UPDATED 20:26 EDT / JANUARY 25 2022

AI

InstaDeep, creator of AI-powered decision-making systems, raises $100M

InstaDeep Ltd., a Tunisian artificial intelligence startup that’s making advanced decision-making systems to solve real-world problems, said today it has closed on a $100 million funding round.

The Series B round was led by Alpha Intelligence Capital and CDIB, and saw a host of other investors participate, including BioNTech, Chimera Abu Dhabi, Deutsche Bahn’s DB Digital Ventures, Google LLC, G42 and Synergie.

Founded in Tunis in 2014 by Chief Executive Officer Karim Beguir and Chief Web Officer Zohra Slim, InstaDeep is now headquartered in London, with offices in Paris, Dubai, Lagos and Cape Town as well. It has attracted a lot of attention for the advanced machine learning techniques it has developed, which use AI to solve a range of enterprise challenges.

For example, InstaDeep’s algorithms can help shipping companies to work out the most efficient way of transporting thousands of containers from a port to a railway station. It can also help railway operators, with more than 30,000 kilometers of rail tracks, automate scheduling for over 10,000 trains. Its technology is also used by companies in the biopharmaceutical industry to design advanced therapeutics.

Although the problems InstaDeep solves are in different vertical industries, the way it approaches them is similar. The company uses a technique known as reinforcement learning, which is a type of machine learning that works by designing optimization strategies.

In a press release, InstaDeep reeled off an impressive list of partners it’s working with, including Europe’s largest rail operator Deutsche Bahn GmbH on a Moonshot project that aims to automate all of its train schedules.

It has also been working with BioNTech SE, creators of the Pfizer vaccine, on a joint AI innovation lab that aims to deploy new advances in ML to create novel immunotherapies. That effort resulted in the creation of an early warning system that was reportedly able to detect more than 90% of new, high-risk SARS-CoV-2 variants up to two months before physicians would. It detected the Omicron strain three days before it was named as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization.

Another key partner of InstaDeep is Google’s AI research unit DeepMind. Their work together resulted in the development of an early detection system for desert locust outbreaks in Africa.

What’s notable is that each of those partners was also an investor in InstaDeep’s funding round today. Beguir said in a statement it illustrates just how impressed its customers have been with the company’s technology.

“This funding round is a tremendous vote of confidence from our partners BioNTech, Google and Deutsche Bahn after working closely with us on innovative, high-impact AI initiatives,” he said.

InstaDeep will use the capital from today’s round to build out its high-performance computing infrastructure that’s optimized for decision-making AI. It will also look to add more “elite talent” to its team, expand its presence in the U.S. and launch new, “disruptive AI products” in the biotech, electronics manufacturing, logistics and transportation industries.

Image: InstaDeep

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