AI Expo Africa 2021: Demand surges for 4IR tech as 4,600 register for Africa’s largest AI trade event
AI Expo Africa – the continent’s largest annual gathering of buyers and suppliers of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) smart technologies – is set to have its biggest edition this year as 4 600 delegates and several international and local sponsors have already registered to attend the trade show and conference which takes place between 7 to 9 September.
AI Expo Africa 2021 ONLINE will mark the fourth edition of the annual trade event. Dr Nick Bradshaw, AI Media Group CEO and AI Expo Africa founder, pointed out that this year’s event will – like last year’s edition – also be held online to circumvent COVID-19 event restrictions. “Based on the early interest in AI Expo Africa 2021 ONLINE, we know our community likes the event’s online format and mix of content, vendors and innovators. AI Expo Africa 2020 ONLINE attracted more than 2 400 registered delegates and hosted 80 speakers and 80 exhibitors. This year we are on track to set a new benchmark as the audience grows.”
Head of Show Production Daniel Mpala stated that AI Expo Africa 2021 ONLINE is on track to host the largest mix of global vendors and cutting-edge startups for its curated audience of business practitioners. “Our event has now grown in the last three editions, starting this year, we will be dedicating Day 1 of the event to showcasing our vendors. AI Expo Africa 2021 ONLINE will again feature our specialist eZones, labs, poster wall and several country ePavilions from vendors outside the Africa region making for a truly global 4IR technology festival we think our community will really enjoy.”
Early sponsors that have signed up include US-based Future Tech, Czech-based IBA Group, UK-based Elzware, as well as South African firms Aizatron, COGO People Analytics, CompariSure, ecosystem.Ai, WizzPass, and Amathuba AI.
Premier diamond sponsor Future Tech, an Accubis company which specialises in Blockchain, AI, RPA and Digital Transformation, said it is excited to be part of this year’s edition of the expo. “We already have a range of projects underway in the Africa region and are actively looking for startups to invest in with funding partners wanting to co-invest. Africa is seeing a surge in uptake of these 4IR technologies and we see community engagement via this event a key part of our strategy for the the region in 2021,” explained Future Tech co-founder and Blockchain / AI Practice Manager Daniel Sloan.
COGO People Analytics managing partner Elmen Lamprecht commented that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that it cannot be “business as usual”. “The world of work has changed irrevocably and People Analytics will play a huge role in the workplace going forward. We are excited to be part of the Africa’s leading AI event and to showcase how we can help organisations adapt to the new world of work by harnessing the capabilities of AI in their HR departments,” added Lamprecht.
ecosystem.AI commented that it had found new ways for businesses to understand and interact with their customers. “Through the use of of machine learning and behavioural predictions, we give businesses the tools to better engage with their customers in real-time. Exploring and understanding the behaviour behind the choices that their customers make,” the company added.
Ulrich Stark, the co-founder and executive director of WizzPass — which supplies highly configurable visitor & contractor management, employee desk booking, office capacity management, employee parcel management and Covid-19 screening services — commented, “As a returning supporter of AI Expo Africa 2021, this event is a great way to reach new business customers and we look forward to meeting the delegates and partners in September for a truly amazing experience.”
Aizatron said it looks forward to demonstrating its latest smart IoT and edge solutions. “We will be showcasing our latest computer vision technology, smart agri-tech, and intelligent safety and security systems. We will also demonstrate how we have coupled AI with RPA technology to create smart self-healing operations, that react quickly to alerts and deal with them quickly and effectively improving SLAs and reducing business outage due to system failures. Large companies attending the expo will also be shown how they can easily access our technology through our secure APIs”.
Amathuba AI Chief Commercial Official Nomsa Nteleko said the firm’s vision is to advance African culture and humanity through the assimilation of Artificial Intelligence technology. ” We hope to achieve this by changing the African narrative through our progressive technology. We believe AI can be a collaborative partner to humans. Our solutions include; Medical, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Auditing, Data Enhancement & Cyber Risk. There has never been a better time to embrace the 4IR technology opportunity and as a returning supporter of AI Expo Africa we look forward to meeting new clients and partners at the show,” she added.
