Rebellions, a fabless AI chip startup based in South Korea, has recently closed a successful Series B funding round, securing an impressive $124 million (approximately 165 billion KRW). The primary objective behind this funding is to drive the development of the company’s third AI chip, named Rebel. Additionally, Rebellions aims to utilize the capital to ramp up the production of its data center-focused chip, Atom, and to bolster its workforce through new hires.

Series B Funding: Securing $124 Million for Growth

The Series B funding round has propelled Rebellions to a valuation of approximately $658 million (880 billion KRW) post-money. This latest funding round exceeded expectations, surpassing its initial target of $90 million. Since its establishment in 2020, Rebellions has successfully raised a total of approximately $210 million, highlighting the investor confidence in its vision and potential.

Investor Landscape: KT Leads Strategic Funding Round

Leading the Series B round as a strategic investor is KT, a prominent South Korean telecom giant. Previous investors such as Temasek’s Pavilion Capital and Korea Development Bank, along with new participants including Korelya Capital and DG Daiwa Ventures, also contributed to this funding round. The diverse investor base reflects the growing interest and support for innovative AI chip technologies.

The funding arrives at a pivotal moment in the chip industry, particularly within the domain of AI chips. While Nvidia currently dominates the AI chip market, emerging players like Rebellions are actively pursuing breakthroughs to address data processing challenges and mitigate high costs associated with AI applications.

Strategic Partnership with Samsung: Developing the Rebel Chip

Rebellions had previously announced a strategic collaboration with Samsung Electronics to develop the Rebel chip. The joint efforts between the two companies aim to finalize the development of Rebel by the year’s end and commence mass production in 2025. Rebel is specifically designed to target the generative AI market, with a focus on large language models (LLMs) and hyperscalers.

Rebellions’ CFO, Sungkyue Shin, highlighted that Rebel will leverage Samsung Electronics’ advanced 4-nanometer fabrication process and will integrate with Samsung’s cutting-edge memory chip technology, HBM3E, optimized for handling high bandwidth memory requirements of large language models.

Exploring Rebellions’ Chip Models

Apart from Rebel, Rebellions’ existing chip models include Atom and Ion. Atom, tailored for data centers and capable of handling language models with up to 7 billion parameters, has already been deployed by KT in its cloud-based neural processing units (NPU) infrastructure. On the other hand, Ion, designed for edge computing applications, is undergoing qualification testing in the U.S. and is expected to find applications in financial services, particularly in stock prediction and trading applications.

Rebellions’ CEO, Sunghyun Park, along with the company’s co-founders, embarked on the journey to establish the AI chip startup in 2020. The recent infusion of funding and the strategic partnership with Samsung represent significant milestones in Rebellions’ mission to advance AI chip technology. With a strong focus on innovation and collaboration, Rebellions is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of AI chip technology and its applications across various industries.

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