África Periáñez

CEO & Founder

Before founding benshi, África was the chief analytics officer at Inditex, the world’s largest fashion retailer, which manages brands such as Zara. She led the research, application, and strategic development of data science across the organization.

In 2015, África founded Yokozuna Data, an AI company based in Tokyo that built a machine learning platform to predict the individual behavior of video game players. Besides leading the development of the platform, she was also hands-on in building data science components from scratch. It was at this company that she got to work with several members who are also currently at benshi. In 2018, África led Yokozuna Data’s acquisition by Keywords Studios, and remained as its CEO until mid-2019.

África holds a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Reading, and MSc's in String Theory and Theoretical Physics from CERN and the Autonomous University of Madrid. She was also the Marie Curie EU research fellow at CERN, and a scientist at RIKEN in Japan (using one of the fastest computers in the world, the K-computer) as well as the German Weather Service (working on satellite data assimilation and conducting ensemble Kalman filter research). In addition, she has solid industry experiences at SPSS Inc., IBM and Silicon Studio.

África has co-authored 20 peer-reviewed articles and a book chapter, and participated in numerous international conferences as an invited speaker (Web Summit 2021, Data + AI Summit 2021, MWC 2019, GDC 2019, Strange Loop 2019, etc.). Her work has been featured in media such as Bloomberg, Quartz, Nikkei, El País, SINC, The Economic Times, and The Japan Times.

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