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8 March, 2020 - 18:51 By Tony Quested

Graphcore raises additional $150m and scales in Cambridge

Cambridge investment funds Amadeus Capital Partners and Ahren Innovation Capital have chipped into a fresh $150 million private placement for AI unicorn Graphcore.

The Bristol-headquartered business has established a Cambridge operation at Kett House in Station Road and is advertising a number of vacancies in the technology hub, including silicon and software engineers.

The $150m new capital is an extension of its D round and takes its total funding to date to $450m with a valuation of $1.95 billion and reinforces its position as the leading pure-play machine intelligence AI processor company. 

Headcount has already doubled and besides opening its Cambridge engineering centre Graphcore has expanded its Bristol HQ and nervecentres in Oslo and Palo Alto as well as opening a sales and support centre in Beijing and an operations facility in Taiwan.

CEO Nigel Toon said: “2019 was a transformative year for Graphcore as we moved from development to a full commercial business with volume production products shipping. 

“We were pleased to publicly announce our close partnership with Microsoft in November 2019, jointly announcing IPU availability for external customers on the Azure Cloud, as well as for use by Microsoft internal AI initiatives. 

“In addition, we announced availability of the DSS8440 IPU Server in partnership with Dell Technologies and the launch of the Cirrascale IPU-Bare Metal Cloud. We also announced some of our other early access customers which include Citadel Securities, Carmot Capital, and Qwant, the European search engine company.”

Toon says Graphcore has continued to attract “the very best software, silicon and hardware engineers to join our team, which has more than doubled in size. Investment in R & D remains a priority. 

“Customer engineering teams and field and support engineering teams are ramping fast to keep pace with customer growth. We have expanded all of our facilities and opened in new geographies as we build a leading technology company delivering IPU products which we believe will be the industry standard for AI compute.”

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