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Science/Tech AI Developer Raises $100M in New Funds

Code on screen

(Elchinator, Pixabay)

25 Jan. 2022. A provider of artificial intelligence services for scientific and advanced technology applications is raising $100 million in its second venture round. InstaDeep Ltd. in London creates deep learning systems, a type of A.I., for a range of industries, including biotechnology companies developing vaccines and diagnostics for Covid-19 infections.

Deep learning is a form of A.I. that makes it possible for systems to discern underlying patterns in relationships, and build those relationships into knowledge bases applied to a number of disciplines. In deep learning, neural networks that emulate brain functions revise those algorithms or models with new data added to the store of knowledge. The algorithms include perceptrons or classifiers to weight the value of new data added to the knowledge base during the learning process.

InstaDeep develops A.I. solutions for different business sectors including biotechnology enterprises. The company offers mathematical models for simulating complex protein interactions called DeepChain for designing biologics and diagnostics. One of InstaDeep’s customers is BioNTech SE in Mainz, Germany, developer of a leading Covid-19 vaccine using messenger RNA to invoke an immune reactions against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

A.I.-assisted circuit board design

As reported in Science & Enterprise earlier this month, InstaDeep is also collaborating with BioNTech on an early-warning public health system to quickly detect dangerous SARS-CoV-2 variants. In a test of the system, posted in a preprint or non-peer reviewed paper, the InstaDeep/BioNTech team identified in minutes 12 of the 13 variants flagged as dangerous by World Health Organization. The authors say an early warning system employing those models would have spotted these mutations an average of two months sooner. That includes the omicron variant, which the authors say they detected the same day its sequence became publicly available.

InstaDeep also offers a routing design service for printed circuit board providers, now in beta version. The service called DeepPCB accepts uploaded schematic files with components on the board and returns a routing for connections among layers and components within 24 hours. The company says manual board routing can take weeks, although other commercial routing software is available. In addition, InstaDeep says it develops A.I. solutions for companies in logistics, manufacturing, energy, and mobility/ride-sharing services.

InstaDeep is an eight year-old company with offices in Tunis, its first location, and Paris, Lagos, Dubai, and Cape Town. The company is raising $100 million in its second venture round led by Alpha Intelligence Capital in Luxembourg and CDIB Capital in Hong Kong. Also taking part in the round are BioNTech, Chimera Abu Dhabi, Deutsche Bahn’s DB Digital Ventures, Google, G42, and Synergie. Google, Deutsche Bahn (Germany’s railroad system ), and as noted above BioNTech, are collaborators with InstaDeep. According to Crunchbase, the company raised $7 million in its first funding round in May 2019.

Arnaud Barthelemy, partner at Alpha Intelligence Capital, says in an InstaDeep statement, “InstaDeep is a deep technology company that disrupts traditional approaches in crucial areas as they do with BioNTech for drug discovery or with Deutsche Bahn for railway scheduling.” The company plans to use the new funds to advance its computing infrastructure, hire new talent, launch new products across multiple industries, and expand into the U.S. market.

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Disclaimer: The author owns shares in Pfizer, BioNTech’s partner in Covid-19 vaccines.

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