. The product-driven platform, leveraging deep reinforcement learning and other advanced machine learning technologies, brings AI to applications within an enterprise environment, allowing companies to optimise decisions and improve efficiency.
“Through our own cutting-edge research, we have developed a platform that goes beyond what we have seen in AI applications in the past. 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 for our clients”, says Co-Founder and CEO of InstaDeep, Karim Beguir.
The new platform marks a milestone for InstaDeep, who has seen sustained growth and achievements since its humble beginnings in Tunisia as a bootstrap in 2014 including being one of the first ever African-founded AI companies to publish original AI research at NeurIPS 2018⁽¹⁾. Through its strategic partnership with AfricInvest, InstaDeep also aims to continue bringing advanced AI opportunities to Africa.
“We want to grow an African AI success story and are on a mission to democratise Machine Learning in Africa. By partnering with AfricInvest, we can leverage their operational expertise and strong business knowledge on the continent, and together accelerate talent and positive use of AI”, says Beguir.
Through its investments, AfricInvest expects to meaningfully contribute to this development. “InstaDeep has managed to establish an excellent reputation for delivering solid and unique AI solutions, and we are excited to see what they can deliver next with the support from AfricInvest. We believe the company has a bright future ahead and could lead the development of the AI sector throughout the continent and beyond” says Khaled Ben Jilani, Senior Partner at AfricInvest.
“AfricInvest will draw on its African business expertise to support InstaDeep’s research and development, and also their talent development program. Together, our combined knowledge will help the African continent rise to the opportunities offered by AI.”
Endeavor has also confirmed they are joining the investment round, news that comes hot on the heels of Beguir being selected by the global high-impact entrepreneurship movement as an Endeavor Entrepreneur for Tunisia. Specifically, it’s Endeavor’s fund Endeavor Catalyst that is injecting capital, an organisation known for rigorously selecting only elite start-ups. The company will also assist in connecting US CEOs and further investors with InstaDeep.