SK spin-off Sapeon raises funds for neural processors

SK spin-off Sapeon raises funds for neural processors

Business news |
By Peter Clarke

Sapeon Inc. (Seongnam, South Korea) has raised 60 billion won (about US$44 million) in a Series A funding round that values the company at 500 billion won (about US$370 million).

Sapeon was founded in 2022 as a spin-off from three companies – SK Telecom, SK Hynix and SK Square – to develop AI processors as a fabless company.

The company states that it plans to pursue a ‘full-stack’ business strategy and provide AI services, software, algorithms and hardware. Sapeon has developed the X220 neural processor which has been shown to operate successfully in optical character recognition (OCR) applications.

Sapeon intends to use the funds raised to launch the X330 inference NPU in the 2H23. It provides a performance uplift of a factor of four compared with the X220, the company said.

The funding round was led by Ascent Equity Partners. Other investors including GS Group affiliates, Daebo Information & Communication, Hana Financial Group, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, We Ventures, participated as follow-on investors,

“We plan to expand our business areas into various industrial fields such as smart factories, retail, datacenters, cloud, and IoT, and plan to commercialize it after continuously identifying the AI needs of the group companies and reviewing the technology,” said Ryu Su-jeong, CEO of Sapeon, in a statement.

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