Modular, AI Startup Challenging Nvidia, Discusses Funding at $600 Million Valuation — The Information
Modular, a startup whose software aims to loosen Nvidia’s chokehold over in-demand artificial intelligence chips, has been in talks with investors including General Catalyst to raise Series A funding that would value it at roughly $600 million, according to two people with knowledge of the deal discussions. The new capital would come less than two years after two Google and Apple alumni co-founded the startup and only three months after it launched its flagship software product.
Investors expect Modular to capitalize on surging AI activity that’s put a strain on the supply of the graphic processing units used by companies ranging from Microsoft to smaller AI startups. Nvidia, the top supplier of GPUs, also makes Cuda, the dominant software for writing machine-learning apps, and that software only works with Nvidia chips. Modular’s software aims to make it easier for AI developers to train and run their machine-learning models on chips designed by other companies, including AMD, Intel and Google. Modular’s founding team is also a big draw: Co-founder Chris Lattner led the creation of Swift, the programming language that powers many of Apple’s products.