CuspAI, a cool new startup out of Cambridge, just snagged a whopping $30 million (£24 million). What will this be used for, you ask? To supercharge its mission of creating ground-breaking new materials with a little help from artificial intelligence. And guess what? They’ve got the “godfather of AI” himself backing them up!



The big idea is to bring generative AI into the mix for developing advanced materials. Think of it as a supercharged search engine where you can not only look up existing materials but also dream up entirely new ones with specific properties.

Co-founder and chief AI whiz, Prof Max Welling, explained it like this: “Imagine a search engine not just for existing materials, but for all potential molecules and materials that could be created.”


The “Godfather Of AI”???!

If you have no clue who this is, like me 5 minutes ago, let’s cover it. The “Godfather of AI” is the deserved title given to Geoffrey Hinton. Why deserved you ask? Well, he is most noted for his work on artificial neural networks. From 2013 to 2023, he divided his time working for Google and the University of Toronto. Funnily enough, he resigned from Google in 2023, as he wanted to speak freely about the dangers AI pose to society.

So, the biggest question you may have is why on Earth is he investing £24 million into CuspAI? The reason is quite a noble one, and the answer can be found in what CuspAI actually is trying to achieve.


What The CuspAI Investment Will Be Used For

Their AI platform is all about designing materials that could revolutionize things like carbon capture and storage. You could, for example, ask for a material that’s perfect for soaking up carbon dioxide, and their AI would figure out the best molecular structure to get the job done.

Welling, who’s got an impressive background with Microsoft Research and Qualcomm, teamed up with Dr Chad Edwards, an ex-Google and Quantinuum expert, to start CuspAI. Edwards pointed out that the rise of AI has its own set of problems, like the massive energy use and carbon emissions from data centres.

Geoffrey Hinton actually praised the startup: “I’ve been very impressed by CuspAI and its mission to accelerate the design process of new materials using AI to curb one of humanity’s most urgent challenges – climate change.”

The hefty investment round was led by Hoxton Ventures, with plenty of other big names joining in, including Basis Set Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, LocalGlobe, Northzone, Touring Capital, Giant Ventures, FJ Labs, Tiferes Ventures, and Zero Prime Ventures.



With this significant boost in funding, CuspAI is poised to make some serious waves in the world of material science. By leveraging the power of AI, they aim to tackle some of the most pressing environmental challenges we face today. With visionary leaders and the backing of AI pioneers like Geoffrey Hinton, the future looks incredibly promising for CuspAI. It’s exciting to think about the innovative materials and solutions they’ll bring to the table, potentially transforming industries and contributing to a more sustainable world. Stay tuned as they push the boundaries of what’s possible!