Cape Town-based machine learning startup, DataProphet, has entered into an investment partnership with a global investment and private equity group. Following Yellowwoods Capital Holdings' recent acquisition of a significant interest in the machine learning company, DataProphet will be acting as the advanced analytics partner for the group.
Daniel Schwartzkopff, DataProphet
Yellowwoods Capital Holdings is a member of the European-based global investment and private equity focused Yellowwoods Group. The group’s local investments include Hollard Insurance, Clientele Limited and Nando’s, amongst others.
DataProphet’s commercial director and co-founder, Daniel Schwartzkopff, comments: “It has given us the freedom to do what we are good at while also being able to invest in additional resources and machines if and when necessary.”
Schwartzkopff emphasises that investment in the company is a good indication for growth of the field moving forward. DataProphet custom-builds solutions for clients to help them improve on their processes. These solutions include an agent lead matching algorithm (US patent pending), priority lead identification algorithm, time allocation algorithm and fraud detection.
“While machine learning has been around for some time now, this has mainly been as an academic subject, rather than an industry in itself. Global interest and uptake of this technology is significant with industry giants Facebook, Google and Uber recognising and utilising machine learning solutions,” he says.
“We are also working closely with a number of small businesses in Silicon Valley, San Francisco Bay area. South African businesses haven’t been as quick to jump on board as those in the US, mainly due to a shortage of artificial intelligence skills in the country. Recently, however, a number of large local and international corporates in South Africa have begun to allow for these solutions in their budgets,” says Schwartzkopff.
He explains that, while DataProphet is good at building algorithms, any machine learning business requires partners who have data for which these products can be developed. Schwartzkopff highlights that such a partnership is mutually beneficial in that businesses are increasingly concerned about disruptive technologies.
“This is especially relevant in the South African context where cost efficiencies for businesses as well as consumers are necessary to extend financial inclusion.”
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