• 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) is 10x to 100x faster than alternative solutions.

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

The image on the left was generated by Graphcore’s software whilst it was processing a machine learning model : Artificial Intelligence is sometimes very close to modern art!

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

When Olivier first visited Nigel and Simon in Bristol, he was thrilled with their vision and ambition. They had past experience with semi-conductor industry veterans and were excited to address the machine learning market – a market which will have a larger impact on businesses and consumers than the mobile phone had.

A few days later, Pascal and Nigel deep dived into the business and discussed the support C4 Ventures could 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!