With massive amounts of investment, a lot of time and patience and the all-inherent risk that mineral exploration requires to get it from its source to being a valuable commodity, there’s little wonder it’s not the kind of industry that attracts the average person or investor.
And yet, the demand for earth minerals such as cobalt, nickel, copper, and lithium — particularly in the face of the move from carbon-based energy to green energy — is going to be important in the future.
To save time and resources in finding these precious minerals that will fuel our technological and carbon-free future, we need methods that will make extraction more cost-effective and resourceful.
KoBold Metals, a pioneering digital exploration startup founded in 2018 by Kurt House, Jeff Jurinak and Josh Goldman, applies statistical modelling, big data aggregation, and foundational ore-deposit science to materially improve the pace and efficacy of natural resources exploration.
The Berkeley, California-based concern — the first AI-powered mineral exploration startup around — employs its Machine Prospector tool to discover new ethical sources of Ni, Cu, Co, and Li critical for the electric vehicle revolution.
Its data platform, called TerraShedSM, aggregates and structures vast collections of scientific data and makes it rapidly available for analysis. While KoBold Metals’ suite of algorithms, Machine Prospector®, interrogates that data with a range of techniques — from ensemble ML, to full-physics joint inversions, to computer vision — to predict the composition of the subsurface in a statistically valid manner.
Kurt House is the first of three Co-Founders of KoBold Metals and an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University. With a focus on building scientifically sophisticated businesses in natural resources, energy technology, and heavy industry with a particular focus on large-scale scientific computing and data integration, House is also the startup’s Chief Executive.
House received a Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Science from Harvard University.
The second Co-Founder and CEO is Jeff Jurinak. With thirty-plus years as a professional in petroleum exploration and production, combined with two decades in the management of engineering and technology groups, Jurinak’s professional foundation is reservoir engineering, including field development planning, reserves accounting, and enhanced oil recovery.
He has significant career experience in exploration management, global personnel management, business strategy and portfolio management, corporate restructuring, and organizational startups.
Jurinak obtained a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin.
Finally, we have Josh Goldman, the third Co-Founder and CFO/CTO at KoBold Metals. With a Ph.D. in Experimental Quantum Computing from Harvard University, Goldman’s skills complement the others’ academic backgrounds.
Financially speaking, KoBold Metals has raised a total of $20 million in funding over one round, with investors such as Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a climate technology fund overseen by Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and other global business leaders, Andreessen Horowitz, the premier Silicon Valley venture capital fund and Equinor, the Norwegian state oil company, all on board for the success that KoBold Metals’ AI solution for mineral exploration used for applications in the electric vehicle revolution is likely to see in the coming years.