PhysicsX Unveils $32M Investment to Fuel AI-Powered Engineering Simulations
PhysicsX, an AI startup co-founded by theoretical physicists, emerges from stealth mode with a focus on revolutionizing physical systems within enterprises.
The London-based company secures $32 million in Series A funding led by General Catalyst, with participation from prominent investors, including Standard Industries, NGP Energy, Radius Capital, and Henry Kravis.
PhysicsX aims to address bottlenecks in engineering development, offering an AI platform for simulations in industries like automotive, aerospace, and materials science.
The platform enables faster and more accurate physics predictions, potentially transforming industries beyond automotive.
The founders, Robin Tuluie and Jacomo Corbo, bring extensive experience from theoretical physics and Formula One racing.
PhysicsX’s emergence aligns with the growing role of AI in the physical sciences, marking a pivotal moment in the field.
The startup’s approach to engineering and R&D challenges sets it apart from traditional digital transformation initiatives.
General Catalyst’s investment reflects confidence in PhysicsX’s potential to redefine engineering in complex industries.
Main AI News:
In the rapidly evolving landscape of artificial intelligence, the spotlight often shines on generative AI and its role in accelerating consumer-focused software and product development. Today, we turn our attention to PhysicsX, an emerging AI startup co-founded by two esteemed theoretical physicists, including a Formula One engineering luminary. PhysicsX is breaking out of stealth mode with a distinct focus on revolutionizing the world of physical systems within enterprises.
Headquartered in London, PhysicsX has devised an AI platform tailored to create and execute simulations for engineers involved in project domains like automotive, aerospace, and materials science manufacturing. These industries frequently grapple with bottlenecks in the development process due to the rigorous testing required before production. To kickstart its mission, PhysicsX has secured $32 million in a Series A funding round led by General Catalyst. Notable participants in the funding round include Standard Industries, NGP Energy, Radius Capital, and Henry Kravis, the co-founder and co-executive chairman of KKR. This funding infusion will primarily bolster business development efforts and further enhance the company’s platform—a significant milestone as it marks PhysicsX’s first external funding endeavor.
PhysicsX is taking on a long-standing but often overlooked challenge prevalent in the realms of manufacturing and physical production. Whether in a controlled experimental laboratory or a dynamic industrial setting, whenever a new concept surfaces—such as a theory to enhance the operational efficiency of machinery or the development of entirely novel products—engineers must simulate how the idea will function before committing to the development process. Typically, these simulations and tests are carried out by scientists and engineers who may employ some AI assistance but predominantly engage in manual processes.
Robin Tuluie, one of the co-founders of PhysicsX, shared insights into this endeavor, stating, “Something like airflow across an object may take you an hour or two hours, but if you want to simulate something more complex, it may take you a day or longer. So, there’s a computational cost and, therefore, also a time cost to this. And that limits the depth at which you can optimize.”
Tuluie, who has traversed two distinct paths as a theoretical physicist, transitioning from academia, where he collaborated with Nobel Prize laureates in astrophysics, to the high-octane world of Formula One racing at Renault and Mercedes, where his designs contributed to four Formula One World Championships. His extensive experience also includes stints at Bentley and Volkswagen, focusing on automotive design.
Jacomo Corbo, Tuluie’s co-founder and a Harvard Ph.D. recipient, has similarly delved into racing, alongside founding and overseeing QuantumBlack, the AI labs at McKinsey. Corbo’s expertise extends to collaborating with numerous Formula One teams and other automotive and industrial clients, tackling complex product engineering challenges.
Together, Tuluie and Corbo have assembled a formidable team of over 50 scientists, featuring mechanical engineering specialists, physicists, and more. This team is dedicated to advancing the PhysicsX platform, which not only targets the automotive sector but also addresses a broad spectrum of applications. Corbo elaborated on this by saying, “We are building an enterprise platform to support a pretty broad range of domain applications that are tied to building and optimization problems, physics simulation bottlenecks. What PhysicsX buys you is the ability to predict the physics [of a system] with very, very high accuracy and fidelity, doing it anywhere from 10,000 to a million times faster. Now we can be a whole lot more sophisticated about, for example, mining across a very high dimensional space.”
The emergence of PhysicsX coincides with a pivotal moment in the integration of deep learning and AI into the physical world. Recent advancements, such as DeepMind’s research in applying advanced machine learning to short- and long-term weather prediction, underscore the burgeoning role of AI in the physical sciences.
Corbo emphasized this shift, stating, “This is the first time that AI models, these deep learning models, these geometric deep learning models, are overtaking numerical simulation for the weather. We’re starting to see that happen across physics more broadly. And, that enables a lot of different applications in the space of engineering, which is why we’re building a platform to be able to do that across sectors and across a broad range of domain problems.”
While enterprises have encountered numerous challenges in their digital transformation journeys, PhysicsX’s unique approach allows it to sidestep many of these obstacles. The startup’s applications focus on engineering and research and development, rather than the traditional IT concerns that necessitate widespread organizational scaling.
General Catalyst recognizes the transformative potential of PhysicsX and is making a strategic investment in this promising endeavor. Larry Bohn, managing director of General Catalyst, commented, “PhysicsX expands engineering boundaries in crucial sectors, led by a team deeply skilled in simulation engineering and machine learning. With credibility, customer relationships, and technical expertise, we believe PhysicsX is poised to transform engineering in complex industries. This aligns with our vision for industrial transformation and positions PhysicsX with the opportunity to create a category-defining company in advanced industries.”
PhysicsX’s emergence signifies a significant step forward in harnessing AI’s power to revolutionize engineering simulations and usher in a new era of innovation in industries where physical systems play a pivotal role. With a team of experts and substantial funding, PhysicsX is poised to make a lasting impact on how enterprises approach development and optimization in the physical world.