AI chipmaker Graphcore raises $200 million funding

Graphcore, an AI chipmaker, announced a new $200 million funding round – led by BMW i Ventures and Microsoft – in addition to new and existing investors.
Graphcore AI chipThis funding brings the total capital raised by Graphcore to date to over $300 million — valuing the company at $1.7 billion. Financial and strategic investors include Robert Bosch, Dell Technologies and Samsung Electronics.

Graphcore has started shipping a new processor and software for AI and machine intelligence to early access customers and generated first revenues this year, two years after the company was founded.

Graphcore started volume production to meet customer demand for its Intelligence Processor Unit (IPU) PCIe processor cards. Graphcore’s IPU processor is designed specifically for machine intelligence training and inference and delivers an increase in speed of 10x to 100x compared to today’s hardware.

The company is currently tripling the size of the team and opening new offices in London, Palo Alto and Beijing in 2018, Nigel Toon, CEO and co-founder of Graphcore, said.

This Series D round was led by existing investor Atomico, one of Europe’s leading venture capital firms and by new investor, Sofina, a large European investment firm. Merian Global Investors has also joined the round as a major new investor across a number of its managed funds, including Merian Chrysalis Investment Company Limited, in addition to BMW iVentures and Microsoft.

Existing investors include Amadeus Capital Partners, Atomico, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, C4 Ventures, Dell Technologies Capital, Draper Esprit, Foundation Capital, Pitango and Sequoia Capital.

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