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Sustainability, ClimateTech Startup CuspAI Unveils AI Dream Team, Raises $30 Million

June 21, 2024 by Joe Panettieri

CuspAI -- formed by Microsoft, Qualcomm and Google veterans -- has raised $30 million in seed funding. Moreover, CuspAI is partnering with Facebook parent Meta and has tapped Geoffrey Hinton -- the so-called "Godfather of AI" -- as an advisor.

Max Welling
Max Welling, co-founder, CuspAI

The founding team includes Max Welling (a Microsoft and Qualcomm veteran) and Chad Edwards (a Google, BASF and Quantinuum veteran). Hoxton Ventures led the $30 million funding round, with "significant" participation from Basis Set Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Additional investor also are involved.

CuspAI's platform leverages generative AI, deep learning and molecular simulation to streamline the material design process, the company said. Much like a search engine, the platform allows users to "request specific properties for new materials on demand," CuspAI said. The result should help to "solve critical global challenges across sustainability and clean energy."

Chad Edwards, co-founder, CuspAI

CuspAI has also partnered with Meta on its open science project to discover new materials to address climate change, TechCrunch reported. Potential rivals may include Schrodinger, Dassault Systemes and startup Orbital Materials, that report added.

In a prepared statement, Hinton said: “Humanity will face many challenges in the coming decade. Some will be caused by AI while others can be solved by AI. 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.”

Hinton (pictured top of page, far right) exited Google in 2023 after he developed concerns about AI's potential risks.

We don't know when CuspAI plans to launch commercial AI products or services, nor do we know if a partner program will emerge.

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