LONDON: UK chipmaker Graphcore has raised $50m from Sequoia Capital, one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capital firms, as the start-up angles to become Britain’s biggest maker of artificial intelligence hardware. Sequoia has only made a handful of investments in Europe but said Graphcore was poised to compete with industry giants Nvidia and Intel in the fast-growing market.
The UK has historically been at the centre of the chip industry but lost its biggest companies to foreign buyers with the sales of Arm Holdings to Japan’s SoftBank last year and Imagination Technologies to China-backed Canyon Bridge, a deal that closed this month.
Graphcore is now seeking to inherit their crown. The Bristol-based start-up has designed chips for machine learning applications such as connected devices, self-driving cars, cloud computing and robotics, in the belief that more businesses will use these technologies.