Pan African AI company, UTU, secures DEEPCORE’s participation in Seed Round led by æternity Ventures
Nairobi Kenya, December 20, 2018: UTU Technologies Limited (http://utu.io) announces an investment from
DEEPCORE TOKYO I Investment Limited Partnership (“DCT-1”), managed by DEEPCORE Inc. (“DEEPCORE”), a Tokyo
based incubator and VC focused on advancing artificial intelligence. DCT-1 joins UTU’s previously announced seed
round along with æternity Ventures, the lead investor of this round and the venture arm of æternity Blockchain
with participation by Zeroth AI, which operates Asia’s first accelerator program targeted at AI and machine learning
The æternity Ventures team is also excited about working with UTU. æternity Ventures CEO Nikola Stojanow noted,
“UTU has tremendous potential to disrupt the entire trust model currently powering digital transactions. We think
their service is particularly valuable in a blockchain context and we’re excited to integrate their services as a
component of the æternity blockchain’s smart contracts on top of which other decentralized apps, æPPs as their
known in æternity-speak, can be developed.”
DEEPCORE, a wholly owned subsidiary of a global technology player SoftBank Group Corp. (TYO: 9984), aims to
accelerate the adoption of deep learning in society and foster entrepreneurs by creating a new ecosystem that
promotes collaborative projects and develops startups, in cooperation with various educational research institutions
and companies. DEEPCORE operates AI-focused incubation programs in Tokyo, and a VC fund, DCT-1, which invests
in seed and early-stage AI startups.
Katsumasa Niki, President and CEO of DEEPCORE, said:
“We’re delighted to embark on UTU’s journey for expansion
of the boundaries of AI and deployment of the transformational technologies in Africa. UTU is tackling issues of online
trust, obviously one of the most serious socio-economic issues. We expect UTU’s outstanding and passionate team
to realize their envisioned goal, a more trusted internet.”
UTU CEO Jason Eisen had this to say about the investment, the first by DEEPCORE in an African country: “We are humbled that DEEPCORE, from its place at the global forefront of machine intelligence shares UTU’s vision of a more human model of trust to power all our online lives. We’ve already benefited tremendously from DEEPCORE’s wisdom and we’re excited to deepen this partnership over the coming years.
UTU is currently developing pilot projects with clients across Africa, spanning multiple sharing economy sectors. Eisen continued, “The response to UTU’s trust infrastructure services has been incredible. We’ve not marketed at all but every day a new platform approaches us with challenges relating to building trust on their marketplace. We’ve had
to start putting projects onto a waitlist – not the worst problem to have.”
UTU Technologies is a Pan-African technology group with proprietary innovations in the fields of AI and distributed
ledger technology. Their trust infrastructure as a service offering drives key metrics for online marketplaces. UTU is
also the parent company of the MARAMOJA transport, serving Kenya with trusted e-hailing services since 2015, the
MARAMOJA family of mobility brands rapidly expanding around Africa, and UTU House, a co-working space for AI
and Blockchain companies in Nairobi.
DEEPCORE, whose mission is to be a “CORE for Disruptive Innovations,” is an AI-focused incubator that cultivates young and talented entrepreneurs in the AI field, especially in the Deep Learning arena. DEEPCORE aims to build an ecosystem that fosters entrepreneurs who generate disruptive innovations with technologies and use AI technologies, including Deep Learning, in society. DEEPCORE operates the community and co-working space
“KERNEL” (in Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo), builds an AI technology-driven community that enables joint projects with companies, and supports startups. http://deepcore.jp/en/
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