Berlin venture studio Merantix raises $27M fund to concentrate on AI startups

Berlin-based Merantix, a venture studio that specifically concentrates on building “AI companies,” says it has raised a new €25 million fund ($27 million). Anchor investors include Trusted Insight, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, as well as further family offices from Europe.

Co-founder Adrian Locher said in a statement that the successful fundraising “underpins Europe’s competitive ability with regards to new transformative technologies and validates the innovative potential of Berlin. We are very excited to spearhead AI’s incredible value potential and are eager to build more disruptive companies with our amazing team.”

Locher is a Swiss serial entrepreneur and investor and has founded more than 10 companies in Europe and the U.S. His co-founder, Rasmus Rothe, is a “deep learning” researcher who has published more than 15 academic papers with more than 1,000 citations while attending Oxford, Princeton and ETH Zurich.

Merantix says that contrary to traditional investment funds, its studio model enables a steep in-house learning curve with close guidance for entrepreneurs and a shared operational infrastructure. Unusually, companies incubated within Meratix have full access to the code, data and insights of other Merantix companies. Overall, its team consists of more than 60 engineers and entrepreneurs.

Companies Merantix has incubated include Vara, an AI software for cancer screening that has obtained regulatory approval for a European-wide roll-out in 2019, and SiaSearch, a search engine for petabyte-scale ADAS and automated driving data that automatically indexes and structures raw sensor data and is working with Volkswagen, among others.