German biotechnology company BioNTech SE announced on Tuesday that it will acquire Tunisian-born AI start-up InstaDeep for up to £562 million ($682 million). The initial offer was £362 million. The deal also includes shares in BioNTech for the full acquisition of the London-based Tunisian-born AI company, which BioNTech had previously invested in last year as part of InstaDeep’s Series B.
The start-up’s owners will also be eligible to receive performance-based payments of up to £200 million. The acquisition, which will bring around 240 new employees to BioNTech, is expected to be completed in the first half of 2023.
InstaDeep, founded in 2014, is a AI start-up that specializes in decision-making AI and operates in high-potential sectors such as biology, logistics, energy, and transportation. The company was created by founders Karim Beguir and Zohra Slim, who were driven by a passion for AI and entrepreneurship. The company boasts a diverse workforce, with half of its employees being Tunisian, and has maintained strong ties to its home country.
This acquisition is a major milestone not only for Tunisia but also for the entire Maghreb, as it showcases the enormous potential of AI startups in the region. The fact that InstaDeep, which was started with just $2,000 and two laptops by its founders in Tunis, has now been acquired by a global company, illustrates that companies in the Maghreb can excel and gain recognition in the field of AI. This acquisition serves as a source of inspiration and motivation for other entrepreneurs and innovators in the region.