A breakthrough AI design business that helps companies achieve net zero has received £5m in Series A funding.

Imperial College London spinout, TOffeeAM, will use the funding to expand the business globally and build on its strong customer base, which already includes Boeing and several Formula 1 teams.

TOffeeAM optimises product designs for Additive Manufacturing (AM) – also known as 3D printing.

The funding will allow the company to continue to scale its business globally with a focus on US and East Asian markets, while maintaining its headquarters in the UK.

The round was led by London-headquartered Presidio Ventures Europe and venture capital investor East Innovate.

Leading UK deep-tech investor IQ Capital, which led ToffeeAM’s seed round, also participated in the round as did Exor Seed, US venture fund Type One Ventures, Italian investor Excellis, and sector veteran angel investors.

ToffeeAM’s AI replicates the work of highly trained human engineers, but it does it faster, cheaper, and often with levels of human-like creativity and invention once thought to be impossible for a computer.

Using machines to design machines means components – and whole systems – are now pushing the boundaries of performance once widely thought to be unachievable.

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Combined with the latest advanced manufacturing technologies, ToffeeAM’s hyper-efficient, lightweight, low-waste designs can drive large CO2 and pollution reductions while increasing reliability and overall performance.

It can also enable the wider use of sustainable fuels, the design of better batteries, the development of advanced nuclear technologies and other innovations needed for a sustainable future.

Francesco Montomoli, CEO, said: “We are delighted to have received this investment from our funding partners, both new and old. This funding will give TOffeeAM the opportunity to scale globally and continue to help businesses across numerous industries to design innovative products.”

Rory Scott Russell from East Innovate, said: “We are delighted to co-lead this investment alongside Presidio Ventures and to support TOffeeAM’s internationally recognised team as they begin the next stage of their growth journey. Looking for solutions to help businesses across all industries achieve net-zero is vital if we are to protect our planet for future generations.”

Daniel Carew, Principal at IQ Capital, said: “From our initial investment back in 2019, we recognised the potential in TOffeeAM’s team and technology, and Francesco and his expert team have achieved 100x growth since our investment. Their understanding of both the end customer and technology is testament to the exciting innovations emerging from UK universities.”

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Founded in 2019 by Marco Pietropaoli, Audrey Gaymann and Francesco Montomoli, TOffeeAM has already built a strong global customer base, including leading F1 teams and Boeing.

The IP is based on research from Imperial College and has received several key industry awards since the business was founded.

These include the Enterprise Fellowship from the Royal Academy of Engineering, a Techcelerate prize, the Amazon AWS Programmable 2018, selected by Technation as one of the 10 rising AI stars, 1 of 5 winners of Formnext 2020. TOffeeAM was also part of EF program and part of 3rd cohort of Xelerated/Boeing accelerator.