Matt Kloos, CFO at South Africa based CompariSure, stated, “At CompariSure, we aim to connect consumers with premium product providers, while using our proprietary chatbot technology to build the “automated insurance agent” of tomorrow. We see AI Expo Africa as a great way to reach new business customers and showcase our conversational technology to new users who are perhaps considering this kind of technology for the first time. We are really happy to be joining over 4 000+ delegates who are keen to see what Africa has to offer in this rapidly growing segment of the market”.
IBA South Africa managing director Dimitri Denissiouk said the company is excited to be involved in the high-profile event, and about what it can bring to African businesses in terms of automation and digital transformation. ” Intelligent automation has been the company’s focus since 2013. The IBA Group’s Center of Excellence has implemented 500+ RPA solutions and our developers have been working for years with a variety of RPA platforms, including WorkFusion, UIPath, Automation Anywhere, and Blue Prism. Based on this expertise, we built our EasyRPA platform. We look forward to seeing you at AI Expo Africa and invite you to attend our presentation on EasyRPA,” said Denissiouk.
Elzware founder and managing director Phil D Hall said he was excited to have engaged with AI Expo 2021 ONLINE. “We are looking forward to the event where we will be bringing our long experience in conversational AI into the sight of the leading hearts and minds in the African AI ecosystem,” he added.
AI Expo Africa 2021 ONLINE delegates can expect to hear from 80 thought leaders in AI, Data Science and Robotic Process Automation on the 8th and 9th of September. In addition, delegates will this year be treated to unique online experiences that will form part of the social programme on Day 2 and Day 3 of the expo. Like last year, the 2021 edition will also include a 30-day OnDemand Show archive which will be accessible from the 10th of September.
Bradshaw concluded, “We are going to market with a tried and tested format that will negate all the problems the world is experiencing because of the pandemic, while at the same time broadens the buyer audience and makes the event more accessible and diverse as our reach is essentially global and the tickets are free. We again hope to deliver on our promise of curating the best business trade event go its kind on the continent and look forward to showcasing the best of Africa 4IR innovation.”
Those interested in attending AI Expo Africa 2021 can register to claim free tickets here.
MoCaFi, founded by Nigerian Wole Coaxum, raises $23.5M funding to end racial wealth inequality
MoCaFi Founder and CEO, Wole Coaxum (Image: Wole Coaxum)
Mobility Capital Finance, Inc. (“MoCaFi”), a turnkey fintech platform leading financial empowerment for traditionally underserved communities, announces $23.5M in Series-B financing, led by Commerce Ventures. MoCaFi provides Financial Services as Infrastructure™ to various levels of government to improve the efficiency of providing financial and other resources to underserved communities across the country. The company’s mission is to help excluded communities create wealth through better access to public, private, and social capital.
Founded in 2016 by Wole Coaxum, a Black former Wall Street Executive who was inspired by the 2014 murder of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, to address stark social inequities by closing the racial wealth gap. MoCaFi advances a vision of socioeconomic justice by creating pathways to financial empowerment for millions of unbanked or underbanked Americans. With over $100 million of financial resources disbursed to underserved communities across 15 cities and counties across the country, MoCaFi is utilizing its capital to fulfill that vision and scale.
“Commerce Ventures has been unbelievably impressed by MoCaFi’s passion for helping underserved communities access high-quality, affordable financial services,” said Dan Rosen, Founding Partner and Head of Fintech Investments at Commerce Ventures. “MoCaFi’s scalable payments platform enables government agencies (Federal, State and Local) to disburse benefits directly to vulnerable populations in some of the country’s largest municipalities, including Los Angeles, CA, St. Louis, MO and Birmingham, AL. We’re excited to see the company deliver similar value to the next dozen municipality clients while also enabling the under-banked to get access to digital banking services and pathways to accessing credit and building wealth.”
