SambaNova Systems Raises $676M in Series D, Surpasses $5B Valuation and Becomes World’s Best-Funded AI Startup
SoftBank Vision Fund 2 leads round backing breakthrough platform that delivers unprecedented AI capability and accessibility to customers worldwide
Palo Alto, Calif., April 13, 2021 – SambaNova Systems, the company building the industry’s most advanced software, hardware and services to run AI applications, today announced a $676 million Series D funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2*. The round includes additional new investors Temasek and GIC, plus existing backers including funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Intel Capital, GV (formerly Google Ventures), Walden International and WRVI.
This Series D brings SambaNova’s total funding to more than $1 billion and rockets its valuation to more than $5 billion.
Now the best-funded AI systems and services platform startup in the world, SambaNova will use its latest injection to aggressively challenge legacy competitors as it continues to shatter the computational limits of AI hardware and software currently on the market — all while making AI solutions for private and public sectors more accessible.
“We’re here to revolutionize the AI market, and this round greatly accelerates that mission,” said Rodrigo Liang, SambaNova 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.”
SambaNova’s flagship offering is Dataflow-as-a-Service, a subscription-based, extensible AI services platform designed to jump-start enterprise-level AI initiatives, augmenting organizations’ AI capabilities and accelerating the work of existing data centers, allowing the organization to focus on its business objectives instead of infrastructure.
At the core of Dataflow-as-a-Service is SambaNova’s DataScale®, an integrated software and hardware systems platform with optimized algorithms and next-generation processors delivering unmatched capabilities and efficiency across applications for training, inference, data analytics, and high-performance computing. SambaNova’s software-defined-hardware approach has set world records in AI performance, accuracy, scale, and ease of use.
“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. “We are excited to partner with Rodrigo and the SambaNova team to support their mission of bringing advanced AI solutions to organizations globally.”
“In working with the industry’s premier investors, we have the support needed to bring SambaNova’s bold vision to life and make AI accessible for any organization,” said Lip-Bu Tan, SambaNova chairman. “The democratization of artificial intelligence will certainly accelerate how the technology impacts our world and will unlock new possibilities for its use.”
Stanford Professors Kunle Olukotun and Chris Ré, along with Liang, founded SambaNova in 2017 and came out of stealth in December 2020. Olukotun is known as the “father of the multi-core processor” and the leader of the Stanford Hydra Chip Multiprocessor (CMP) research project. Ré is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at Stanford University. He is a MacArthur Genius Award recipient, and is affiliated with the Statistical Machine Learning Group, Pervasive Parallelism Lab, and Stanford AI Lab.
*As of the date of this press release, SoftBank Group Corp. has made capital contributions to allow investments by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 in certain portfolio companies. The information included herein is made for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy limited partnership interests in any fund, including SVF 2. SVF 2 has yet to have an external close, and any potential third-party investors shall receive additional information related to any SVF 2 investments prior to closing.