Franklin Templeton and Temasek lead Blaize $71m Series D funding aimed at acceleration of AI Edge Computing and Automotive/EV product roadmap
Plans to aggressively expand engineering and customer service teams in Hyderabad, India facility
Mumbai, NFAPost: Blaize, the AI computing innovator revolutionizing edge and automotive computing solutions, announced the close of a $71 million Series D round of funding. Franklin Templeton, a new investor, and Temasek, an existing investor, led the round, along with participation from DENSO and other new and existing investors.
To accelerate the product roadmap and scale the business with this funding, the Company plans to rapidly expand their Hyderabad, India operations in the next 12 – 18 months.
Franklin Templeton senior vice president and portfolio manager J P Scandalios said Blaize has demonstrated the capability to enable value creation for organizations tapping the power of AI for edge computing.
“We are excited to invest as Blaize leadership takes strides to realize their vision. Automotive, and numerous edge AI markets, such as retail and metro, hold tremendous potential for Blaize to expand on their early market position as the adoption of AI at the edge accelerates, creating a new wave of industrial systems,” said J P Scandalios.
Vertex Venture Holdings Deputy Chairman Khen Nam Lee said the company is pleased to welcome Franklin Templeton as the co-lead of the Blaize Series D.
“The prospects are substantial. Today Blaize is delivering to customers a distinct fusion of AI hardware and AI Studio end-to-end software platform that leads the industry in productization of high-value knowledge-drives edge computing solutions,” said Khen Nam Lee.
DENSO Director of Corporate Ventures Tony Cannestra said Blaize System on Chip (“SoCs”) for automotive edge and central compute functions are accelerating electric vehicles and future architectural ambitions of automotive OEMs.
“With substantial power advantages making EVs more efficient and economical, Blaize SoCs offer best in class performance with lower power across in-cabin, out of vehicle, and autonomous operations, enabling a streamlined architectural evolution to centralize compute,” said Tony Cannestra.
Blaize CEO Dinakar Munagala said Blaize is pleased with the participation of new and existing premier investors in the Series D round.
“We are well positioned to accelerate our next generation products and sustain our lead in delivering integrated hardware and software offerings that enable true value creation for our customers,” said Dinakar Munagala.
The funding will support acceleration of the product roadmap to meet growing demand for higher performance, lower power, lower cost AI hardware and transformational AI software solutions in automotive, smart retail, smart city and industrial markets.
In 2020, Blaize successfully released and built a multi-year pipeline for the first generation Blaize AI edge computing hardware and software products with customer opportunities in the US, Europe, Japan, and Asia. In India, expansive potential exists for Blaize to play a role in the AI-based transformational progress in agriculture, healthcare, smart city, and other initiatives.
Blaize plans to strengthen its talent base in India by hiring engineers and AI technology experts across functions including hardware design, software development, verification, research and customer services.
Blaize leads new-generation computing unleashing the potential of AI to enable leaps in the value technology delivers to improve the way we all work and live. Blaize offers transformative edge AI computing solutions in automotive, mobility, smart retail, security, industrial and metro market sectors.
Prior to the Series D, Blaize had secured US$87M in equity funding from strategic and venture investors DENSO, Daimler, SPARX Group, Magna, Samsung Catalyst Fund, Temasek, GGV Capital, Wavemaker and SGInnovate. With headquarters in El Dorado Hills (CA), Blaize has teams in Campbell (CA), Cary (NC), and subsidiaries in Hyderabad (India), Manila (Philippines), and Leeds and Kings Langley (UK), with 300+ employees worldwide. www.blaize.com