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ACT's Investment in Nextmol

The Co-Founders of Nextmol: Monica de Mier and Stephan Mohr

We are thrilled to lead Nextmol’s initial funding round with participation from Axon Partners Group, Grow Venture Partners, and ABAC Capital. Nextmol, a spin-off from the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, provides a software-as-a-service platform that accelerates research and innovation in specialty chemicals through in-silico experiments, using molecular modelling and AI.
Read on to uncover further insights into Nextmol and the driving forces behind our investment.
The Chemical Industry's Demand for Accelerated and Sustainable Innovation
The chemical industry is integral to various aspects of modern life, contributing to over 95% of all manufactured goods and playing a crucial role in technological advancements. Yet, it faces challenges in keeping pace with evolving consumer needs and transitioning from fossil-based feedstocks to sustainable alternatives. The lengthy R&D process, averaging a decade from inception to commercialization, is slow, costly, and inefficient, hindering technological progress and increasing environmental concerns due to the use of unsustainable resources and processes.
Traditional experimental techniques for designing and characterizing chemicals contribute to this lengthy process, posing safety concerns, high costs, and delays in bringing products to market. Thus, there is a growing need for solutions that speed up the process of developing new products, while prioritizing safety and sustainability. Nextmol presents a solution that not only accelerates this process but also yields significant cost savings while advancing safety and sustainability efforts.
Nextmol: Accelerating Innovation Through Deep Tech
The founders' motivation in establishing Nextmol was evident: to support the chemical industry's green and digital transition, accelerate research and innovation in sustainable specialty chemicals, and democratize computational methods across companies via a user-friendly cloud platform, thereby advancing the development of safer and more sustainable chemicals for society.
By utilizing physics-based molecular modelling and AI, Nextmol's computational lab enables the characterization of molecules directly on the computer without extensive laboratory experimentation. Nextmol’s simulations investigate the behavior of molecular systems at the atomistic level, scrutinizing the fundamental interactions that govern them. These simulations are enhanced by data-driven methodologies, particularly machine learning, which characterize molecules solely based on their molecular structure. This facilitates rapid analysis of thousands of potential new candidate chemistries, predicting molecule performance and ranking them. As a result, it accelerates the discovery of specialty chemicals with desired properties.

Molecular Modelling of a Surfactant

Nextmol’s revolutionary approach enables scalable testing through in-silico methods, speeds up innovation by up to five times, reduces R&D expenses by up to nine times, minimizes raw material usage, and mitigates laboratory waste generation.
Setting Nextmol Apart: Market Differentiation
Despite the chemical industry's embrace of innovative approaches to accelerate chemical design, existing AI/ML solutions heavily rely on experimental data, which is typically scarce, noisy, and inconsistent due to coming from various sources and different experimental protocols. Moreover, these solutions, designed for computational chemistry experts, feature complex interfaces, depend on on-premises High-Performance Computing hardware and do not specializing in specialty chemicals, thus providing less optimal solutions.
Nextmol sets itself apart from the main players in the market through the following features:
Innovative Integration: Nextmol emerges as the only company that combines physics-based molecular modelling and machine learning in an integrated way. With this approach, the platform computes hundreds of molecules through high-throughput calculations and enables chemical companies to generate consistent and accurate data, create predictive ML models based on this data, and validate the predictions.
Specialized Focus: Nextmol focuses on and excels in specialty chemicals, particularly surfactants and polymers. Unlike competitors' generic solutions, Nextmol's tailored approach allows for deeper insights and greater scalability in these specialized areas.
Enhancing Accessibility: Nextmol's platform has been designed with accessibility in mind, allowing lab staff without computational chemistry expertise to utilize its capabilities effectively, opening up opportunities for innovation across all R&D activities. In addition, by making computational tools accessible, Nextmol contributes to Industry 4.0, advancing the digitalization of the industry.
Environmental Impact: Nextmol helps design eco-friendly chemicals, enhancing biodegradability, reducing toxicity, and enabling better performance at lower doses to minimize laboratory waste. Moreover, the company is facilitating the green transition of the chemical industry and achieving a cleaner, circular economy, in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal.
Nextmol's Growth Opportunities in the Specialty Chemicals Market
Nextmol targets specialty chemical companies involved in designing and developing new products across various sectors such as agrichemicals, cleaning chemicals, cosmetics, and lubricant additives. The company's scalability appears strong, driven by rising demand for innovative R&D solutions spurred by environmental goals and stringent regulations.
As the global specialty chemicals market is projected to reach €886 billion by 2030, Nextmol is poised to benefit from this growth trajectory as the company aims to establish itself as the market leader in computational lab solutions for polymers and surfactants initially, and then expand to other chemistries. By leveraging technological advancements and forming strategic partnerships, Nextmol plans to further enhance its scalability, drive sustained growth, and solidify its position as a leading player in the industry.
The Founders
Nextmol is led by Monica de Mier, Co-Founder and CEO, with a PhD in Computational Fluid Dynamics and an MBA, and Stephan Mohr, Co-Founder and CSO, with a PhD in Physics focused on numerical simulations. As a spin-off of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, the team brings a strong foundation in High-Performance Computing and highlights their proficiency in bridging academia and industry, thereby enhancing Nextmol's expertise, visibility, and credibility.
What Is Next for Nextmol?
Our decision to invest in Nextmol was driven by its innovative approach to addressing a critical need in the chemical industry, its strong team with deep expertise, and its significant potential for growth and environmental impact. The new funding will be used to strengthen the team, improve sales and marketing efforts, and enhance the platform for broader capabilities. We are excited to collaborate with Nextmol and support their vision to lead in computational chemistry and sustainable chemical design on a global scale.