Altrove raises €3.7M in pre-seed funding


Altrove, a French deeptech startup focused on creating sustainable alternatives for critical materials, has raised €3.7 million in pre-seed funding. This investment round was led by Contrarian Ventures, Emblem, and notable angel investors including Thomas Clozel, Julien Chaumond, and Nikolaj Deichmann.

The funding will be used to accelerate the development of Altrove’s core technology, which aims to find substitutes for rare-earth compounds used in transition technologies, electric vehicles, and advanced electronics. CTO Joonatan Laulainen highlighted that their AI models, combined with lab technology, enable the design and execution of experiments autonomously, significantly speeding up the material development process.

Rokas Peciulaitis, Founding Partner at Contrarian Ventures, emphasized the team’s industrial expertise and the innovative blend of AI and lab automation. Bénédicte de Raphélis Soissan from Emblem praised Altrove’s ability to move beyond predictions to actual material synthesis and co-production at scale, thanks to their proprietary technology for material characterization.

Altrove was founded by Cambridge alumnus Dr. Joonatan Laulainen and serial entrepreneur Thibaud Martin at Entrepreneur First in early 2024. The startup leverages AI models and an automated synthesis lab to accelerate material discovery by up to 100 times, learning iteratively from each experiment. The company collaborates with customers in the automotive, defense, and electronics sectors to address sourcing, regulatory, and sustainability challenges.

The demand for rare earth elements in Europe is expected to increase five-fold by 2030, driven by the growth of technologies like wind turbines, solar panels, and EV batteries. With China controlling over 90% of the global supply chain for rare earths, Western countries face significant dependency and vulnerability. Altrove aims to create sustainable, domestically sourced materials to mitigate these challenges.

The recent funding supports Altrove’s mission to develop sustainable alternatives to rare-earth materials, leveraging AI and automated labs to address Europe’s dependency on China. With strong investors and a skilled team, Altrove is poised to make a significant impact on the energy transition.

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