UCL News


UCL start-up raises £1 million in seed funding

1 November 2019

UCL start-up Turin Intelligence Technology has raised over £1 million in seed funding, having been founded in 2017 by four researchers from UCL Computer Science.

Left to right:  Dr Michail Basios, Dr Leslie Kanthan, Assoc. Prof Lingbo Li.

The funding will be used to hire additional data scientists in computer science, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

The company is backed by Microsoft for Startups and led by IQ Capital, and is currently resident in the Microsoft Reactor in London, recognising its potential to reach a global scale over cloud.

Turin Intelligence Technology is a research-driven artificial intelligence company that specialises in applying research in AI and machine learning to benefit both individuals and industry.

CEO and co-founder Dr Leslie Kanthan (UCL Computer Science) said: “We are at the precipice of automated optimisation and TurinTech.ai is well-positioned for clients who wish to increase profitability and reduce costs. Our research has prompted interest in our commercial product from big tech companies, a multinational FMCG, fintechs, other start-ups and hedge funds to name a few.

“We’ve built a close relationship with the team at Microsoft and this has been truly instrumental in the company’s success to date. As we look ahead, IQ Capital will be the perfect venture partner with its focus on deep tech portfolio and the synergy among them to take Turintech.ai to the next level.”

Professor David Barber, Professor of Machine Learning and Director of the UCL AI Centre, commented: “The UCL AI Centre collaborates with leading technology firms, banks, major retailers, legal firms and regulators. Improving the performance of software in terms of execution time and memory usage is an important common problem and TurinTech's solution looks very promising. 

“TurinTech’s state of the art technology is now using AI to improve the way software itself is actually crafted. This represents one of the first steps in the exponential impact that AI can have. In the context of cloud it will materially improve efficiency costs and running speeds.”

The company has so far gained traction and support including research grants and cloud resources from Microsoft, Google and Amazon. The support has enabled the company to advance their research and development of various elements of their AI optimisation platform.

Rick Hao, principal, IQ Capital, said: “TurinTech.ai is one of the most promising start-ups to spin out of UCL that we’ve seen in recent years. The technology they are developing comes directly from the team’s years of niche research and experience in machine learning and software optimisation.

“While the research is niche, the application is not. The team have built a framework that can be easily customised to cater for their clients’ needs, across a wide range of industries and sectors. What unites all of IQ Capital’s portfolio companies is their potential for global scale, and TurinTech.ai is no different.”



  • Credit: Turin Intelligence Technology
  • Left to right:  Dr Michail Basios, Dr Leslie Kanthan, Assoc. Prof Lingbo Li. Not pictured is fourth member of the team, Asst. Prof Fan Wu.


Media contact

Kate Corry

Tel: +44 (0)20 3108 6995

Email: k.corry [at] ucl.ac.uk