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Index Ventures leads the AI ​​GPU race


Founders Determined To Safe Computing Power For AI Startups

Earlier this week, The New York Occasions highlighted the difficulties AI startup founders face making an attempt to safe computing energy for his or her corporations. The demand for graphics rendering fashions (GPUs), that are essential to AI progress, has skyrocketed. Massive corporations and even wealthy international locations are racing to pay money for GPUs, with many founders gearing as much as get entangled. The state of affairs has prompted one founder to check GPUs for uncommon earth metals.

gpu search

Based on a New York Occasions article, the founders are resorting to quite a few measures to buy GPUs, together with in search of assist from companions at main pc distributors and exploring an obscure US authorities program known as Entrada. Index Ventures, a world funding agency, has adopted a singular technique. He entered into an settlement with Oracle to supply the specified chips to his portfolio firms. The purpose of this partnership is to stop your startup from being held again by a GPU scarcity.

A dialog with Erin Price-Wright

To study extra about this partnership, we spoke with Erin Price-Wright, Associate at Index Ventures, who focuses on enterprise software program and synthetic intelligence. Price-Wright joined the enterprise firm in 2019 after serving as head of product for Palantir’s machine studying and information analytics platform. The subsequent excerpts from our dialog clarify the challenges AI startups are tackling and the partnership with Oracle.

entry to computing energy

: inform us about this partnership with Oracle.

Erin Price-Wright: Entering into computing may be one of many largest challenges for AI corporations, particularly early-stage startups. The issue is not simply the value, but in addition the shortage of GPU capability. Over 95% of GPU capability is already allotted to the massive in-house gamers who’re pre-committed to cloud distributors. This leaves few choices for early-stage corporations to begin securing GPUs and coaching them or mannequin tuning. The time between when GPUs might be obtainable and when new corporations can entry them may be a number of months to a 12 months. This delay makes it tough for early-stage corporations to get began even after understanding the wants of their product and workloads. By partnering with Oracle, we wish to take away this barrier to entry and permit our portfolio corporations to drive their core targets from day one.

affiliation intent

Q: In the long term, what’s the function of offering GPUs via this partnership?

Erin Price-Wright: Our purpose is to assist these corporations run their very own GPU clusters. Whereas we aren’t providing giant GPU clusters, we wish to give our startups a head begin in constructing their AI capabilities. By eradicating the preliminary obstacles to computing energy, we degree the taking part in discipline and permit our founders to give attention to scaling their merchandise and choices.

transaction origination

Q: How did the partnership with Oracle come about?

Erin Price-Wright: We noticed an instance amongst early-stage AI corporations the place they wanted to alter their enterprise mannequin or fundraising strategies as a way to get entry to GPUs. We realized that as a fund, Index Ventures had a brand new space of ​​curiosity and leverage to deal with this drawback. We are able to combination demand from a number of corporations and use {our relationships} and {the marketplace} to supply worth to our founders. The partnership with Oracle was born out of this perception.

Construct financing and relationship with Oracle

: How does development finance work on this partnership? Is that this a singular relationship?

Erin Price-Wright: We do not purchase immediate chips. As a substitute, Index Ventures pre-commits and covers cloud invoices on behalf of our startups. Oracle manages the GPU cluster and our portfolio corporations get entry to it utterly freed from cost. This partnership permits us to pay cloud payments prematurely. So far as exclusivity is anxious, there is no such thing as a unique relationship with Oracle. Totally different enterprise corporations can discover related partnerships. The benefit to Oracle is the chance to associate with and construct relationships with promising early stage corporations.

Significance of Connections and Sources

How is Index Ventures serving to its portfolio corporations phase GPUs?

Erin Price-Wright: We envision connecting our portfolio corporations with the fitting sources on the proper time. This consists of introducing them to friends and related mentors. For instance, Foghere, one among our portfolio corporations, has each Oracle and Nvidia as sponsors. We attempt to facilitate these connections to confirm that our founders have the assist and assets they should succeed.

One of the best ways ahead for AI funding

an orderly interval

: Are we seeing over-investment in generic AI, or is it nonetheless a rudimentary stage of progress?

Erin Price-Wright: We’re nonetheless within the early levels. Nonetheless, we count on a quieter interval by way of investor sentiment, particularly for giant funding rounds and conventional enterprise capitalists. There may be nonetheless an enormous hole between the promise and correct use of AI know-how throughout numerous enterprise use circumstances. Filling this hole in infrastructure will take time, and we count on corporations to prioritize use circumstances, analyze ROI, and begin constructing clever purposes past prototyping. This era of exploration and progress will pave the best way for the infrastructure wanted to assist AI on a big scale.

Q: How do you cope with opponents among the many many corporations in your AI portfolio?

Erin Price-Wright: We cope with adversaries contained in the AI ​​home the identical approach we cope with them in numerous industries. Whereas AI is generally seen as a stand-alone class, we expect that finally each software program program could have AI as a core part. It can’t be seen as a separate entity. Simply as not all SaaS corporations are the identical, AI corporations can have distinctive strengths and diversities. Our focus is on guaranteeing that our portfolio corporations have the assets, connections and steerage they should navigate this evolving panorama.


The shortage of GPU computing energy poses vital challenges for AI startup founders. Nonetheless, partnerships equivalent to Index Ventures and Oracle present a lifeline for early-stage corporations. By securing entry to GPUs and decreasing obstacles, these partnerships allow founders to handle their core targets and speed up the event of AI options. Because the AI ​​enterprise continues to develop, discovering modern methods to assist startups and tackle infrastructure shortfalls might be key to fostering progress and innovation.

continuously requested questions

1. What’s the significance of GPU within the progress of AI?

GPUs, or graphics rendering fashions, play an essential position in coaching and tuning AI fashions. These high-performance processors are important for dealing with the finer calculations required by AI algorithms.

2. Why are founders struggling to guard computing energy for his or her AI startups?

The demand for GPUs has soared, with huge corporations and international locations racing to refill them. This leaves early-stage startups with restricted entry, as most GPU vitality is already allotted to dominant players. The scarcity of GPUs and the lengthy ready occasions required to assemble them create vital obstacles for founders.

3. How does the partnership between Index Ventures and Oracle deal with the GPU scarcity?

Index Ventures has partnered with Oracle to supply GPUs for its early-stage portfolio corporations. By pre-committing and masking the invoice within the cloud, Index Ventures permits startups to interrupt into Oracle-managed GPU clusters. This partnership lowers the barrier of entry for founders, permitting them to be in command of their AI progress from day one.

4. Can numerous business corporations repeat the partnership with Oracle?

Actually, different business corporations could discover related partnerships with Oracle or different cloud suppliers. It goals to assist early stage corporations set up relationships with cloud distributors and finally signal devoted contracts of their very own.

5. How does Index Ventures assist its AI portfolio corporations with GPU divestment?

Index Ventures leverages its group and relationships to attach portfolio corporations with related sources, companions and mentors. By facilitating these connections, Index Ventures goals to supply ongoing assist and steerage to its founders.

6. Are we seeing over-investment in Generative AI?

Whereas there was a really vital funding in Generator AI, we’re nonetheless within the very early levels of progress. Nonetheless, there’s rising recognition that bridging the infrastructure hole and demonstrating clever use circumstances are important steps to the widespread adoption and use of AI experiences.

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