The seed round is led by Earlybird’s Digital East Fund and joined by Acequia Capital, Serbian Entrepreneurs, and Eric Ries.
Novi Sad, Serbia – April 13, 2021
Anari AI, an AI chip factory in the cloud, today announced it has raised $2 million in seed funding led by Earlybird, with participation from Acequia Capital, Serbian Entrepreneurs, and Eric Ries, author and founder of The Lean Startup. The new funding will be used to continue developing the platform and bring it to market.
Anari’s platform makes it possible to design personalized AI chips in the cloud with just one click. With this approach, companies are able to build and deploy AI solutions in weeks instead of 12-18 months, and at a fraction of the cost of traditional hardware development.
“AI continues to be growing in size and complexity, and this rate of growth is outpacing standard CPU and GPU performance gains,” said Roland Manger, co-founder and Partner at Earlybird. “Dedicated designs or flexible architectures are expensive, time-consuming and require hardware skills (in short: take lots of effort). Anari is a game-changer in two ways: it removes the trade-off between performance and effort, and it makes AI-problem-specific chip solutions available instantaneously in the cloud. I am excited about this huge potential.”
The platform is built on a unique Python-based programming framework, developed by Anari for chip design, that opens up new possibilities for hardware engineers and turns software engineers into hardware designers. The first configurable AI cloud chip from Anari is Thor X, which delivers 100x more efficient processing of 3D Point Cloud/Graph data structures compared to a high-end GPU.
Anari’s team consists of Ph.D. researchers, machine learning experts, and senior software engineers. The team is led by Jovan Stojanovic (co-founder and CEO), Stefan Sredojevic (co-founder and COO), and Bogdan Vukobratovic (co-founder and Head of R&D). Jovan is the founder of the Wonderland AI community that includes more than 30,000 AI experts and enthusiasts from all over the world. The yearly Wonderland AI Summit gathers C-level speakers and attendees from the world’s leading AI companies like NVIDIA, Airbus, HP, IBM, Mercedes, etc.
“You no longer have to tune your model to the computing infrastructure that’s available and designed for broad and generic use cases,” said Sasha Ostojic, ex-VP at NVIDIA, ex-SVP at Cruise Automation, Advisor at Samsung Electronics and Zoox, and Operating Partner at Playground Global.“ Anari’s cloud chip technology is the future of cloud computing.”
Roland Manger and Sasha Ostojic will be joining Anari’s Board of Directors. Advisors to the company include Christoph Auer-Welsbach (former Partner at IBM Ventures, Founder of CITY AI, and CEO of Kaizo) and Dejan Markovic (co-founder of Flex Logix and Professor at UCLA).
“With AI model complexity doubling every three and a half months, the current way of building the AI infrastructure is not sustainable,” said Jovan Stojanovic, co-founder and CEO of Anari AI. “We believe that every company deserves to have a personalized chip for their AI in just one click. We’re supporting the rapid progress of AI in ways that haven’t been possible until now. With experienced investors like Earlybird on our side, we’re ready to rebuild the AI hardware industry from scratch.”
About Anari AI
Anari AI is rebuilding the AI hardware industry from scratch by delivering a new way of designing and using AI chips through programming in the cloud. The Anari platform for cloud chips can be used by companies across industries such as gaming, automotive and biotechnology to personalize their AI infrastructure with just one click. The company is based in Serbia and has an office in San Francisco. The global team includes advisors with experience from NVIDIA, CERN, IBM, UC Berkeley, and UCLA.
About Earlybird VC
Earlybird is a venture capital investor focused on European technology companies. Founded in 1997, Earlybird invests in all growth and development phases of a company. Amongst the most experienced venture investors in Europe, Earlybird offers its portfolio companies not only financial resources, but also strategic and operational support as well as access to an international network and capital markets.
Earlybird Venture Capital has grown to three autonomous, dedicated and specialized teams, focusing on digital technologies in Eastern and Western Europe as well as health technologies. Among them, the Digital East Fund is focused on early stage ICT investment opportunities in Eastern Europe and Turkey, being the leading tech VC in this region. With EUR 1.5 billion under management, seven IPOs and 30 trade sales, Earlybird is one of the most successful venture capital firms in Europe. Discover more at www.earlybird.com.