A Kickstarter campaign helped chipmaker startup prove its market and get new funds

January 16
9:38 PM 2014

Adapteva was able to gather $3.6 million from Ericsson and Carmel Ventures for its Series B funding round. However, this would not have been possible nor for the chip startup to last up to today if it had not been for a Kickstarter campaign, a Gigaom report said. The campaign allowed Adapteva to finance the gap that existed in between its Series A and B rounds.

In May 2011, Adapteva introduced a chip for a 64-core accelerator which could be utilized in mobile devices or smartphones so it could pass on work from the application processor or graphics engine. The concept behind the design of the chip was that it would be able to computer more instead of having to send it over a Wi-Fi or cellular network. Adapteva intended the chip to be able to bigger jobs in a mobile device while being powered only with a mere one watt, the report said.

The company obtained funding from a client who planned to use the technology for military goods. However, the chip had no takers in the market. Adapteva CEO and Founder Andreas Olofsson told Gigaom, "I think the market came back and said we don't care how energy efficient you are. You need to have the developer ecosystem."

Olofsson turned to Kickstarter when he couldn't find investors so he could build the boards and the developer ecosystem. Calling the effort the Parallella project, Olofsson offered a 16-core board for $99 so he could raise $750,000. Their goal was to get $3 million so they could manufacturer a 64-core version for $199, the report said.

When the Kickstarter campaign got completed in October 2012, Adapteva was able to raise $898,921. In July last year, the company was able to ship out the 16-core version to hobbyists.

The increasing number of Adapteva's followers and the promise of having a chip that could process using low power are what compelled Ericsson and Carmel Ventures to bet in the company. It was the Kickstarter campaign that made this possible, the report said. 

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