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DataProphet, a Cape Town-based machine learning startup, is looking to bolster its innovative offering across borders and industries alike after Yellowwoods Capital Holdings acquired a significant shareholding in the South African firm. By Gugu Lourie

Global investment and private equity firm Yellowwoods Capital Holdings is a member of the European-based global investment and private equity focused Yellowwoods Group.  Its local investments include Hollard Insurance, Clientele Limited and Nando’s, amongst others.

“This investment is a testament to the team we have built, to our capabilities and ultimately to the field as a whole – all of which is very exciting,” DataProphet’s Commercial Director and Co-Founder, Daniel Schwartzkopff, said on Wednesday.

“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.”

As part of the deal, DataProphet will be acting as the advanced analytics partner for Yellowwoods Capital Holdings.

One of the first machine learning specialists in Africa, Schwartzkopff emphasises that investment in DataProphet is a good indication for growth of the field moving forward.

DataProphet custom-builds solutions for clients, and to date has developed ground-breaking solutions to help organisations improve on their processes, including but not limited to an Agent Lead Matching Algorithm (US Patent Pending), Priority Lead Identification Algorithm, Time Allocation Algorithm and Fraud Detection.

Machine learning is a subset of Artificial Intelligence that explores the development of algorithms that learn from available data.

“Global interest and uptake of this technology is significant with industry giants Facebook, Google and Uber all recognising and utilising machine learning solutions,” Schwartzkopff said.

“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.”

For example due to high mobile data costs, South Africans have typically been seen to be cautious with data usage; thus they are unlikely to download an App that they would use rarely, or to communicate with a specific service provider, for example.

“Businesses, such as those falling under the Yellowwoods Group, are therefore looking for effective alternatives,” Schwartzkopff said.

DataProphet is currently working on a number of potential solutions, one of which will enable businesses to integrate an automated support agent.

“Through platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, the use of this technology will enable companies to keep in touch with customers and answer any questions they have about their business – all without requiring the user to download an app and the business to incur substantial operational cost

Established in 2013, DataProphet is an innovative South African startup which has made delivering actionable artificial intelligence solutions – for businesses of all sizes – a reality.

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