South Korean AI chip startup Deepx has raised $80 million in a Series C funding round, leading to the company receiving a valuation of $529 million.

The investment round was led by SkyLake Equity Partners, a South Korean private equity firm, and included participation from AJU IB and previous backer Timefolio Asset Management.

– Deepx

Founded in 2018 by former Apple and Cisco engineer Lokwon Kim, Deepx produces an 'All-in-4 AI solution' that includes the company’s DX-V1 and DX-V3 processors for use in consumer electronics, and its DX-M1 chip and DX-H1 chips, which have been designed for AI computing boxes and AI servers.

In comments to TechCrunch, Kim said that Deepx would use the funding to mass produce the company’s four existing AI chips, in addition to supporting the development and launch of its next generation of large language model (LLM) on-device solutions.

“Nvidia’s GPU-based solutions are the most cost-effective for large language model services like ChatGPT; the total power consumed by GPUs operating has reached levels exceed the electrical energy of an entire country,” Kim told TechCrunch. “This collaborative operation technology between server-scale AI and on-device large AI models are expected to reduce energy consumption and costs a lot compared to relying solely on data centers.”

Deepx currently employs around 65 people but does not yet have any customers, although Kim said the company was working with more than 100 potential clients and strategic partners. The company also has more than 259 patents pending in the US, China, and South Korea.