Graphcore is a UK company that develops computer chips designed for use in artificial intelligence. They have now raised $222m from investors, valuing the company at $2.77bn. The company’s latest round of funding was led by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan as well as investors including Fidelity International and Schroders.

The new funding will be used to expand its technology which competes against chips from Nvidia and Intel. The $2.8bn valuation propels Graphcore further up the ranks of the UK’s most valuable private tech companies.

Graphcore first achieved a valuation above $1bn, in 2018, when it raised $200m for a valuation of $1.8bn. Since its official founding in 2016, Graphcore has raised more than $710m from investors. These include the carmaker BMW, the tech companies Microsoft and Samsung, and the prominent Silicon Valley venture capital business Sequoia Capital.

Plans for Graphcore were first started in late 2013 by its chief executive, Nigel Toon, and its chief technology officer, Simon Knowles. Both of whom were previously directors at Icera, a business making chips for 3G mobile network infrastructure.

Toon has said that Graphcore doesn’t have plans for acquisitions. Its strategy is based around organic growth.

Graphcore’s flagship technology is called “Intelligence processing units”. It’s designed to handle the intensive requirements of machine learning. The expectation that its use will grow rapidly across high-tech industries.

This new bite was adapted from an article originally written for TechCrunch.

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