Polymerize, a material informatics platform for R&D in chemical companies headquartered in Singapore, announced today that it has raised $4.2M in Series A funding led by Elevation Capital. The round also saw participation from InfoEdge Ventures who had previously invested in their Seed round.
Founded in 2020 by Kunal Sandeep and Dr. Abhijit Salvekar (Ph.D.), Polymerize is a SaaS platform that helps R&D teams in chemical companies simplify the process of formulation development and data management. The core value proposition of the platform is to reduce the overall R&D costs and accelerate companies’ time-to-market for their new products. Polymerize’s platform enables R&D teams to collaborate across different geographies and effectively manage all of their past & current experimental data, design new experiments, and get AI-based recommendations for new formulations or alternative ingredients with desired properties (such as elasticity, hardness, viscosity, etc.).
There is an ever-increasing demand for high-performance materials to support advancements across industries such as electric mobility, circular economy, aviation, energy, healthcare, etc. This demand pushes companies to innovate and develop materials faster. For example, earlier, IC Engine cars needed materials to be flame retardant, high temperature resistant, oil resistant, etc. Today, Electric cars need materials to be electrically insulated, lightweight, durable, and inexpensive.
Thus, the material companies need to identify the right formulations which will meet their objectives. The current process of formulation development is iterative, manual, time and cost-intensive. The process can take anywhere from several months to a few years. Polymerize aims to shorten this development time significantly with their software (by up to 50 percent), achieve R&D cost savings of up to 40 percent, and generate new formulations with better outcomes.
Abhijit and Kunal together bring a great mix of industry expertise and business skills. Abhijit is a material scientist, who has worked as a Product Researcher with the Japanese materials giant AGC Inc. (formerly Asahi Glass) and brings in domain & technical expertise. Kunal, on the other hand, has been a founder twice in the past along with stints at KPMG and Subex, which allows him to play a pivotal part in scaling the product and the business. They have also built a stellar leadership team consisting of individuals who have worked at places such as Schlumberger, Whatfix, etc.
“Both Kunal & I were struck by the inefficiencies in R&D for materials formulation. Not only are the current methods inefficient and don’t leverage data from previous iterations of experiments, but they also run the risk of missing out on the formulation of materials with unique properties. Polymerize’s deep tech solution not only allows companies to save on time and money, but it also ensures the best possible end-level output.” Said Abhijit Salvekar.
Polymerize’s deep-tech/AI platform is based on a foundation of extensive domain knowledge and scientific literature. This combined with historical data points from customer feedback is then fed through the proprietary AI architecture, embedded with domain expertise and process-structure-property relationships. This then leads to tailored and high-quality predictions that improve with every experiment.
Despite being in an industry with long sales cycles, the company has been able to acquire marquee customers across three markets – Japan, Singapore, and India in a short time frame as the customers could see the value that Polymerize’s material informatics software brings to R&D. It is currently focusing on companies across automotive, adhesives, paints & coatings, specialty chemicals, and packaging.
“Kunal and Abhijit have unlocked the power of ML for the chemical and polymer industries which are facing the ever-increasing market demand for innovative materials. We strongly believe that Polymerize’s material informatics platform will help the customers leapfrog into the digital era”. Said Deepak Gaur, Partner at Elevation Capital.
“We funded Polymerize at an idea stage and are impressed by the accuracy of the AI platform Kunal and Abhijit have built. Working off small data sets to recommend formulations that have exceeded the expectations of their pilot clients is very promising. This capital raise shall enable Polymerize to deepen its relationships with large polymer cos and assist them in digitizing their materials innovation journey,” said Amit Behl, Partner at InfoEdge Venture.
Polymerize will use the new funds to ramp up hiring and expand its geographical footprint.