Untether AI: $20 Million In Funding And Arun Iyengar Named CEO

By Dan Anderson ● November 8, 2019
  • Chip startup company Untether AI announced it raised $20 million in Series A funding and named Arun Iyengar as CEO

Untether AI — an artificial intelligence chip startup company has announced it has raised $20 million in Series A funding from Radical Ventures, Intel Capital, and several other investors. Radical Ventures partner Tomi Poutanen in joining the Untether board in conjunction with this round of funding.

Untether AI has built a successful prototype of an ultra-efficient and high-performance chip with a small seed investment. The $20 million funding round actually wrapped up in May 2019, but it was disclosed recently.

Another milestone that Untether AI announced was the hiring of technology veteran Arun Iyengar as CEO. Iyengar is a former Altera, AMD, and Xilinx executive. And he brings over 20 years of operational and general management experience across a wide range of markets from automotive, cloud, and wired and wireless infrastructure.

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“We’re thrilled to welcome Arun as CEO to lead Untether AI into our next stage of growth,” said Martin Snelgrove, Untether AI’s co-founder and founding CEO — who developed the chip architecture with co-founder Darrick Wiebe. “The investment momentum, as well as incredible technical strides we’ve been making this year, have propelled Untether AI’s product and go-to-market roadmaps to exciting new paces. With his extensive experience scaling businesses from tens of millions to hundreds of millions of dollars, Arun is a savvy technology veteran who will lead Untether AI to new heights.”

Going forward, Snelgrove will assume the role of CTO.

“I am excited to be joining the Untether AI leadership team alongside some of the best engineering and scientific minds in computing,” added Iyengar. “The history for computing and AI chips is being written right now, and Untether AI is emerging as a pioneer in the space. We look forward to working with world-class investors Intel Capital and Radical Ventures as we prepare to introduce groundbreaking chip innovations that will enable new frontiers in AI applications.”

Based in Toronto, Untether AI combines the power efficiency of near-memory design with digital processing. And Untether AI has developed a new chip architecture for neural net inference that eliminates the data movement bottleneck that costs energy and performance in traditional architectures.

“Arun’s appointment as CEO marks an exciting development for Untether AI,” explained Tomi Poutanen, co-founder of Radical Ventures and board member of Untether AI. “With Arun’s deep end-market expertise and the founding team’s extensive experience bringing chips to market, Untether AI’s developing transformative chip architecture has the potential to disrupt a range of industries, from data centers, autonomous vehicles, vision processing and other embedded applications.” In addition to starting Radical Ventures with Jordan Jacobs, Poutanen and Jacobs founded leading AI company Layer 6 which was acquired by TD Bank and where Poutanen serves as Chief AI Officer.

“With Arun’s leadership, a founding team with decades of experience in chip design, and significant technical progress, Untether AI is well poised to bring to market a powerful new kind of AI chip that eliminates data movement bottlenecks that costs energy and performance,” commented Dave Flanagan, vice president and senior managing director of Intel Capital.

Untether AI’s founding team includes Snelgrove, Wiebe, and Raymond Chik. They are a group of scientists, engineers and experienced entrepreneurs with extensive experience bringing chips to market.