Artificial intelligence Semiconductors and 5G Startups Venture

Chip Startup Celestial AI Lands Massive $175M Series C

Illustration of a gloved hand holding a computer chip.

Optical interconnectivity startup Celestial AI raised a massive $175 million Series C led by Thomas Tull’s US Innovative Technology Fund.

With the explosion of generative AI, both compute power availability and memory capacity are becoming more and more crunched — and marriage between compute and memory causes both to increase simultaneously. However, Celestial’s photonic fabric platform helps separate compute and memory, making processing extensive AI faster and more energy-efficient computing.

“This highly oversubscribed financing round is another testament to Celestial AI’s position to disrupt the market,” said founder and CEO Dave Lazovsky. “Today’s advanced AI models require exponentially more I/O bandwidth and memory capacity but are currently constrained by low bandwidth and high latency.”

The round included a long list of investors in addition to USIT, including AMD Ventures, Koch Disruptive Technologies, Temasek, Temasek’s Xora Innovation fund, IAG Capital Partners, Samsung Catalyst, Smart Global Holdings, Porsche Automobil Holding, Engine Ventures, M-Ventures and Tyche Partners.

Big money

It was just last June when Santa Clara, California-based Celestial raised its $100 million Series B funding led by IAG Capital Partners, Koch Disruptive Technologies and Temasek’s Xora Innovation fund. Founded in 2020, the company has raised nearly $339 million, per Crunchbase.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks in the semiconductor industry as investors have flocked to the sector knowing its importance in the rocketing AI industry.

It was just last week when shares of Astera Labs — a developer of data center connectivity technology with use cases in generative AI — soared after its initial public offering on the Nasdaq. Shares have since then remained well above their IPO price.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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