Today, Graphcore, a UK-based chipmaking startup has raised $200m in a series D funding round from investors including Microsoft and BMW, valuing the company at $1.7bn. This new funding brings the total capital raised by Graphcore to date to more than $300m.
The funding round was led by U.K.venture capital firm Atomico and Sofina, with participation from the biggest names in the AI and machine learning industry like Merian Global Investors, BMW iVentures, Microsoft, Amadeus Capital Partners, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, Dell Technologies Capital, amongst many others.
The company intends to use the funds generated to execute on its product roadmap, accelerate scaling and expand its global presence.
Graphcore, which designs chips purpose-built for artificial intelligence, is attempting to create a new class of chips that are better able to deal with the huge amounts of data needed to make AI computers. The company is ramping up production to meet customer demand for its Intelligence Processor Unit (UPU) PCIe processor cards, the first to be designed specifically for machine intelligence training and inference.
Mr. Nigel Toon, CEO, and co-founder, Graphcore said that Graphcore’s processing units can be used for both the training and deployment of machine learning systems, and they were “much more efficient”. Tobias Jahn, principal at BMW i Ventures stated that Graphcore’s technology “is well-suited for a wide variety of applications from intelligent voice assistants to self-driving vehicles.”
Last year the company raised $50 million from investors including Demis Hassabis, co-founder of DeepMind; Zoubin Ghahramani of Cambridge University and chief scientist at Uber, Pieter Abbeel from UC Berkeley, and Greg Brockman, Scott Grey and Ilya Sutskever, from OpenAI.
Head over to Graphcore’s official blog for more insights on this news.
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