Axelera AI Raises $50M to Democratize Edge AI

European start-up establishes itself in the heart of Silicon Valley, secures close to 100 requests for product samples and embarks on aggressive growth trajectory in North America to capitalize on strong customer momentum.

Silicon Valley, CA and Eindhoven, NL – May 22, 2023 – Axelera AI, the provider of world’s most powerful and advanced solutions for AI at the Edge, announces new investors who have joined their oversubscribed Series A round, bringing the total amount raised to $50 million. In the last several months, CDP Venture Capital, Verve Ventures and Fractionelera have joined the round. The latter consortium of investors was created specifically to fund Axelera AI. Innovation Industries increased its investment in the company becoming the largest investor. Despite the challenging fundraising environment, this underscores the company’s potential and market traction.

The funding will support Axelera AI’s global expansion and mass production of its first- generation AI acceleration platform, powered by its disruptive in-memory computing and RISC- V controlled dataflow technology. A few months after their product announcement, 350+ customers have shown interest, close to 100 requested a sample for testing, and over 50 signed up to company’s Early Access Program (EAP), which still has a few weeks remaining for potential applicants. The EAP supports customers in developing next-generation computer vision products by providing benefits, such as collaborative hardware design, as well as specialized support for software and machine learning.

Through their Metis AI Platform, Axelera AI redefines boundaries and provides access to industry-leading Edge AI products. Offering the best performance and user-friendliness at a significantly reduced cost and power consumption. Compared to existing alternatives, their platform aims to make AI readily accessible to a wider audience.

Axelera AI has begun expanding its operations within the United States with Jonathan Ballon joining as non-executive Chairman and the addition of Sander Arts, marketing veteran in Silicon Valley as Marketing Advisor. The company is also actively recruiting for a Global Vice President of Sales, business developers and technical support team.

“In just 20 months, we’ve achieved incredible milestones including the tape out of two cutting- edge AI chips, securing a total of $50M in funding, forging impactful partnerships and design wins with industry-leading customers. We’re thrilled to bring our new investors into the fold. This is a testament to our trailblazing technology and the unwavering trust our investors place in our extraordinary team,” said Fabrizio Del Maffeo, CEO of Axelera AI.

“We are proud to contribute to the growth of Axelera AI, a great Italian-led European company that is expanding its R&D division in the Milan office by bringing know-how and expertise to a highly strategic market for the future such as semiconductors,” said Mario Scuderi, Senior Partner and head of Evolution Fund, CDP Venture Capital.

“We believe that Axelera AI is in a unique position to capture the rapidly developing edge AI market with a strong combination of next-generation hardware and software. The exceptional founding team has been able to constantly attract top-level talent and push the technology to a commercial level at a high pace. We are excited to join this future European semicon champion on their journey,” said Emma Schepers, Senior Investment Associate at Verve Ventures.

“We are thankful for the opportunity to invest as a collective of individuals in a company that is positioned at the forefront of innovation in the semiconductor industry. We believe in the continued growth and development of the market and are confident in the potential for Axelera AI to deliver ground-breaking solutions that will shape the future of the industry,” said a representative of Fractionelera.

“As one of the first investors in Axelera AI, we are happy to see additional strong investors joining the journey. This further acknowledges the strength of the team, technology and product while positioning the company perfectly for strong growth. We look forward to building this company together with the management team and the investors,” said Sander Verbrugge, Partner at Innovation Industries.

Dr. Massimo Vanzi was recently appointed to its board of directors, bolstering its 45-year experience in deep-tech and semiconductor technology.

At the Embedded Vision Summit 2023 in Santa Clara, taking place from May 22-24, Axelera AI will be presenting their Metis AI platform and demonstrating its value proposition. Axelera AI’s CEO and the leadership team will attend the event.

About Axelera AI

Axelera AI is providing the world’s most powerful and advanced solutions for AI at the edge. Its game-changing MetisTM AI platform – a holistic hardware and software solution for AI interference at the edge – enables computer vision applications to become more accessible, powerful and user friendly than ever before. Headquartered in the AI Innovation Center of the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven (Netherlands), Axelera AI has R&D offices in Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and the UK, with more than 120 employees in 14 countries. Its team of experts in AI software and hardware hail from top AI firms and Fortune 500 companies.

For more information on Axelera AI see: www.axelera.ai

About CDP Venture Capital

CDP Venture Capital is an asset management company (70% owned by CDP Equity and 30% owned by Invitalia) with over 3 billion euro of assets under management. It aims to make venture capital a strategic pillar to Italy’s economic development and innovation, creating the conditions for a comprehensive and sustainable growth of the venture capital ecosystem. It operates through a series of funds that aim to support start-ups in all their life cycle stages, making both direct and indirect investments.

For CDP Venture Capital, the operation was overseen by Mario Scuderi , Federico Clementi and Gregorio Gaspari, respectively Senior Partner, Investment Manager and Analyst of the Evolution Fund.

For more information on CDP Venture Capital see: www.cdpventurecapital.it

About Verve Ventures

Verve Ventures is a network and technology-driven venture capital firm based in Switzerland. Founded in 2010 by Steffen Wagner and Lukas Weber, Verve Ventures has grown to 50 team members and has become one of the most active venture investors in Europe with around 150 science and technology-driven startups in its portfolio. A dozen investment professionals identify the most promising digital, tangible and health & bio startups. Selected private and institutional investors get access to investment opportunities through a digital platform. The company invests EUR 0.5 million to several million from Seed Stage onward in startups across Europe. Verve Ventures’ dedicated team helps startups with their most pressing needs such as hiring, client introductions and an expert network of high-profile individuals. To join Verve Ventures’ growing community of entrepreneurs and investors, visit verve.vc.

About Fractionelera

Fractionelera, a consortium specifically created to fund Axelera AI, is comprised of multiple experienced investors and entrepreneurs. Members of the consortium have a track record of investing in startups from the seed stage to the growth stage.

About Innovation Industries

Innovation Industries is a Deeptech venture capital investor that invests in Hightech, Agri&Foodtech and Medtech businesses. Today, Innovation Industries manages over ~€475M across three funds and has a team of 15 investment professionals. Its largest investors are the Dutch pension funds PME and PMT. Innovation Industries invests from seed to late-stage and has partnerships with all Dutch technical universities and research institute TNO. For more information on Innovation Industries, see: www.innovationindustries.com

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