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Gagarin Capital invests US$2.5 million in EARTH AI

Published by , Assistant Editor
Global Mining Review,

EARTH AI, the mineral targetting start-up, whose technology can predict the location of new ore bodies far cheaper, faster, and with more precision than previous methods, on 16 August announced a funding round of up to US$2.5 million from Gagarin Capital, the VC firm specialising in AI, and Y Cominbator. Previously, EARTH AI raised US$1.7 million in two seed rounds from AirTree Ventures and Blackbird Ventures and high-net worth angel investors. The new round will help the company continue to pursue its mission of fundamentally improving the efficiency of mineral exploration with the help of cutting-edge technology.

More specifically, EARTH AI’s technology uses machine learning techniques on global data, including remote sensing, radiometry, geophysical and geochemical datasets, to learn the data signatures related to industrial metal deposits (from gold, copper, and lead to rare earth elements), train a neural network, and predict where high value mineral prospects will be. EARTH AI can discover, stake, and drill-test brand new mining regions — a crucial task for growing industrial development worldwide. Demand for these minerals continues to grow rapidly from the technology sector, yet existing mines are becoming depleted and will be unable to secure the future supply. 

EARTH AI first drill programme made history, confirming the world’s first mineral deposit discovered by AI. It contains Lead and Vanadium, the latter is used in building Vanadium Redox Batteries that increasingly used for bulk energy storage for large industrial applications. The company has secured exclusive mineral rights for 18 prospective sites, predicted by its technology.

“EARTH AI has huge ambitions, and this funding round will supercharge us towards reaching our milestones” founder and CEO Roman Teslyuk said. “Gagarin has built and supported a strong community of AI experts and top-in-class engineers, and we’re excited to join that community.”

In 2018, EARTH AI field tested remote unexplored areas and ended up with groundbreaking 50X better success rate than traditional exploration methods, while spending on average US$11 000 per prospect discovery; in Australia, companies often spend several million dollars to arrive at the same result.

“EARTH AI is taking a novel approach to a large and important industry – and that approach is already showing tremendous promise”, Mikhail Taver, partner at Gagarin Capital said.

“We believe EARTH AI is on track to become the world’s largest mineral exploration company, discovering and partially owning the majority of new metal mines, and are excited to contribute the funds and AI expertise needed to make that a reality.”

"At YC we are particularly excited by new applications of artificial intelligence. The possibility of discovering new mineral deposits with AI is a fascinating and thought-provoking idea.  Earth AI has the potential not just to become an incredibly profitable company, but to reduce the cost of the metals we need to build our civilisation, and that has huge implications for the world?," said Jared Friedman, YCombinator partner.

Gagarin Capital is a VC firm that invests in AI-based products and services. The firm has a hands-on approach in which its partners use their 20 years of experience in in VC, PE, and M&A to help portfolio companies with everything from corporate governance to mastering new markets. EARTH AI was founded by Roman Tesyluk, a geoscientist with eight years of mineral exploration and academic experience. 

Prior to starting EARTH AI, he was a PhD Candidate at The University of Sydney, Australia and obtained a Master’s degree in Geology from Ivan Franko University, Ukraine. A member of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, he won the Ukrainian Geology Olympiad in 2013 and was the first person in Australia to receive Entrepreneur Visa 188E.

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