Ex-Ethereum Miner CoreWeave Raises $221M in Series B

Ex-Ethereum Miner CoreWeave Raises $221M in Series B

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CoreWeave, a specialized cloud provider, recently announced the successful completion of a $221 million Series B funding round. This comes after the company previously raised $50 million from lead investor Magnetar Capital in November 2021.

The latest round saw contributions from major silicon design firm NVIDIA, Nat Friedman, and Daniel Gross, with Magnetar Capital taking lead. The funds raised are set for allocation for the purpose of expanding CoreWeave's cloud infrastructure for massive computational workloads such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, visual effects, rendering, batch processing, and pixel streaming. According to CEO and co-founder Michael Intrato, NVIDIA's support will prove instrumental in helping the company continue to scale its operations.

Established in 2017, CoreWeave utilizes clourd technology to scale graphics processing unit (GPU) computational resources, offering solutions it claims are "35 times faster and 80% less expensive" than competitor offerings. Initially, the firm began as an Ethereum miner, using GPUs to verify transactions on the previously proof-of-work blockchain.

Why the transition?

The transition of companies like CoreWeave from focusing on crypto and blockchain to artificial intelligence (AI) and related technologies can be attributed to various factors, including market trends, technological developments, and the growth potential in AI-driven industries.

This shift is also indicative of the increasing competition in the crypto and blockchain landscape. As more businesses and startups emerge in this space, companies that initially built their foundation in crypto and blockchain technology may find it chall;enging to maintain their edge. By diversifying into AI and other emerging technologies, they can explore new opportunities and tap into different market segments, thereby mitigating the risks associated with relying solely on the crypto market.

Technological developments also play a significant role in this shift. As the capabilities of AI and machine learning (ML) continue to advance, their applications in various industries are growing exponentially. Companies like CoreWeave can leverage their existing expertise in computational resources and infrastructure, which are essential for both blockchain and AI, to cater to the growing demand for high-performance computing in AI-driven industries.

"AI has reached an inflection point, and we’re seeing accelerated interest in AI computing infrastructure from startups to major enterprises,” shares Manuvir Das, Vice President of Enterprise Computing at NVIDIA.

NVIDIA itself has made some harsh statements, comparing crypto to AI.

Another reason for this shift is the changing landscape of blockchain technology itself. For instance, Ethereum, one of the most popular blockchain platforms, has transitioned from a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism to a proof-of-stake (PoS) model. This change has rendered Ethereum mining unattractively less profitable, and alongside it, the use mining GPUs became unfit, affecting companies like CoreWeave which initially focused on crypto mining.

CoreWeave's latest funding will facilitate the expansion of its specialized cloud infrastructure for compute-intensive workloads, including AI and machine learning, visual effects, rendering, batch processing, and pixel streaming. This strategy enables CoreWeave to deliver purpose-built solutions capable of outperforming larger, more generalized cloud providers. The new capital will also support the opening of two new U.S.-based data centers this year, bringing CoreWeave's total North America-based data centers to five.

“CoreWeave’s innovative, agile and customizable product offering is well-situated to service this demand and the company is consequently experiencing explosive growth to support it. We are proud to collaborate with NVIDIA in supporting CoreWeave’s next phase of growth as it continues to bolster its already strong positioning in the marketplace," shares Ernie Rogers, COO at Magnetar.

With the rise in demand for generative AI technology, CoreWeave is poised to capitalize on this burgeoning market. Its partnership with industry leaders such as NVIDIA and Magnetar Capital is key to bolstering its efforts at scaling and expansion, positioning the company to become a significant player in the rapidly evolving world of AI and cloud-native technologies.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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