According to Imperial College London, one of their startups, TOffeeAM, has secured £5 million in international venture capital investment, which will support the company’s further development in applying AI to the design of greener and cleaner engines, and other machines. TOffeeAM’s clients already include names such as Boeing and Rolls-Royce, along with several Formula 1 racing car teams.
“We are delighted to have received this investment from our funding partners, both new and old,” said Professor Francesco Montomoli, Co-founder and Chief Executive of TOffeeAM. “This funding will give TOffeeAM the opportunity to scale globally and continue to help businesses across numerous industries to design innovative products.”
The Series A investment round was led by Presidio Ventures, part of the Japanese multinational Sumitomo Group, and London-based venture capital investor, East Innovate. UK deep-tech investor IQ Capital, which led TOffeeAM’s seed round, also participated, along with Exor Seed from the Netherlands, Type One Ventures from the US, Excellis from Italy, and several other angel investors.
“From our initial investment back in 2019, we recognized the potential in TOffeeAM’s team and technology,” said Daniel Carew, Principal at IQ Capital. “Their understanding of both the end customer and technology is testament to the exciting innovations emerging from UK universities.”
TOffeeAM was founded in 2019 by Professor Montomoli, Dr. Marco Pietropaoli, and Dr. Audrey Gaymann, from the Department of Aeronautics. Together, they developed an AI system that replicates the work of highly trained and highly creative human engineers – faster and cheaper.
Combined with manufacturing technologies such as 3D printing, TOffeeAM’s lightweight, low-waste designs can drive large carbon dioxide and pollution reductions while increasing reliability and overall performance. The system can also make possible the wider use of sustainable fuels, the design of better batteries, the development of advanced nuclear technologies, and other innovations needed for a sustainable future.
At the beginning of 2022, TOffeeAM was one of 10 companies selected to participate in Aerospace Xelerated – a 12-week accelerator program, run by Boeing, for startups using AI and autonomous technology to address challenges across the aerospace and defense industries. “We made new industrial contacts and we had the opportunity to present how the TOffeeAM platform can be used to redesign the next generation of aircraft engines and aerospace systems for Net Zero,” said Dr. Marco Pietropaoli.
In the past year, not only has TOffeeAM collaborated with Boeing but it has also collaborated with Rolls-Royce on a project that optimizes coolant systems in the electrification of aircraft engines – the results of which were presented at an American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
In addition to all this, in May, TOffeeAM was selected to receive up to £300,000 for an Innovate UK project to develop an AI-driven framework for next-generation heat exchangers. The aim is to produce an open-source, curated dataset for modeling turbulence in the design of printed circuit heat exchanger and cold plate cooling systems, which are used in many industries currently tackling electrification and striving to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions.
“This a very exciting project for TOffeeAM, giving us the possibility to work directly on a Net Zero challenge that requires better thermal conversion systems,” said Dr. Audrey Gaymann. “This allows us to develop new features that will be used in our optimization system, and to produce data that will be shared with the wider public.”
The latest injection of funding will allow TOffeeAM to pursue these developments, while scaling up its business, globally. While the focus will be on the US and East Asian markets, the company’s headquarters will remain in the UK.