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Oxford Uni spin-out has raised largest European Series A round yet for an AI company

Diffblue, the University of Oxford AI spin-out, has closed its $22m Series A round in what is being touted as the largest such round in a European AI company to date.

Founded by University of Oxford Computer Science Professor Daniel Kroening and Dr. Peter Schrammel, Diffblue aims to help coders write better code through its AI and machine learning system which can scan any code base to identify bugs and generate its own tests to tackle them.

Funding for the huge eight-figure round has been led by Goldman Sachs Principal Strategic Investments, along with contribution Oxford Sciences Innovations (OSI) and Oxford Technology and Innovations Fund (OTIF), and comes just a year after the company was spun out from Oxford Uni.

Daniel Kroening, Professor of Computer Science at University of Oxford and founder of Diffblue, commented: “Software is becoming increasingly complex, interdependent and vulnerable and it’s unrealistic to believe that humans can guarantee its safety and security.

“The products we are developing at Diffblue’s use AI to empower users to develop code of a far higher quality and security standard than would have been possible before.

“In doing so, it eases the burden of testing which is one of the biggest pain points for developers, and frees up their time to focus on what they do best.”

Oxford and London-based Diffblue’s system does not just identify and test for bugs either, the developers claim that its system can also find and fix exploits, refactor code, translate from one programming language to another, and create original code itself.

Describing the firm as ‘one of the world’s most exciting startups’, Lilly Bussmann, Principal at Oxford Sciences Innovations (OSI), believes Diffblue has the potential to unleash enormous social and economic impact in the coming years.

She said: “In a world that’s increasingly run by software, Diffblue’s mission of equipping developers and organisations with the next generation AI-powered dev tools is a very worthwhile one, both in terms of its economic and social impact.

“To us, Diffblue is a great example of how world-class research undertaken at Oxford can result in truly innovative technologies being put in the hands of end-users. We’re very excited to be working with Diffblue in the years to come.”

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