A London-based AI startup, PhysicsX, co-founded by two theoretical physicists with Formula One expertise, is making waves in the field of artificial intelligence with its groundbreaking approach to building and operating physical systems in the enterprise sector. Today, PhysicsX announced its emergence from stealth mode and a successful Series A funding round of $32 million, led by General Catalyst, along with notable investors including Standard Industries, NGP Energy, Radius Capital, and KKR co-founder and co-executive chairman, Henry Kravis.
PhysicsX has developed an advanced AI platform designed to create and execute simulations tailored for engineers working in sectors such as automotive, aerospace, and materials science manufacturing. These industries frequently encounter bottlenecks in development due to the intricacies of testing models before production. This round of funding marks PhysicsX’s first external investment.
The fundamental problem that PhysicsX aims to address has long persisted in manufacturing and physical production. When engineers propose new ideas or seek to enhance the efficiency of machinery, they must simulate and test these concepts before implementation. Traditionally, scientists and engineers have conducted these simulations manually, with some limited assistance from AI.
Robin Tuluie, co-founder of PhysicsX alongside Jacomo Corbo, explained, “Simulating something like airflow across an object may take hours or even days, limiting the depth of optimization. There’s both a computational and time cost associated with this process.”
Tuluie brings a wealth of experience as a theoretical physicist who has worked alongside Nobel Prize winners and contributed to Formula One success at Renault and Mercedes. His counterpart, Corbo, holds a PhD from Harvard and founded QuantumBlack, an AI lab at McKinsey, working on challenging product engineering problems for automotive and industrial clients.
The PhysicsX team comprises over 50 scientists, including mechanical engineering specialists and physicists, to develop the PhysicsX platform. This platform not only addresses automotive challenges but also spans a wide range of applications. Corbo stated, “We are building an enterprise platform to support a broad range of domain applications tied to building and optimization problems, physics simulation bottlenecks.”
He continued, “What PhysicsX buys you is the ability to predict the physics of a system with very high accuracy and speed, anywhere from 10,000 to a million times faster. Now we can be much more sophisticated in areas like mining across a high-dimensional space.”
PhysicsX’s emergence aligns with the growing trend of applying advanced machine learning to the physical world. DeepMind’s recent breakthroughs in weather prediction and Corbo’s belief in AI’s potential in physics research and development highlight the significance of this moment.
While many enterprises face challenges in digital transformation, PhysicsX takes a unique approach. By focusing on engineering and R&D, it sidesteps the typical IT issues associated with broader organizational scaling.
Larry Bohn, managing director of General Catalyst, expressed confidence in PhysicsX, saying, “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.”
PhysicsX’s innovative approach and substantial funding support position the startup as a significant player in reshaping how industrial companies approach development and optimization in the modern era.