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19 March 2018

SambaNova clambers to $56m series A

GV and Walden International co-led the Stanford spinout's series A round, which was announced as it emerged out of stealth.

Author: Robert Lavine, news editor, Global Corporate Venturing

SambaNova Systems, a US-based computing technology spinout from Stanford University, has emerged from stealth with $56m from a series A round co-led by GV, the early-stage investment subsidiary of diversified conglomerate Alphabet.

Venture capital firm Walden International co-led the round, which also featured VC firm Redline Capital and growth equity fund Atlantic Bridge Ventures.

Founded in 2017, SambaNova has created a computing platform intended to provide the basis of next-generation data analytics and machine learning applications. The series A funds will be used to recruit more engineers as the spinout looks to further develop its computing platform.

SambaNova’s technology is based on technology developed by Kunle Olukotun, a cadence design professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and Chris Ré, an associate professor in the department of computer science at Stanford University.

Olukotun, who serves as chief technology officer of SambaNova, is known for his pioneering work on multi-core processors. He commercialised that technology through another spinout, server company Afara Websystems, acquired by IT company Sun Microsystems in 2002.

Dave Munichiello, general partner at GV, will take a board seat at SambaNova while Lip-Bu Tan, chairman of Walden, will also assume the chairman role at the spinout.

Rodrigo Liang, chief executive and co-founder of SambaNova, said: “The computing industry is going through a transition with the rapid growth of machine learning and data analytics and we are excited about the opportunities that our technology will create for our partners to develop and deploy the next generation of intelligent applications.

“We have exposed our technology to some of the world’s largest companies across different industries and we are excited about the broad applicability of our technology from enterprise to the edge.”

– A version of this article first appeared on our sister site, Global Corporate Venturing.

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