AUGUST 10, 2022
3 min Read
Investor Updates: August 10 2022
SA’s DataProphet closes $10m Series A to scale its AI services
- 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.
- The company’s AI-as-a-service, DataProphet PRESCRIBE, proactively prescribes changes to a manufacturing plant’s control plans to continuously optimize production without the expert human analysis typically required.
- The startup announced the first $6 million of its Series A round, secured from IDC and Norican, back in 2020. The additional funding provides DataProphet with the capital to invest further in its product suite while facilitating targeted growth in selected geographies and manufacturing verticals.
DataProphet is one of the leading startups offering Artificial intelligence-based solutions to improve business processes and operations in Africa, where AI startups are springing up and increasingly attracting VC dollars. In May, a surprising entry into the top three African tech sectors by funding raised was AI/deeptech, with startups playing in this space raising $47 million led by Instabug’s $46 million Series B raise. DataProphet’s customer base has already expanded to the Americas, Europe, and Asia, and with this funding behind it, the company anticipates further growth.
Convertedin closes $3m seed round for its marketing platform
- Egypt-based marketing platform Convertedin has raised a $3 million seed round, led by Saudi Arabia-headquartered Merak Capital, with participation from 500 Global and MSAS.
- Founded in 2019 by Mohamed Atef, Mohamed Fergany, and Mustafa Raslan, Convertedin is a marketing operating system built for companies to drive e-commerce sales and grow their revenue.
- The startup plans to use the funds to launch operations in Brazil while expanding its presence in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
As the e-commerce industry in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region grows, Convertedin’s market opportunity is substantial. In 2017, the market was worth $8.4 billion, with an annual growth of 25% since 2014, and is predicted to reach $28.5 billion by the end of this year. With the accelerated adoption of e-commerce induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, these figures are bound to have increased substantially.
Egyptian social commerce startup Sharwa raises $2m pre-seed
- Egypt-based social commerce platform Sharwa has closed a $2 million pre-seed funding round, co-led by Nuwa Capital and Hambro Perks Oryx Fund, among other investors.
- Founded in 2022, Sharwa allows customers to purchase their essential household items like groceries and appliances at affordable prices through its app. Customers can club their baskets into a group order and place them through Sharwa using WhatsApp or directly on its app, unlocking wholesale prices from manufacturers for next-day delivery.
- Sharwa plans to deploy proceeds from the investment to develop the platform’s technology and obtain further talent.
In Africa, e-commerce is gradually evolving to become social selling and in some cases, group buying. Across the continent, startups are springing up with different e-commerce business models built around social networking and messaging sites like Facebook and WhatsApp that consumers already use. Facebook and Instagram are used for online shopping more than e-commerce marketplaces by Africans, per a 2019 GeoPoll survey. This emerging social commerce sub-sector is set to witness exponential growth in the coming years as more startups emerge and consumers embrace making purchases via social media platforms.