Tunis-Founded AI Startup InstaDeep Raises USD 7 Mn From AfricInvest And Endeavor Catalyst

By  |  May 9, 2019

London-headquartered AI startup InstaDeep has raised a Series A round of USD 7 Mn from pan-African private equity firm AfricInvest and NYC-based Endeavor-spinoff co-investment fund Endeavor Catalyst.

The startup which was founded in Tunisia looks to develop a scalable platform with which it will empower companies to make better decisions using Artificial Intelligence. The funding comes at a time InstaDeep has these ambitions – to take advantage of critical reinforcement learning and advanced machine learning technologies to allow firms make good on their decisions for the overall goal of efficiency.

Thanks to state-of-the-art research, the firm reports that it has contrived an initiative that far offsets the status quo of AI applications as seen before now. The milestone-marking platform “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.

InstaDeep joins the league of African AI startups to have raised money- Nigeria’s Touchabl USD 20 K raise and Egypt’s Merq’s USD 800 K-valuation angel round among others. While North Africa usually dominates when it comes to machine learning and robotics, AI developments have taken place elsewhere in the continent, prominent of which is the launch of an Artificial Intelligence Hub in Nigeria.

InstaDeep began back in 2014 in Tunis as a bootstrap and has since then waxed in growth, and made a significant name for itself among the very few African-founded AI firms to have published original AI research at NeurIPS 2018. By partnering AfricInvest, who led the funding round, the startup aims to turbocharge on its AI offerings to Africa.

This funding development comes hot on the heels of a recent report which revealed that AfricInvest who is also based in Tunisia is teaming up with French Cathay Capital to unveil a fresh USD 168 Mn African tech fund. While all fingers remain crossed, the consortium with Endeavor Catalyst – who participated in the USD 7 Mn round – shows AfricInvest’s willingness and ability to partner with foreign players to bring development to Africa.  

“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.

Adding, the Tunisian investor said: “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.”

InstaDeep was founded by Karim Beguir, who at the time of the funding was already selected as the face of entrepreneurship for Endeavor in Tunisia. Actually, it’s Endeavor Catalyst who is to inject the capital, and connect the investee with United States CEOs and more investors. The organization does this on the backs of its reputation as “rigorous” picker of elite startups only.

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