AI chipmaker Graphcore is worth almost $3 billion after a massive $222 million fundraise

  • AI chipmaker Graphcore just raised $222 million in a series E funding round backed by the likes of Fidelity and Schroders. 
  • The raise catapults the firm's valuation to almost $3 billion – underlining its position as one of the crown jewels in the UK's burgeoning tech ecosystem. 
  • The calibre of investors says something 'very powerful' about what the markets think of Graphcore, in the words of CEO and cofounder Nigel Toon. 
  • The firm is among a slew of British startups – as well as Darktrace and Deliveroo – thought to be mulling IPOs in the new year. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

AI chipmaker Graphcore has raised $222 million in a Series E funding round, bumping the British startup's valuation up to almost $3 billion. 

The firm, based in the UK's growing south west tech hub Bristol, was backed by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, as well as the likes of Fidelity International and Schroders.

The latest raise brings the unicorn's total funding to $710 million to date, alongside a post-money valuation of $2.77 billion. The round was also supported by existing investors Baillie Gifford and Draper Esprit.

"Having the backing of such respected institutional investors says something very powerful about how the markets now view Graphcore," CEO and cofounder Nigel Toon said.

"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."

Graphcore is one of the crown jewels in the UK's burgeoning tech industry, where it and other leading players – such as Darktrace and Deliveroo – are said to be mulling lucrative IPOs in the new year. 

Deliveroo has appointed Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan to manage an initial public offering (IPO) of between 35-40% of the business in the first half of 2021, Reuters reports.

In a statement, Olivia Steedman, senior MD of the Teachers' Innovation Platform (TIP) at Ontario Teachers', said Graphcore was "poised to be a leader" in the AI chip industry.

She added: "We are excited to partner with Nigel and the strong management team to support the company's continued growth and product development."

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