AI for power electronics: Why we invested in Frenetic
In a €4.5 million round co-led with Bonsai, we’ve backed Madrid-based magnetics design company Frenetic. The company is revolutionizing magnetics through AI, replacing outdated engineering models across sectors.
From electric vehicles and renewable energy, to space travel and aircraft, many global trends shaping the 21st century have one thing in common: their underlying technology contains magnets.
Designing these electrical devices — which are categorized as either transformers or inductors — has traditionally been a very manual task: While engineers have used analytical software to assist them with the process, they still had to decide between different materials, shapes and combinations, taking into account the manufacturing conditions. In many cases, engineers come up with highly efficient designs that cannot be manufactured under realistic conditions.
Frenetic is changing the magnetics game by replacing manual hassle with AI technology, allowing engineers to build with maximum efficiency. Considering that an electric vehicle contains an average of 10 magnets, we immediately understood the potential of Frenetic’s technology to transform even just one major global sector.
Our team at Join is excited to co-lead a €4.5 million funding round for Frenetic with Bonsai and alongside existing investors 42Cap, Bankinter and Big Sur. Frenetic will use the funds to continue its expansion into the US and Germany, and to take operations closer to manufacturers.
A much-needed update for magnetics design
Magnetics technology is in fierce demand. The list of applications for magnets is too long for a single article, but here’s a quick idea:
- Electric vehicles use magnetics for regulating voltage in power supplies for battery charging, climate control, dashboard display, lighting and other systems. EV charging stations also require magnetic components to transfer energy to the batteries.
- Solar power systems require magnetics (inverters) to make electricity and are also used for renewable energy charging batteries.
- Many types of magnetics components are used in computers and other electronic devices. Design is important here because by selecting optimal components, manufacturers can increase power efficiency and decrease size.
- Certain medical equipment requires magnetics, for example MRI scans (>5 magnetics) and fat reduction systems (2 magnetics)
- Magnetics are included in control panels of aircrafts, communications and lighting systems. Electronic designs that reduce weight are very important in this industry.
Knowing this, it’s easy to understand why an efficient design process is paramount. Unfortunately, that’s not the way things work today.
Broadly speaking, the magnetics production cycle is divided into three stages — design, sample and manufacturing. Those who perform each stage are often very dispersed.
In the first stage, getting the design right traditionally is heavily dependent on human judgment and Microsoft Excel. It’s a process that requires extensive training to perform mostly manual work. The next stage involves finding the right manufacturer, and when that happens, there’s often a lengthy back-and-forth that involves lengthy adjustment and continuous iterations before the magnetics are finally ready for production. In many cases, the company that made the sample is different from the company that will be responsible for stage three — mass production.
Frenetic has built a platform that replaces the manual hassle with technology, allowing users to manage all three stages of the process in a single place.
The diagram below shows how the technology simplifies each stage, and unifies them to create a more streamlined process.
Why we invested in Frenetic
Now that you know about the status quo, here’s why we believe it’s Frenetic who will change it.
A strong team with a clear vision. We were impressed with Frenetic CEO Chema Molina and the team he has assembled. Chema himself holds a PhD in Industrial Electronics from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, one of Europe’s leading universities for magnetic sciences. He has published several scientific papers in top-tier journals, but despite his research background, he proved to be a very execution-oriented, entrepreneurial founder. Chema is supported by his co-founder Alfonso Martínez de la Torre, also a Politécnica graduate with many years of practical experience in magnetics engineering, and a team of more than 30 magnetics and AI experts.
We see clear added value. Frenetic makes the production cycle of magnets faster, more reliable and more cost-effective. For example, in one of the many customer success examples, using Frenetic reduced the development time for a magnet from 6 months to 2 hours and reduced the cost of manufacturing the magnet by 50%. Frenetic also has an intuitive and easy-to-use interface that enables both juniors and experts alike to achieve these results without any extra training.
We see strong early traction and signs that growth is not about to slow. Even before launching its SaaS platform, Frenetic has attracted a large number of high profile customers that were eager to work with the team to optimize their magnetic design and production processes. Since launching its platform, small hardware manufacturers, scientific institutions and global corporations (e.g., Airbus, Siemens, HP) alike work with Frenetic, which has resulted in double digit monthly growth rates.
Frenetic has nailed market timing. The company operates in a very dynamic, growing market. Not only are magnets used in virtually any modern hardware-driven industry, but we’ve identified several key drivers — such as the rise of electric vehicles — that will only boost the demand for magnetics manufacturing.
Ultimately, the technological foundation that Frenetic has created is very difficult to copy, as the team has built its algorithm on a proprietary dataset of thousands of magnets that it has designed and manufactured itself over the years. In addition, the algorithm is continually optimized based on the render models of magnets that users design with Frenetic. Over time, this spells trouble for any company looking to catch up with Frenetic. We’re excited to see how this company grows and helps to eliminate the inefficiencies in multiple global industries.