UC Berkeley’s SiFive has raised $61m in series E funding from a consortium featuring OUP, SK Hynix, Western Digital, Qualcomm and Intel.

SiFive, a US-based custom semiconductor spinout of University of California, Berkeley, received $61m in series E financing yesterday from investors including spinout-focused investment firm Osage University Partners (OUP). SK Hynix, the computer memory chipmaker subsidiary of conglomerate SK Group, led the round, which also featured mobile semiconductor producer Qualcomm, data storage company Western Digital and chipmaker Intel. The round was filled out by Sutter Hill Ventures, Spark Capital and Prosperity7 Ventures. Qualcomm, Western Digital and Intel contributed through respective corporate venturing arms Qualcomm Ventures, Western Digital Capital and Intel Capital. Founded in 2015, SiFive enables clients to design purpose-built semiconductors through a cloud-based platform. It uses the Risc-V instruction set architecture, its version of the mechanism responsible for outputting computer processing instructions. Risc-V was developed by SiFive’s founding team at UC Berkeley and is open source and free to use. The series E funding has been allocated to bringing new products to market for clients in the aerospace, automotive, artificial intelligence, data centre, mobile, network and data storage segments. SiFive has now collected more than $186m altogether. It previously raised $65.4m in a series D round in June 2019 that was co-led by OUP, Qualcomm Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures, Spark Capital, Chengwei Capital and wearable biometric device producer Huami. OUP, Sutter Hill and Spark Capital co-led a $50.6m series C round in 2018 that also included Intel Capital, Huami, Western Digital and SK Telecom, the telecommunications subsidiary of SK Group. OUP and Sutter Hill had already taken part in an $8.5m series B round led by Spark Capital in 2017. Sutter Hill was identified as a returning backer at the time, though SiFive has not disclosed details about its series A round.

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Thierry Heles

Thierry Heles is the editor of Global University Venturing, host of the Beyond the Breakthrough interview podcast and responsible for the monthly GUV Gazette (sign up here for free).