Lightmatter Announces $155M Funding Round, Expands Photonic Chip Deployments

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BOSTON — Photonics company Lightmatter announced it has raised a $155M Series C-2 led by GV (Google Ventures) and Viking Global Investors, with participation from others.

With this round, Lightmatter has raised over $420 million to date and is now valued at over $1.2B. This new financing allows the company to expedite growth to meet the increasing demand for high-performance computing (HPC) from AI innovators. Lightmatter plans to expand its world-class team and office footprint, while accelerating its ability to provide customers increased performance on the most advanced AI workloads.

Lightmatter is developing photonic technologies that reconstruct how chips calculate and communicate, which can be leveraged by the biggest cloud providers, semiconductor companies, and enterprises for their computing needs. The company provides a full stack of photonics-enabled hardware and software solutions that simultaneously reduce power consumption and increase performance. This is essential for highly compute-intensive workloads such as AI, which have grown rapidly to affect every critical industry.

“Lightmatter is positioned to be a key driver in powering the next generation of computing systems that will further enable AI innovation. Through photonic technologies, Lightmatter is ensuring the steady progress in computing performance continues, despite growing power consumption challenges and slowing progress with transistor scaling,” said Lightmatter co-founder and CEO, Nick Harris. “We are thankful for the support of our investors, each of whom share our vision of Lightmatter playing an integral role in the future of computing. By increasing speed, lowering cost, and reducing environmental impact, our technologies can continue to push the limits of what’s possible, fueling greater AI adoption and innovation.”

“In the rapidly evolving landscape of generative AI, the demand for new compute and chip communication solutions is unprecedented,” said Erik Nordlander, General Partner at GV. “Lightmatter is harnessing the power of silicon photonics to meet this challenge, unlocking performance bottlenecks, increasing bandwidth, and allowing AI models to increase in size and scale.”

Since the company’s last funding announcement in May 2023, Lightmatter has grown its headcount more than 50 percent to meet client demand and product milestones. As a result of this expansion, Lightmatter plans to open a Toronto office in 2024. The company has also bolstered its leadership team, hiring Danner Stodolsky as Vice President of Data Center Architecture and Colin Sturt as General Counsel. Danner will lead the design, simulation and evaluation of large-scale systems based on Lightmatter’s technology. Danner was previously Senior Vice President of Cloud at SambaNova and a Vice President of Engineering at Google. Colin will lead the legal and compliance functions to support Lightmatter’s growth, IP portfolio, and expansion of contractual relationships. He brings over 20 years of semiconductor industry experience to Lightmatter and was most recently Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Dialog Semiconductor.