KoBold Metals’ AI-Powered Hunt For EV Metals Gets US$192.5-Million Boost In Latest Funding Round

Mining startup KoBold Metals raised US$192.5 million in its series B funding, securing fresh funds for its artificial intelligence-powered mining for electric vehicle metals.

The California-based firm is backed by Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, which includes billionaire members like Jeff Bezos, Mike Bloomberg, Richard Branson, Jack Ma, George Soros, and Mark Zuckerberg.

KoBold Metals uses AI to find metals addressing the demand for electric vehicle battery supply like cobalt, copper, nickel, or lithium. The technology guides the firm on location, data collection, and mining operations through crunching historical and publicly available data.

“What we’re building is basically Google Maps for the earth’s crust and below,” said Connie Chan, partner at one of the firm’s initial financial backers, venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, Breakthrough Energy and Andreessen Horowitz joined Norwegian energy investment firm Equinor Ventures as existing backers who joined the latest funding round. The startup also saw financial backing from mining firm BHP Group, with which it formed an exploration alliance in September 2021, and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Apollo Projects, an investment fund managed by Altman brothers, and California-based investment firm Bond Capital also threw in their financial weight. Adobe Chief Product Officer Scott Belsky and Lyft President John Zimmer also joined the round as angel investors.

The firm intends to use the funds to accelerate its work in finding electric vehicle battery materials. Currently, its projects are located in the US, Canada, Australia, Greenland (through a joint venture with London-listed Bluejay Mining), and Zambia.

With the electric vehicle boom posing a threat of a shortage of battery materials, the mining startup aims to shift the industry mindset using artificial intelligence in exploration mining programs.

While KoBold Metals seems to be leading the pack, other tech firms are already angling to enter the AI-powered mining foray. In Canada, TSX Venture-listed Windfall Geotek (TSXV: WIN) also employs applied use of AI through its Computer Aided Resource Detection System, which is said to potentially generate near-immediate savings of 3-5% on exploration and development.

Information for this briefing was found via Wall Street Journal. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

Leave a Reply