Graphcore, a Bristol, England based AI chipmaker has secured $222 million in Series E funding round held in December 2020. The new venture will be used to promote the company’s global expansion and to moreover stimulate future IPU silicon, systems and software development.
The round was led by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (Ontario Teachers’) with support from Fidelity International and Schroders, as well as existing Graphcore investors including Baillie Gifford and Draper Esprit. This investment yields the total funds accumulated by Graphcore to above $710 million, with the firm presuming to own over $440 million of cash on hand post-closing to promote future growth.
What Graphcore has to say
The company’s CEO and co-founder Nigel Toon said, “Having the backing of such respected institutional investors says something very powerful about how the markets now view Graphcore. The confidence that they have in us comes from the competence we have demonstrated building our products and our business. We have created a technology that dramatically outperforms legacy processors such as GPUs, a powerful set of software tools that are tailored to the needs of AI developers, and a global sales operation that is bringing our products to market.”
“We’re in a strong position to double down and grow fast and take advantage of the opportunity in front of us,” he added. He stated that it could be “premature” to describe this Series E as a “pre-IPO” round.“We have enough cash and this puts us in a position to take that next step,” he also added.
What Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has to say
“The market for purpose-built AI processors is expected to be significant in the coming years because of computing megatrends like cloud technology and 5G and increased AI adoption, and we believe Graphcore is poised to be a leader in this space,” said Olivia Steedman, Senior Managing Director, Teachers’ Innovation Platform (TIP) at Ontario Teachers’. “TIP focuses on investing in tech-enabled businesses like Graphcore that are at the forefront of innovation in their sector. We are excited to partner with Nigel and the strong management team to support the company’s continued growth and product development.”
Graphcore is a semiconductor company that develops accelerators for AI and machine learning. It was founded in 2016 by Nigel Toon, Simon Knowles. It is headquartered in Bristol, UK. It has built a new processor named as the Intelligence Processing Unit (IPU), which is specially designed for artificial intelligence. The IPU’s unparalleled architecture involves developers who can run modern machine learning model orders of magnitude quicker.
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