Spinout nets £2m to model how new materials will behave

Materials Nexus Materials Nexus founder and CEO, Jonathan Bean

Venture capital firm Ada Ventures has led a £2m round into Cambridge-based AI and quantum mechanics spinout Materials Nexus.

The spinout has created datasets and machine learning tools that can forecast how new compositions of materials will perform. The startup is aiming to reduce the number of physical experiments required for materials and bring down research and development costs.

Jonathan Bean, founder and CEO of Materials Nexus, said: “As a society, we rely heavily on advanced materials to build the technologies which are vital for a net-zero world.

“These include magnetic materials used for clean energy solutions like wind turbines and electric vehicles, and precious metals for producing green hydrogen.”

Materials Nexus builds on research led by Bean, a theoretical physicist from the University of Cambridge.

Instead of operating a software-as-a-service model, the company will work with partners to uncover materials that could be patented and construct the infrastructure to make them.

Matt Penneycard, co-founding partner at Ada Ventures, said: “Jonathan is a remarkable technical founder and company leader. He is the needle in the haystack that we VCs spend years searching for. Materials Nexus epitomises humans using technology for good, at potentially earth-altering scale.”

New materials in batteries, semiconductors, solar cells and maglev are areas the technology could be applied, Nexus says.

Materials Nexus’ round also attracted financing from High-Tech Gründerfonds, the University of Cambridge, MD One Ventures, Michael Eisenberg from Genuine Capital Ventures, Jasmin Thomas, Andrew MacKay and Hugh Smith.