San Diego-based Nervana Systems Inc. announced $600,000 in seed financing from angel investors and unveiled its plan to develop custom hardware to boost the performance of artificial intelligence algorithms.
Investors in the round include industry veterans Ali and Hadi Partovi, Sam Altman, Geoff Ralston, Scott Banister, Owen Van Natta, Eric Baker, Google veteran Farzad Khosrowshahi, Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, Allen & Company, Dropbox VP Aditya Agrawal & Ruchi Sanghvi, and SV Angels.
Nervana develops custom hardware for machine learning algorithms, enabling computers to analyze and learn from massive amounts of data. The company intends to bring unprecedented performance and simplicity to state-of-the-art computationally intensive algorithms, making them accessible for deployment in a variety of settings.
“Humanity is creating and collecting data at an astonishing rate, and the vast majority of it is unlabeled,” said Dr. Naveen Rao, CEO of Nervana Systems. “'Deep learning' has emerged as the leading technique for finding structure in very large datasets, and Nervana Systems’ specialized hardware will do this at a new level of scale to meet growing demands.”
Nervana Systems is led by computational neuroscientists Rao, Dr. Amir Khosrowshahi, and Dr. Arjun Bansal. The executive team includes hardware experts Carey Kloss and Andrew Yang, who are recognized leaders in processor architecture, ASIC design, and FPGA design. Nervana also announced its advisory board, with academic and industry leaders professor Bruno Olshausen, professor Jan Rabaey, Ali Partovi, and Scott Banister.