Krishna Rangasayee, founder and CEO, at SiMa.ai, has 30 years of experience in the semiconductor industry. He decided to put that experience to work in a startup and launched SiMa.ai last year with the goal of building an ultra low-power software and chip solution for machine learning at the edge.
Today he announced a $30 million Series A led by Dell Technologies Capital with help from Amplify Partners, Wing Venture Capital and +ND Capital. Today’s investment brings the total raised to $40 million, according to the company.
Rangasayee says in his years as a chip executive he saw a gap in the machine learning market for embedded devices running at the edge and he decided to start the company to solve that issue.
“While the majority of the market was serviced by traditional computing, machine learning was beginning to make an impact and it was really amazing. I wanted to build a company that would bring machine learning at significant scale to help the problems with embedded markets,” he told TechCrunch.
The company is trying to focus on efficiency, which it says will make the solution more environmentally friendly by using less power. “Our solution can scale high performance at the lowest power efficiency, and that translates to the highest frames per second per watt. We have built out an architecture and a software solution that is at a minimum 30x better than anybody else on the frames per second,” he explained.
He added that achieving that efficiency required them to build a chip from scratch because there isn’t a solution available off the shelf today that could achieve that.
So far the company has attracted 20 early design partners, who are testing what they’ve built. He hopes to have the chip designed and the software solution in Beta in the Q4 timeframe this year, and is shooting for chip production by Q2 in 2021.
He recognizes that it’s hard to raise this kind of money in the current environment and he’s grateful to the investors, and the design partners who believe in his vision. The timing could actually work in the company’s favor because it can hunker down and build product while navigating through the current economic malaise.
Perhaps by 2021 when the product is in production, the market and the economy will be in better shape and the company will be ready to deliver.