Venture Capital: SoftBank Vision 2 Leads $676M Round In SambaNova Systems

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SambaNova becomes the world’s best-funded AI startup.

SambaNova Systems, a startup that builds AI hardware and chips and offers a systems platform to run AI applications, announced today its Series D raise of $676 million in a round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. The round valued SambaNova at more than $5 billion and the company’s aggregate funding to more than $1 billion. (BusinessWire)

Existing backers including funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Intel Capital, GV (formerly Google Ventures), Walden International, and WRVI participated. New investors Temasek and GIC came on board.

SambaNova came out of stealth only in December 2020. Stanford Professors Kunle Olukotun and Chris Ré, along with Liang, founded the firm in 2017.

Apart from AI hardware such as its 40-billion-transistor Cardinal SN10 RDU (Reconfigurable Dataflow Unit), SambaNova also offers Dataflow-as-a-Service (DaaS), a subscription-based, extensible AI services platform.

Use of funds

SambaNova will use the proceeds to advance its efforts to make AI solutions more accessible to private and public sector enterprises. It will also challenge the computational limits of AI hardware and software currently on the market.

“We’re here to revolutionize the AI market, and this round greatly accelerates that mission,” said Rodrigo Liang, co-founder and CEO. “Traditional CPU and GPU architectures have reached their computational limits. To truly unleash AI’s potential to solve humanity’s greatest technology challenges, a new approach is needed. We’ve figured out that approach, and it’s exciting to see a wealth of prudent investors validate that.”

The recent funding will also focus on further developing, selling, and delivering SambaNova’s aforementioned Dataflow-as-a-Service.

“SambaNova has created a leading systems architecture that is flexible, efficient, and scalable. This provides a holistic software and hardware solution for customers and alleviates the additional complexity driven by single technology component solutions,” said Deep Nishar, Senior Managing Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers.

Related Story:  SambaNova Systems Raises $250M for Its AI Systems Platform

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