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Altrove secured €3.7M to accelerate essential materials' discovery and production

Altrove, a startup founded in 2024, has raised €3.7 million to develop sustainable alternatives to rare earth elements using AI-driven material recipe optimization and characterization, differentiating itself by focusing on creating and testing materials rather than just predicting them.

Ellie Ramirez-Camara profile image
by Ellie Ramirez-Camara
Altrove secured €3.7M to accelerate essential materials' discovery and                                     production
Photo by Paul-Alain Hunt / Unsplash

Founded in 2024 by Dr. Joonatan Laulainen and Thibaud Martin, Altrove is a startup working on the development of new materials, with an emphasis on creating easier-to-source and more sustainable alternatives to materials containing rare earth elements including gallium, germanium, cobalt, and nickel. The rare earth element market, essential for the development of more sustainable technologies, such as wind turbines, solar panels, and electric vehicle (EV) batteries, is largely dominated by China. This dependence on the Chinese market causes Western countries to be susceptible to supply chain disruptions, experience price fluctuations, and contribute to unsustainable mining practices.

The problem of developing alternatives to critical materials is not new, and other tech companies like DeepMind, Microsoft, Meta, or Orbital Materials are already developing solutions to the first bottleneck in the materials research and development pipeline. What differentiates Altrove from these efforts is that the startup aims to work on developing recipes to create already-predicted candidate materials and then either license the methods, produce the material by itself or collaborate with third-party manufacturers.

After selecting candidate materials from existing prediction databases, Altrove uses proprietary AI models to accelerate recipe development. Once Altrove has developed promising production methods, each is tested manually in a lab to create a small amount of the material. The resulting materials are tested using proprietary characterization technology that uses an X-ray diffractometer to ensure that the structure and properties are as expected. Because the produced material rarely behaves as predicted on the first run, Altrove's technology learns from the characterization step to improve the recipe development.

Six months after launch, Altrove has closed a €3.7 million round led by Contrarian Ventures, and supported by Emblem and several angel investors including Thomas Clozel (Owkin CEO), Julien Chaumond (Hugging Face CTO) and Nikolaj Deichmann (3Shape founder). The startup plans to build an automated lab by the end of the year to accelerate its process further.

Ellie Ramirez-Camara profile image
by Ellie Ramirez-Camara
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