• Sector : Hardware | AI Investment Date : October 2016
  • Founders : Nigel Toon & Simon Knowles C4 Ventures team : Pascal
  • HQ : Bristol, UK Website : www.graphcore.ai

What they do

Graphcore has developed a chipset designed from the ground up to accelerate both current and next generation machine intelligence applications such as natural language dialogue, autonomous vehicles and personalized medicines.
The company’s IPU technology (Intelligent Processing Unit) aims at delivering between 10x and 100x advantage when compared to alternative solutions.

Graphcore also plans to make its low power technology available for embedded consumer applications including collaborative robots and intelligent mobile devices.

By the way the image on the left is generated by Graphcore’s software while processing a machine learning model : Artificial Intelligence is sometimes very close to modern art!

How we met

Artificial Intelligence is core to C4 Ventures’ smart hardware specialisation. Other C4 Ventures portfolio companies rely on AI and we’ve realised early on the need for a dedicated high performance chipset.

So Olivier was delighted to travel to Bristol on a sunny day to visit Nigel and Simon. He was thrilled with their vision and ambition. Combining the experience of semi-conductor industry veterans with the excitement of addressing the machine learning market which will have a larger impact on businesses and consumers than the mobile phone.

Just a few days later, Pascal and Nigel went for a deep dive on the business and the support we would bring to Graphcore’s global development. After several hours of discussion, one of the conclusions was that a great bottle of wine and AI also go well together!