AI startup, DataProphet raises $6 million in funding

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Welcome to TC Daily! In today’s digest, there are three major stories; the Rwandan government is taking a step further in cementing its reputation as an innovator’s paradise, there’s a $6 million bet on a South African AI startup and finally, this week’s #MyLifeinTech features someone whose superpower is building online communities.

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Rwanda already has a reputation as an innovator’s paradise but the government wants to take it one step further.

It is working on a bill that will highlight government support and policies for startup growth. A Startup Act as it is called, was first enacted in Africa by Tunisia. The Senegalese version is awaiting implementation. The Rwandan government will work with the Innovation for Policy Foundation (i4Policy), the organization central to drafting Tunisia and Senegal’s Startup Act.

Using the Tunisian one as a reference, some of the provisions of Rwanda’s Startup Act could include ‘funding support, exemptions from corporate taxes, allowing both private and public sector
employees up to a year off from their current jobs to run their outfits, provision of a government-sanctioned salary to founders and helping firms file for international patents’.

It is noteworthy that industry members are typically consulted before these bill gets drafted so it will likely reflect their needs.

There’s almost a general consensus that the progress made by tech entrepreneurs in Africa have happened without government support. In some cases, governments put a clog in the wheel. A Startup Act is an opportunity for government to show some seriousness about supporting local innovation. But successful implementation will be critical.

Amin Ameen bought her first Facebook stock in 2012, thanks to the access her role at American energy company, conEdison granted her. At the company, she spent 12 years across project engineering, program management, and communication roles.

Afterwards, Ameen used the skills she gained at conEdison to begin building a brand around products, product marketing/management, brand
equity, and sales. She quickly became a go-to on Instagram when people needed to learn about new products, platform features, digital community building and engagement and the likes.

Three years ago, at an art district in Paris, Ameen made an Instagram post with the hashtag #EverythingNaArt for the first time and urged people to use it on their posts; a call to action. Today, the hashtag has been used over 77,000 times and there are a few variations of it also in use on Instagram.

EverythingNaArt is now a community of over 35k+ across various channels and enjoys a diverse range of services from Ameen whose work and ethics people often describe as excellent. She shares important lessons from her journey on building online communities in this week’s My Life in Tech.


You’re invited!

Join our panel of experts from various sectors as Impact Hub Lagos invites you to attend the launch of our New Economy Booster programme this Friday, August 28 2020 at 6pm.

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DataProphet, a South African AI startup has received $6 million from Knife Capital, Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC) and foundry engineering company Norican Group. The startup will use the money to expand into more countries.

Frans Cronje and Daniel Schwartzkopff, two friends at the University of Cape Town founded DataProphet in 2014. The company enables manufacturers to transition to
autonomous manufacturing through its AI-as-a-service solution.

DataProphet has grown its company by focusing on South Africa’s mining sector especially its foundry industry. It signed a partnership with Norican earlier this year. Norican is now working on rolling out the DataProphet applications to their full brand portfolio.

Another SA-based company, Job Crystal has gotten $250,000 in capital from Enygma Venture’s Shift Fund. The women-led startup will use the money to build technology that will improve recruitment turn around time. Job Crystal was founded in 2009 and it connects SMEs with talent across different industries using its job portal. The company has over 2,000 clients and a pool of 240,000 candidates.

Applications to the Shift Fund are open here.


To comply with an order from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Econet is imposing restrictions that limit the size and range of transactions on its mobile money platform, EcoCash.

According to the company, EcoCash has limited daily transactions to Z$5 000 ($140) for individuals, restricted its wallet service to one per customer and abolished agent lines, which previously could process large

Zimbabwe’s central bank has blamed the weakening of its local currency on foreign exchange trading in the black market and is looking to curb it. Although EcoCash has denied it, the government accused it of being involved in the dealings. EcoCash has a 98% market share.

But Zimbabwe’s response could make life difficult for its residents who depend heavily on it because it is difficult to obtain physical cash.


How do I make big money from building a startup? How do I sell my startup? These are some of the questions that entrepreneurs have. The path to getting snapped up by another company and making big money from it can be daunting and confusing for first-timers.

This Friday, August 28th, for the 8th episode of “Building in Africa” we are interviewing, Carina Rumberger, CEO, Beyonic. She will
answer these questions and tell us how her company got acquired. It’s the second in our series of interviews about exits and acquisitions in African tech titled How big deals get done.

The Ugandan-based digital payment company, Beyonic was acquired 100% by MFS Africa in a deal that was paid for in cash and shares. MFS Africa is a mobile money gateway in Africa, which connects mobile network operators in 34 countries across the continent through a single API. The deal is considered a major win and milestone for the African tech industry.

Rumberger has been CEO at Beyonic since 2018 and has over 10 years’ experience in Eastern and Southern Africa working in SME development, compliance, stakeholder engagement, capacity building, last-mile delivery and management.

She will answer all the burning questions entrepreneurs have about selling their startups in an interactive session. Register here.


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See you tomorrow.
– Olanrewaju

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