A year ago, EnCharge AI emerged as a little-known company with a audacious mission to compete against industry heavyweights like Nvidia, AMD, Microsoft, Meta, AWS, and Intel by developing AI-accelerating chips. Today, EnCharge is making waves in the tech industry and has just secured an impressive $22.6 million in a new funding round.
EnCharge AI has raised $22.6 million in funding to further advance their development of AI-accelerating chips and “full stack” AI solutions. The company aims to provide affordable and sustainable AI solutions that can unlock the full potential of AI for organizations that currently cannot afford expensive and energy-intensive AI chips.
The funding round was led by VentureTech Alliance, the strategic venture capital arm associated with semiconductor giant TSMC. Other notable participants include RTX Ventures, ACVC Partners, Anzu Partners, and Schams Ventures. With this latest capital injection, EnCharge has now raised a total of $45 million, which will be utilized to expand its team of 50 employees across the United States, Canada, and Germany, as well as to further enhance the development of EnCharge’s AI chips and comprehensive AI solutions.
Co-founder and CEO Naveen Verma emphasized EnCharge’s mission to democratize access to AI technologies. Verma explained, “EnCharge’s mission is to provide broader access to AI for the 99% of organizations that can’t afford to deploy today’s costly and energy-intensive AI chips. Specifically, we’re enabling new AI use cases and form factors that run sustainably, from both an economical and environmental perspective, to unlock AI’s full potential.”
EnCharge was established last year by Naveen Verma, Echere Iroaga, and Kailash Gopalakrishnan. Verma, who also serves as the director of Princeton’s Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education, had received federal grants in 2017 for his research on non-volatile memory devices in collaboration with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. EnCharge’s hardware utilizes in-memory computing to accelerate AI applications in servers and network edge machines, while significantly reducing power consumption compared to standard computer processors.
While EnCharge has yet to begin mass production of its hardware, the company has already secured several customers. However, it faces stiff competition from well-funded players in the crowded AI accelerator hardware market. Axelera and GigaSpaces are developing their own in-memory hardware, and NeuroBlade has raised millions in venture capital funding for its in-memory inference chip designed for data centers and edge devices.
Despite the challenges, EnCharge’s investors stand firmly behind the company. Kai Tsang of VentureTech Alliance expressed his confidence in EnCharge, stating, “EnCharge is solving critical issues around computing power, accessibility, and costs that are both limiting AI today and inadequate for handling AI of tomorrow. The company has developed computing beyond the limits of today’s systems with a technologically unique architecture that fits into today’s supply chain.”
With this latest funding round, EnCharge is well-positioned to continue its mission of revolutionizing AI technology by providing affordable, energy-efficient, and high-performance AI chips.