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CuspAI Secures €28M to Revolutionize AI-Driven Materials for Climate Solutions

CuspAI raises €28M to leverage AI in designing materials for sustainability and clean energy solutions
June 18, 2024

Cambridge-based CuspAI, a pioneering company at the intersection of artificial intelligence and material science, has successfully raised €28 million in seed funding to develop advanced materials aimed at addressing global sustainability and clean energy challenges. This funding round, spearheaded by Hoxton Ventures, saw significant contributions from Basis Set Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners, among others.

CuspAI is on a mission to transform the material design process through the power of generative AI, deep learning, and molecular simulation. Their innovative platform acts like a search engine for materials, enabling users to specify desired properties and rapidly generate and assess new molecular structures. This capability accelerates the discovery of materials with targeted functionalities, significantly shortening the time from concept to creation.

One key application where CuspAI's technology shows immediate promise is in carbon capture and storage, a vital technology for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. The carbon capture and storage industry is projected to reach a valuation of $4 trillion by 2050, underscoring the importance and potential impact of CuspAI's work.

The company was co-founded by Professor Max Welling, an AI luminary and former Distinguished Scientist at Microsoft Research, and Dr. Chad Edwards, a seasoned chemist with extensive experience in deep-tech commercialization from his tenure at Google and BASF, and most recently with quantum computing leader Quantinuum. Geoffrey Hinton, often hailed as the ‘Godfather of AI,’ has joined the team as a board advisor. Hinton praised CuspAI, noting, “AI can solve some of humanity’s greatest challenges, and CuspAI’s mission to accelerate the design of new materials to combat climate change is a crucial example.”

Professor Max Welling, who also serves as the company's Chief AI Officer, described their platform as a revolutionary tool for material discovery. “Imagine a search engine for all potential molecules and materials that could be created. Our AI can generate and evaluate new materials on demand, like those that selectively bind carbon dioxide under specific conditions. Through careful optimization and lab testing, we ensure these materials are stable and practical for real-world applications.”

CuspAI's ambition extends beyond their own innovations; the company has partnered with Meta to advance open science initiatives aimed at discovering new materials to combat climate change. Dr. Chad Edwards, CEO of CuspAI, emphasized the dual challenge posed by the AI revolution itself, noting that their technology not only advances material science but also addresses the increasing energy demands and carbon emissions of data centers.

The company’s leadership team is bolstered by one of the world’s leading computational chemists as Chief Scientist and a distinguished research team based in Cambridge (UK) and Amsterdam (NL). These experts, many of whom have transitioned from major tech firms, are committed to ensuring that AI advancements contribute positively to society.

The seed funding round also attracted investments from LocalGlobe, Northzone, Touring Capital, Giant Ventures, FJ Labs, Tiferes Ventures, Zero Prime Ventures, and notable angel investors including Mehdi Ghissassi and Dorothy Chou from Google DeepMind.

Charles Seely, Partner at Hoxton Ventures, expressed his confidence in the founders, highlighting Chad Edwards’ exceptional leadership and the strategic partnership with Max Welling. Paul Murphy, Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, echoed this sentiment, praising CuspAI’s novel approach to integrating AI with material science to discover economically viable materials more efficiently.

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