Semiconductor Startup Raises $55 Million From Korean VCs To Help Cloud Companies Handle The AI Boom

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MangoBoost's apical guidance team.

COURTESY OF MANGOBOOST

The advent of generative AI has turbocharged request for unreality computing services, and information centers request a boost of their ain to meet nan rising demand. MangoBoost, a Seoul- and Seattle-based spot creation startup, says it tin springiness that boost.

Founded successful February past year, MangoBoost develops specialized chips designed for information centers, called information processing units, aliases DPUs. The chips tin boost nan ratio of existing server equipment, says Jangwoo Kim, cofounder and CEO of MangoBoost, successful a video interview.

“Everybody believes that DPUs are going to beryllium equipped to each server,” says Kim, who holds a doctorate successful machine engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and was a elder technologist astatine Oracle. “So that’s a immense market.”

Some of South Korea’s apical tech investors agree. Last month, MangoBoost scored $55 cardinal successful a Series A round, bringing its full backing to day to $65 million. The information was led by IMM Investment, which has backed nan likes of billionaire Bom Kim’s Coupang and Chang Byung-gyu’s Krafton, arsenic good arsenic Shinhan Venture Investment, an limb of banking elephantine Shinhan Financial Group whose portfolio companies see billionaire Bang Jun-hyuk’s Netmarble and Indonesian aquaculture unicorn eFishery.

“Our DPU is outperforming [competitors], and I’m going to show you why. We are not nobody.”

MangoBoost’s Kim declined to stock nan valuation, but a root pinch nonstop knowledge of nan woody said nan 21-month-old startup was weighted astatine astir $300 cardinal successful nan latest round.

Other backers successful nan Series A information see each of its seed investors and caller investors specified arsenic IM Capital Partners, KB Investment, Korea Development Bank and Premier Partners. MangoBoost raised $10 cardinal successful a seed information successful past May from Korean investors including DSC Investment (which backed Forbes Asia 100 to Watch alum WAD, a edifice preservation platform), Must Ventures and Stonebridge Ventures (portfolio companies see autonomous drone startup Nearthlab, which made this year’s Forbes Asia 100 to Watch).

MORE FROM FORBESForbes Asia 100 To Watch 2023By Forbes Asia Team

Kim says nan startup hasn’t started generating revenue, but expects it will “soon,” without providing much details. He adds that its imaginable customers see unreality computing providers and server makers specified arsenic Dell and HP that want cardinal processing units, aliases CPUs, successful their servers to attraction much connected AI processing by offloading different tasks to MangoBoost’s DPUs.

MangoBoost cofounder and CEO Jangwoo Kim.

COURTESY OF MANGOBOOST

“So what’s happening successful information centers is that they tally retired of CPUs, truthful they person to bargain much servers conscionable to get nan CPU. Then they tin accelerate AI aliases different large information applications, but your CPU becomes engaged again, past they bargain different server,” explains Kim. “So that’s really nan number of servers is expanding and past nan information halfway costs becomes excessively high.”

“Basically everybody’s nightmare is CPU now. So we are trying to trim nan CPU bandwidth truthful that Intel’s and AMD’s CPUs tin attraction connected nan much important things,” says Kim. “By taking each nan important CPU package from CPU to DPU, nan CPU becomes free.” In 1 configuration, MangoBoost’s DPU tin trim CPU usage by up to 95%, he says.

Of course, MangoBoost is not nan only institution designing DPUs. It’s facing competitions from immoderate of nan world’s largest tech companies, including Nvidia’s BlueField, Intel’s Oak Springs Canyon and Mount Evans, AMD’s Pensando (which AMD acquired past twelvemonth for astir $1.9 billion), Microsoft’s Fungible (acquired successful January this twelvemonth for astir $190 million) and Amazon’s Nitro Cards.

But Kim is assured that MangoBoost will succeed. One logic is that MangoBoost tin customize DPUs for each customer, he says.

Another is its quality capital. “Our DPU is outperforming [competitors], and I’m going to show you why. We are not nobody,” says Kim, showing much than a twelve papers published by MangoBoost’s guidance team, which includes erstwhile main engineers from Intel, Microsoft and Samsung.

“Basically, we cognize what we are doing,” he says.

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