Nervana Systems grabs $600K

Nervana Systems has received $600,000 in seed funding. Investors in this round included Sam Altman, Geoff Ralston, Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, Allen & Company and SV Angels. Headquartered in San Diego, Nervana Systems is a maker of custom hardware for machine learning algorithms.


San Diego, CA. April 17, 2014. Nervana Systems, Inc., today announced $600,000 in seed financing from prominent angel investors and unveiled its plan to develop custom hardware for Deep Learning. 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 is the first company to develop 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 such as Deep Learning, making them broadly accessible for deployment in a wide 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.”
“As data proliferates ever faster, the computers of the future will need brain-like abilities to help people make sense of its sheer volume,” said Ali Partovi, tech veteran and early investor in Dropbox, Zappos, and Facebook. “Nervana has brought together leaders in hardware, neuroscience, and business to make that future a reality.”
“Recent advances in neural networks, combined with the hardware that Nervana is now developing, have the potential to revolutionize the computing industry. The next 10 years will likely see the advent of intelligent machines utilizing radically new computing architectures to sift through and learn from massive amounts of data, with a degree of sophistication that was previously thought attainable only by humans”, said Professor Bruno Olshausen.
Nervana Systems is led by computational neuroscientists Dr. Naveen 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 Prof. Bruno Olshausen, Prof. Jan Rabaey, Ali Partovi, and Scott Banister.
About Nervana Systems
Nervana Systems develops hardware specialized for Deep Learning, bringing unprecedented performance, efficiency, scale, and simplicity to unsupervised machine learning for analysis of big data. Founded by experts in machine learning, neuroscience, processor architecture and chip design, the company is privately funded. Nervana Systems has offices in San Diego, CA (HQ) and Mountain View, CA.

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