Home » Tunisian tech entrepreneurs set to sell AI company to German biotech firm for $390 million

Tunisian tech entrepreneurs set to sell AI company to German biotech firm for $390 million

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Karim Beguir

BioNTech, a German biotechnology company, has agreed to acquire InstaDeep, a leading technology company in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) founded by Tunisian tech entrepreneurs Karim Beguir and Zohra Slim.

The acquisition, which includes a total upfront consideration of £362 million ($390 million) in cash and BioNTech shares, is a significant step forward for BioNTech as it seeks to build world-leading capabilities in AI-driven drug discovery and the development of next-generation immunotherapies and vaccines to address diseases with high unmet medical need.

The transaction follows BioNTech’s initial equity investment in January 2022 as part of InstaDeep’s Series B financing round. InstaDeep shareholders, including the company’s founders, will also be eligible for additional performance-based future milestone payments of up to £200 million ($215 million).

InstaDeep, founded in 2014 by Tunisian tech entrepreneurs Karim Beguir and Zohra Slim, has quickly grown to become an EMEA leader in decision-making enterprise AI products, with headquarters in London and offices in a number of other EMEA cities.

“AI is progressing exponentially, and our mission at InstaDeep has always been to make sure it benefits everyone.” “We are very excited to join forces and become one team with BioNTech, with whom we share the same culture of deep tech innovation and focus on positive human impact,” Karim Beguir, CEO and co-founder of InstaDeep, said.

“Together, we envision building a world leader that combines biopharmaceutical research and AI with the aim to design next-generation immunotherapies that enhance medical care—thereby helping fight cancer and other diseases,” he added.

The acquisition of InstaDeep builds on the two companies’ successful track record of increasing collaboration since 2019. It is expected to add approximately 240 highly skilled professionals to BioNTech’s workforce and help to expand the biotechnology company’s network of global research collaborators.

The agreement will provide BioNTech with significant benefits, including access to InstaDeep’s AI and ML-based models, which will be embedded across BioNTech’s discovery platforms and linked to an integrated automated lab infrastructure, enabling high-throughput design and testing of novel drug candidates at scale.

The acquisition of InstaDeep is a significant step forward for BioNTech in the field of AI and ML, and it is a testament to the exceptional work and dedication of leading Tunisian tech entrepreneurs Karim Beguir and Zohra Slim, as well as the entire InstaDeep team.

Beguir and Slim have not only established a thriving tech company with their unique combination of skills, but they have also made significant contributions to the democratization of AI, making it accessible to a wider audience and improving the efficiency and ROI of businesses worldwide.

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