South Korean AI chip developer Rebellions has raised a $22.8 million (30 billion KRW) extension on its Series A funding from strategic investor KT, one of South Korea’s largest telecom companies.
Last month, BestFitnessBands reported on Rebellions closing $50 million in funding, valuing the company at an estimated $283 million. At the time, Rebellions CEO and co-founder Sunghyun Park told BestFitnessBands that the startup completed its first Series A, which was oversubscribed, in less than three months from financial investors.
The Pavilion Capital-backed AI chipmaker has raised approximately $72.8 million (KRW 92 billion) in total Series A funding, bringing its total funding since its inception in 2020 to approximately $102.8 million.
A spokesperson for Rebellions told BestFitnessBands that the company plans to use the expansion round to mass-produce its second AI chip prototype, ATOM, which will be used for large companies in the cloud sector and data centers.
KT says it wants to develop AI chips such as NPU (neural processing unit) that will be used for data centers, autonomous vehicles and fintech.
This is the second strategic investment KT has made with AI chipmakers in South Korea in its effort to accelerate AI semiconductor business. Ku also said in a prepared statement that KT would continue to invest in startups in a difficult investment environment.
Competition for AI chips is intensifying as companies, including major tech giants like Nvidia, Intel, Google and Apple, develop competing products. Intel acquired Habana Labs, an Israeli startup developing AI chipmaker for data centers, in 2019.
According to the AI chip market outlook report, the global AI chip market is expected to reach $194.9 billion by 2030, up from $8.02 billion in 2021.
“AI semiconductor is one of the next big technologies,” CEO of KT Hyeon-Mo Ku said in a prepared statement. “Through the partnership with KT, we hope that Rebellions will become a global fable company like NVIDIA and Qualcomm.”
Rebellions is also currently in talks with potential clients in the financial sector to get its first AI chip, ION, which was launched in November 2021.
“We look forward to partnering with KT, a leader in the cloud and internet data center industry, and the strategic partnership will drive Rebellions’ new growth and business,” Park said in the statement.
Investors participating in Rebellions’ Series A include Temasek’s Pavilion Capital, Korean Development Bank, SV Investment, Mirae Asset Capital, KT Investment and Kakao Ventures.