“We are pleased to be joined by new investment partners with such valuable expertise. MoCaFi has established unique government partnerships that are capable of creating dramatic impact at scale, for millions of Americans currently unable to access quality financial services and benefits.”, said Tom Hutton, lead Series A Investor and investor in the Series B round, MoCaFi Board Member and accomplished Fintech venture capitalist.
Billions of dollars in public benefits are left unspent due to various complexities and inefficiencies in disbursement methods. MoCaFi’s platform provides governments with a solution that increases adoption and delivers benefits efficiently while reducing fraud.
“MoCaFi has been the perfect partner for the City of Birmingham. Over the last three years, we have delivered almost $20 million in emergency assistance to thousands of families – keeping them in their homes and keeping the lights on, and we couldn’t have done it without MoCaFi. More than just a payment processor- the MoCaFi team has been a fully engaged thought partner from conception through execution. We are incredibly appreciative of their support and hope to work with them again soon!” said Kelvin Datcher, Senior Advisor to the Mayor of Birmingham.
“We are excited to welcome the new investors to the MoCaFi mission, and appreciate the support of our existing investors, many of whom continue to show their trust by participating in the latest round . This Series B round allows MoCaFi to scale quickly and validates our unique business proposition. With this capital and more importantly, support from these terrific strategic investors, we can continue to innovate and bring our products and services to more municipalities, government entities and community partners – ultimately helping more people.” said Wole Coaxum, MoCaFi CEO & Founder.
Dawi Clinics raises EGP 250 million to fund its expansion in Egypt
Dawi Clinics, the largest chain of outpatient care in Egypt, has raised EGP 250 million to fund the growth of its chain of clinics across the Egyptian market by opening 30 new branches. The investment round is led by Al Ahly Capital Holding (ACH), the local investment arm of the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) with a co-investment by the Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund (EAEF), a US Congressionally-supported investment fund, and already invested in Dawi.
Dawi Clinics, which is currently operating 20 branches across 10 governorates, offers coordinated family care provided by more than 260 doctors across multiple specialties. In 2022, Dawi offered its services to more than 120 thousand patients across the country. The Clinics’ unique operating model delivers better health outcomes by handpicking physicians and enabling them to work in a coordinated manner through a cloud-based medical electronic record platform that keeps all patient medical data on file.
“We are pleased to partner with the founders of Dawi, a company which has impressively grown over the past years with strong and dynamic management. We believe that this investment complements and fits well with the mission statement and growth strategy of our healthcare platform, providing high quality affordable healthcare services across the country. We look forward to continuing to expand in Dawi and our healthcare platform hand in hand.”, commented Karim Saada, Managing Director of ACH.
On his part, EAEF’s chairman James Harmin noted: “We are excited to support Dawi Clinics in its next stage of growth. Founded and led by two prominent women entrepreneurs, Dawi is revolutionizing Egypt’s healthcare market by offering consumers a comprehensive offering of health services through its primary care clinics. We look forward to supporting Dawi in the years ahead as it delivers on its mission to provide quality, affordable healthcare to consumers across Egypt”
“Securing new investments amid ongoing local and global economic challenges is a testimony to the value inherent in the Egyptian market, particularly in the healthcare sector and more specifically in the ability of Dawi Clinics to unlock this value and deliver superior returns”, said Magda Habib, Co-founder and CEO of Dawi Clinics.
She added: “Our proven and unique operating model across 20 successful branches is the reason that these investors have put their trust, and their money, in Dawi Clinics”.
“Our doctors are our key asset. We are proud of our high caliber, empathetic, young, and educated team of doctors. We have high trust in the superior caliber of Egyptian physicians graduated and trained in Egyptian medical institutions When supported by a solid institution that operates within a structured framework, they can deliver superior care and better outcomes for each of our patients” said Mairose Doss, co-founder and COO at Dawi Clinics.
