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Graphcore, the AI chipmaker, raises another $150M at a $1.95B valuation

The UK has a strong history when it comes to processors, but the global chip market has seen some ups and downs of late. Today comes some big news that underscores how investors are doubling down on one of the big hopefuls for the next generation of chipmaking to see it through any possible winter winds. Graphcore, the Bristol-based startup that designs processors specifically for artificial intelligence applications, announced that it has raised another $150 million in funding for R&D and to continue bringing on new customers. It’s valuation is now $1.95 billion.
Graphcore has now raised over $450 million and says that it has some $300 million in cash reserves — an important detail considering the doldrums that have plagued the chipmaking market in the last few months, and could become exacerbated now with the slowdown in production due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The funding is an extension of its Series D, it said, and brings the total valuation of the company to $1.95 billion. (For reference, the original Series D in December 2018 valued Graphcore at $1.7 billion.) This latest round includes investments from Baillie Gifford, Mayfair Equity Partners and M&G Investments — all new backers — as well as participation from previous investors Merian Chrysalis, Ahren Innovation Capital, Amadeus Capital Partners and Sofina. Other past backers of the startup include BMW, Microsoft, Atomico and Demis Hassabis of DeepMind.
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