DFJ leads $3.3 mln Series A funding in Nervana Systems

DFJ has led a $3.3 million Series A funding round in Nervana Systems, which has developed a machine learning platform. Existing investor Allen & Co. has participated in the funding round. As part of the investment, Steve Jurvetson, DFJ partner, will join Nervana’s board.

Press Release

Nervana Systems, Inc., today announced $3.3M in Series A financing led by DFJ. Steve Jurvetson, DFJ Partner, who currently serves on the boards of Tesla Motors, SpaceX, D-Wave and Synthetic Genomics, will join Nervana’s Board of Directors.

Current investor Allen & Co has participated in the financing along with Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures and Fuel Capital. Prof. James Demmel, a leading authority on parallel computation, joins the advisory board with Prof. Bruno Olshausen, Prof. Jan Rabaey, Ali Partovi, and Scott Banister.

Nervana is the first company to develop a deep learning solution optimized from algorithms to hardware. By developing a high-performance, energy-efficient, scalable architecture, Nervana’s solutions will enable computers to analyze and learn from massive amounts of data, well beyond today’s capabilities. In addition, the company is developing software to bring simplicity to deep learning methods, making them broadly accessible to a wide variety of problems. This top to bottom approach to deep learning allows Nervana to build the most complete solution to meet the growing demand.

“Machine learning is the underlying technology that makes the explosion of big data manageable, with a technology sufficiently advanced as to appear magical at the first encounter,” said Steve Jurvetson, DFJ Partner. “With applications at the cutting edge of almost everything — from social graph mining to systems biology to robotics and AI — machine learning empowers us to build complex systems that transcend human understanding. Nervana will help accelerate these futures, as the locus of learning in engineering shifts from the end products to the process of their creation.”

“Some of the biggest challenges faced by tech companies are scalability and energy consumption,” said Jerry Yang, founding partner of AME Cloud Ventures and co-founder of Yahoo!. “Making deep learning more easily deployable and useable will drive adoption into a variety of new areas. Nervana’s technology will enable the next stage of user-driven experiences.”

“The support of such visionaries as Steve Jurvetson and Jerry Yang is a major validation for Nervana,” said Dr. Naveen Rao, CEO of Nervana Systems. “It’s humbling to join the ranks of the many companies they’ve funded, and Steve joining Nervana’s board will be huge.”

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