Rebellions, an innovative AI chip startup based in South Korea, recently announced the successful closure of a $124 million Series B funding round, surpassing its initial $90 million target. This funding will support the development of their third AI chip, Rebel, and boost the production of Atom, a chip designed for data centers. Additionally, the capital will facilitate new hires.
The recent funding elevates the startup’s value to about $658 million post-money, as stated by Rebellions’ CFO Sungkyue Shin in a TechCrunch interview. Since its establishment in 2020, Rebellions has amassed approximately $210 million in funding.
This funding round, led by KT, a major South Korean telecom company, also saw participation from existing investors like Temasek’s Pavilion Capital and Korea Development Bank, alongside new investors such as Korelya Capital and DG Daiwa Ventures.
The fundraising arrives at a crucial time in the chip industry, especially in the AI chip sector. Nvidia currently leads this market, its name almost synonymous with the ongoing AI revolution. However, the race for innovation in AI applications, particularly in data processing and cost efficiency, is still on.
Major tech companies like Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft are developing their own AI chips. Additionally, Open AI’s CEO Sam Altman recently visited South Korea for discussions with Samsung and SK Hynix. Reports suggest Open AI is raising funds to establish chip fabrication plants for its own AI chips. Numerous startups, including Rebellions, are also contributing to this field with novel solutions.
Rebellions is collaborating with Samsung Electronics to develop the new Rebel chip, targeting completion by the end of the year and mass production in 2025. The chip will focus on generative AI markets, particularly large language models (LLMs) and hyperscalers. Rebel will be crafted using Samsung’s 4-nanometer process and incorporate Samsung’s advanced HBM3E memory technology.
This partnership extends beyond co-development to chip design and mass production. Samsung also has a vested interest in this collaboration, as it is developing its own generative AI model, Samsung Gauss.
Rebellions isn’t just focused on Rebel. In May 2023, KT implemented Rebellions’ Atom chip in its cloud-based NPU infrastructure. Atom, produced through Samsung’s 5-nanometer process, caters to data centers and language models. Meanwhile, Rebellions’ first AI chip, Ion, targets edge computing and is undergoing qualification testing in the U.S.
Founded in 2020 by CEO Sunghyun Park, a former Morgan Stanley quant developer, and four co-founders, Rebellions aims to innovate in the AI chip industry.