Graphcore, the Bristol-based maker of a new microprocessor designed specifically for AI, has raised $222 million in a Series E funding round that values the company at $2.77 billion post-money. After closing, the company expects to have over $440 million of cash on hand to support growth, particularly international expansion and software development.

This latest round brings on board the first institutional investors, led by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (Ontario Teachers’) with participation from funds managed by Fidelity International and Schroders.

In a press release, the UK company said these new backers are a sign that the market opportunity for datacentre AI computing is huge, and that its own products have matured enough to step in and take a foothold.

Founded in 2016, Graphcore has now raised more than $710 million. The Series E comes two years after another $200 million equity round which put the company into unicorn valuation. Previous backers such as Baillie Gifford and Draper Esprit joined as well.

Photo: Founders Simon Knowles and Nigel Toon

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