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A coalition of billionaires led by Bill Gates has thrown its financial weight behind a startup hoping to build a "Google Maps for the earth's crust" to hunt for new sources of cobalt. The startup, Kobold Metals, is using data-crunching algorithms to scour the globe for cobalt, in a bet that there may still be significant undiscovered sources of the metal that has become one of the world's hot commodities thanks to its use in electric vehicle batteries. The company has raised money from Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a fund backed by Gates and a dozen other tycoons including Jeff Bezos, Ray Dalio and Michael Bloomberg, owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.