Stepping into the forefront of artificial intelligence for engineering simulations, PhysicsX has made a resounding entrance from stealth mode, while recently securing an impressive $32 million in a Series A funding round led by General Catalyst. The London-based startup, co-founded by a former Formula One engineering luminary, Robin Tuluie, and computer science expert Jacomo Corbo, focuses on revolutionizing physical systems’ creation and operation in the enterprise sector.
PhysicsX addresses a persistent yet often overlooked challenge in manufacturing and physical production by introducing an AI platform. This platform is designed to facilitate the creation and execution of simulations for engineers working in industries like automotive, aerospace, and materials science manufacturing, where bottlenecks in development often arise due to testing models before production. The Series A funding round includes diverse backers such as Standard Investments, NGP, Radius Capital, and Henry Kravis, co-founder and co-executive chairman of KKR.
In the realm of physical systems, whether in experimental labs or live industrial environments, engineers traditionally conduct simulations manually to test new ideas and improve existing processes. PhysicsX aims to automate and enhance this crucial aspect of engineering by leveraging AI. The platform’s capabilities include predicting the physics of a system with high accuracy and fidelity, accelerating simulations from 10,000 to a million times faster. This transformative approach reduces computational costs and time, allowing for more in-depth optimization.
The co-founders, Tuluie and Corbo, bring a wealth of firsthand experience to PhysicsX. Tuluie, a former theoretical physicist with notable contributions to Formula One teams like Renault and Mercedes, as well as Bentley and Volkswagen, possesses a unique blend of academic and industrial expertise. Corbo, with a PhD from Harvard, has a background in racing and founded QuantumBlack, the AI labs at McKinsey.
The startup has assembled a formidable team of 50 scientists, including mechanical engineering specialists and physicists, to develop the PhysicsX platform. While initially focusing on automotive applications, the platform aims for versatility, addressing a broad range of engineering and optimization challenges.
Corbo emphasizes the timeliness of PhysicsX’s emergence, noting the increasing application of advanced machine learning to the physical world. He sees this trend as the next frontier in AI research and development, echoing recent advancements in weather prediction by companies like DeepMind.
PhysicsX’s approach to digital transformation differs from traditional IT challenges, as it targets engineering and R&D applications rather than widespread organizational scaling. General Catalyst recognizes the groundbreaking potential of PhysicsX, with Larry Bohn, managing director, stating that the startup is “poised to transform engineering in complex industries” and has the opportunity to become a category-defining company in advanced industries.