Graphcore Nears $200M Round

  • General
  • November 6, 2020
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  • 5 minutes read


Nigel Toon, Co-founder and CEO of Graphcore.
Photo credit: TechCrunchlicensed under CC BY 2.0

Graphcore, a UK-based AI chip startup, is on the cusp of raising about $200 million in new funding that’ll place its valuation at over $2 billion, according to a report [paywalled] from Bloomberg. It seems that Graphcore is riding a surging market for computing chips that’s driven by the increasing need for data center services as cloud adoption grows high. More so, Graphcore focuses on designing artificial intelligence chips, a nascent market that’s poised for heavy growth.

Already, Graphcore is well-funded with nearly half-a-billion dollars raised since its inception. The company’s last funding round was a $150 million infusion in February this year that placed its valuation at $1.95 billion. Graphcore’s backers include well-known names such as Baillie Gifford, Atomico, Dell Technologies Capital, Microsoft, and automaker BMW.

Graphcore develops chips for artificial intelligence and machine learning processes, such chips built to prioritize efficiency given that AI processes usually utilize more computing memory and energy than the usual computing processes. The company was founded in 2016 by two tech veterans, Simon Knowles and Nigel Toon, and has been based in the UK since its inception.

Graphcore is one of the most valuable private technology companies from the UK and notably a standout in a country mostly known for churning out valuable fintech companies. There aren’t many semiconductor startups based in the UK, making Graphcore quite a rarity over there. Globally, Graphcore is one out of a handful of artificial intelligence startups that have emerged to capitalize on a growing market.

Other notable startups in Graphcore’s cohort include the likes of Habana Systems (acquired by Intel), Cerebras Systems, Kneron, Hailo, and China’s Cambricon which held an IPO this year.

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