Sep 24, 2020 - Technology

Ex-Apple employees raise another $240 million for chip startup

Nuvia co-founders John Bruno, Gerard Williams and Manu Gulati.
Nuvia co-founders John Bruno, Gerard Williams and Manu Gulati. Photo: Nuvia

Nuvia, a server chip start-up founded by three former Apple employees, is announcing today it has raised $240 million in fresh funding.

The big picture: The move comes amid increased interest in server chips that, like Nuvia's are Arm-based. It's also happening as Arm is being sold to Nvidia and Nuvia itself is being sued by Apple.

Details: The Series B round, led by Mithril Capital, follows $53 million raised in a November round. Other investors in the latest round include Atlantic Bridge, Redline Capital, Capricorn Investment Group, Dell Technologies Capital, Mayfield, Nepenthe LLC and WRVI Capital.

The big picture: Nuvia is targeting all the major server categories: Devices sold commercially by companies like Dell, companies like Google and Facebook that build custom servers for their data centers, and high-performance computing (the kinds of one-off supercomputers that are built for governments, universities and research institutions).

Nuvia co-founder and engineering head Manu Gulati told Axios that the big web service providers could be the easiest market for Nuvia to gain traction in since they design their own custom servers.

Between the lines: While the Apple lawsuit was a distraction initially, Gulati said it has also helped the company gain notice.

"There were two parties who told us point blank they were talking to us because of the lawsuit," he said.

Meanwhile: Gulati said Intel's well-publicized manufacturing challenges have boosted Nuvia's fundraising efforts.

"The fact Intel is struggling so much it makes it easier for everybody else who is investing to understand this is something worth taking on," he said.

What's next: The company hopes to finalize its first chip design some time next year, with the goal of getting the first samples in customer hands the following year.

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