Silicon Valley’s artificial intelligence start-up SambaNova Systems rounds in $676 million in a SoftBank Group Corp’s Vision Fund 2 led funding round.
The chipmaker reached a total funding of $1 billion at a valuation of over $5 billion, making it the third biggest venture capital chip deal in the last twenty years.
The recent technology-focused investment, including semiconductors, marks a pronounced shift from Silicon Valley’s decade-long focus on software, social media, and the internet. The global venture capitalists have invested $7.4 billion in technology, including semiconductors, in 2020.
SambaNova utilized chips manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd for server and AI software building, leased out to companies for a subscription fee.
Interestingly, SambaNova developed its chip architecture. The company had formed a production capacity arrangement with TSM last year to protect itself from the global chip crisis.
Rodrigo Liang and Stanford University professors Kunle Olukotun and Chris Ré co-founded SambaNova in 2017.
The latest funding round also involved new investors Temasek and the Government of Singapore Investment Corp. The existing investors included BlackRock, Intel Capital, Google Ventures, and Walden Internation