ACH was represented in the investment round by MHR & Partners in association with White&Case. EAEF was represented by Nour & Partners in association with Al Tamimi & Company. Dawi was represented by Ibrachy Legal Consultancy (I&P)
Amini raises $2M to solve environmental data scarcity for Africa
Amini Main Team (Picture: Amini)
Amini, an early-stage company focused on solving Africa’s environmental data gap through artificial intelligence and satellite technology, has raised $2M in pre-seed funding in an oversubscribed round led by Pale Blue Dot, a leading European Climate Tech fund. Other investors include Superorganism, RaliCap, W3i, Emurgo Kepple Ventures and a network of angel investors from the global technology community.
Africa, home to 65% of the world’s uncultivated fertile land and 30% of its mineral resources, accounts for only 3% of the global GDP. One reason for this disparity is lack of reliable and trustworthy data which has held back Africa’s development for decades by hampering business decisions and capital allocation as well as making it difficult to measure the impact of climate change.
Within the first six months of operation, the company has developed a robust data aggregation and analytics platform capable of collecting, unifying, and processing satellite data, weather data, and other types of data down to a square meter. The platform provides access to valuable environmental data analytics, including drought, flood, soil and crop health. This data can be processed to forecast crop yields for millions of smallholder farmers in mere seconds, as well as measuring the impact of natural disasters across the region.
Amini was designed to address Africa’s data scarcity, facilitate capital investment, promote climate resilience, and accelerate economic development opportunities in the region.
Amini has found its first customers in the agricultural insurance sector, using the platform’s granular, verifiable, and actionable data for enhancing farmers’ resilience through parametric agricultural insurance coverage. With a focus on regenerative agriculture, this collaboration aims to support both African farmers and global food chains.
While the company initially focused on the insurance industry, they are now experiencing rapid expansion into supply chain monitoring, specifically at the “last mile,” or the initial stages of the global supply chain. This expansion holds significant importance for multinational companies seeking precise measurements of their carbon footprint and the ability to report on their environmental impact. This need is further emphasized by upcoming global regulations, such as the SEC Climate Disclosure rules and the European Green Deal. These regulations mandate companies importing commodities like coffee, cocoa, timber, and palm oil to have comprehensive knowledge of their supply chain and its impact on deforestation and degradation down to the finest details at the last mile.
Heidi Lindvall, General Partner, Pale Blue Dot, said: “The scarcity of high-quality environmental data of Africa is a concern as it prevents others from building important climate solutions such as for example improving farmer insurance, monitoring climate risk or supply chains. When meeting the team behind Amini we were blown away by their ambition and expertise and we believe they are best positioned to fill the environmental data gap of Africa”
The team possesses a strong track record of using deep technologies to tackle challenges specific to Africa, showcasing a unique blend of talent and expertise. Kate Kallot, the founder and CEO of Amini, boasts over a decade of leadership experience in driving global innovation in artificial intelligence and machine learning at renowned technology companies like Intel, Arm, and NVIDIA. Kallot has spearheaded initiatives focused on leveraging artificial intelligence and social impact to benefit the African continent, such as the United AI Alliance, which aims to bridge the AI compute gap and enhance data capabilities in emerging markets. Joining Kallot on the executive team are Mwenda Mugendi, Muthoni Karubiu, and Eshani Kaushal. Together, they bring a wealth of experience in machine learning, data science, geospatial analysis, and fintech, gained from leading organizations such as Microsoft, NASA and MTN. The Amini team is deeply committed to making a positive impact, in Africa and beyond.
Kate Kallot, CEO and Founder of Amini, said: “We are building the single source of truth for environmental data across Africa. Data has the potential of transforming livelihoods by enabling everything from climate resilience to sustainable value chains. Should Amini reach its full potential and solve this problem, we are setting up Africa for tremendous transformation and development over the next decade. It’s a long way to get there but the early customer success and interest from global enterprises, governments and international organizations is showing us that we’re on the right track. “
Amini has also become the first African company accepted onto the highly selective Seraphim Space Accelerator programme, which scouts from the top 2% of global early-stage space companies.
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