South African artificial intelligence (AI) and data annotation startup Enlabeler has raised funding from new VC fund Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs (E4E) Africa to kickstart its operations and target international markets.
Founded in 2019, Enlabeler marries the need for accurate video, text, image and audio labelling with the urgent need for job creation, serving clients with their data annotation needs while offering young people the chance to get paid work experience, learn new skills and, ultimately, grow into the country’s data science and tech spaces.
Since its launch, Enlabeler has attracted local clients for its live image annotation, audio transcription and local language translation services, growing a 250-person-strong database of human labellers. While primarily focused on South Africa, the company already has a presence in Kenya and has plans for further expansion into the African continent.
With this in mind, it has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from E4E, a venture capital fund aimed at helping South African entrepreneurs build internationally-successful companies and counting the likes of Bas Hochstenbach and Aisha Pandor among its founding partners. The investment will enable Enlabeler to meaningfully kickstart its operations.
Disrupt Africa reported last month on the launch of E4E, which is backed by a founding investment from the SA SME Fund and has a first close of R135-million (US$8.1 million). The fund has already invested in grocery delivery startup Yebo Fresh, and managing partner Philani Sangweni said Enlabeler was a perfect example of the kind of company it wants to invest in.
“It combines the latest in innovation and technology with the ability to scale globally, while empowering ordinary South Africans,” he said.
Esther Hoogstad, chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder at Enlabeler, said her team rated the E4E partners highly as entrepreneurs and was proud to be associated with them.
“As important as this initial funding is, what really attracted us to E4E was their expertise as seasoned entrepreneurs and the relationships to which they could introduce us,” she said.
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