Tunisian AI scale-up InstaDeep, led by Endeavor Entrepreneur Karim Beguir, successfully raised $7 million in Series A funding led by pan-African private equity firm AfricInvest with participation from Endeavor Catalyst. The investment is Endeavor Catalyst’s first in a Tunisian Endeavor Entrepreneur.
Founded in Tunisia in 2014, InstaDeep delivers AI products and solutions for the enterprise sector internationally, with offices in London, Paris, Tunis, Nairobi and Lagos.
The new funding supports the development of a scalable product platform aimed at empowering enterprises with better decision-making using Artificial Intelligence. The new platform will leverage advanced machine learning technologies for an enterprise environment, helping companies optimize decisions and improve efficiency.
“We’re thrilled to join InstaDeep’s round as Endeavor Catalyst’s first investment in Tunisia,” Endeavor Co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg said. “With high-impact entrepreneurs like Karim building truly innovative companies, we see enormous potential in this growing ecosystem.”
For Allen Taylor, managing director of Endeavor Catalyst, InstaDeep’s Series A signals the latest vote of confidence for Artificial Intelligence entrepreneurship in the MENA region, where entrepreneurs — many within Endeavor’s global network — are increasingly earning praise globally for their cutting edge contributions to the field.
“From Tunis to Amman, we’re beginning to see the Middle East and North Africa emerging as a hotbed of activity for AI innovation,” said Taylor. “With founders like Karim, who are committed to paying it forward and growing the ecosystem, I feel confident this industry is just getting started in the region.”
In 2018, Jordan’s Mawdoo3.com announced the launch of “Salma,” the first ever Arabic Siri-like assistant created to bridge the gap between different dialects of Arabic language for Arabic natural language processes. Meanwhile, Cognitev, another Endeavor company based in Dubai, is building the first and only marketing platform powered by AI.
As co-founder and CEO, Karim hopes that the investment will help InstaDeep to continue bringing advanced AI opportunities to Africa.
“We want to grow an African AI success story and are on a mission to democratise Machine Learning in Africa. By partnering with AfricInvest, we can leverage their operational expertise and strong business knowledge on the continent, and together accelerate talent and positive use of AI,” said Karim in a press release announcing the funding round.
Selected into the Endeavor network in December 2018 at the 84th International Selection Panel in South Africa, and supported by Endeavor Tunisia, Karim stands out for his dedication to growing and encouraging AI entrepreneurship across Africa, contributing his expertise through working regularly with universities and global tech players such as Google to promote and participate in events across the continent.
“As a Tunisian start-up, we are highly invested in AI development on the continent. It is important that we work on breaking down the psychological barrier that still exists in Africa that good things only happen elsewhere. InstaDeep is already proving this is not the case, and as an Endeavor Entrepreneur, we will continue our work to steer the development and opportunities here in the right direction,” Karim said in December on joining the Endeavor network.
About Endeavor Catalyst
Endeavor Catalyst is the innovative co-investment fund of Endeavor, set up to invest exclusively in Endeavor Entrepreneur-led companies and to sustain Endeavor’s long-term operations in a mission-aligned way. Since launching in January 2012, Endeavor Catalyst has raised over $110M in donated and invested capital, and invested in more than 100 Endeavor companies in over 20 markets. To date, Endeavor Catalyst has co-invested alongside a number of leading venture capital and growth equity funds, including Accel Partners, General Atlantic, NEA, Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global. Investments include Globant (NYSE: GLOB) in Argentina, Yemeksepeti.com (acquired by Delivery Hero) in Turkey, and dr. consulta in Brazil. Learn more here.