Bristol-based Graphcore raises $30m from backers including DeepMind co-founder and Atomico

Graphcore founders Nigel Toon CEO (right) & Simon Knowles CTO (left)

Bristol-based machine intelligence company Graphcore has closed a $30m (£23m) Series B round, led by Atomico.

Also participating in the round were existing investors Amadeus Capital, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, C4 Ventures, Dell Technologies Capital, Draper Esprit, Foundation Capital, Pitango and Samsung Catalyst Fund.

AI pioneers Demis Hassabis (DeepMind), Greg Brockman (OpenAI), Ilya Sutskever (OpenAI), Pieter Abbeel (UC Berkeley/OpenAI), Scott Gray (OpenAI) and Zoubin Ghahramani (University of Cambridge, chief scientist at Uber) also joined the round as Angel investors.

Graphcore, which was founded in 2016, is developing technology to accelerate the processing involved in machine learning and AI applications.

Siraj Khaliq, a partner at Atomico, who is to join the Graphcore board of directors, said: “It’s clear that machine intelligence will sit at the heart of the technological leaps we’ll see in this coming chapter of human history – a process already well underway.”

He went on to say Graphcore’s first IPU delivers “one to two orders of magnitude more performance over the latest industry offerings” which reduces the time required to develop new models.

Nigel Toon, CEO at Graphcore, said: “Atomico has a genuinely deep understanding of the machine intelligence market and how it will evolve over the coming years. They also share our vision for building a major new company that can stand at the forefront of what we call ‘Compute 2.0’ – this new age of machine intelligence computing.”

Graphcore secured a $30m Series A back in October last year, we interviewed co-founder Nigel Toon in December, and he offered this advice to startup founders: “Surround yourself with the best and most intelligent team of people you can.”

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