Blockchain-Based, AI Compute Protocol Gensyn Closes $43M Series A Funding Round Led by a16z
James Rubin – By COINDESK
The capital infusion comes as interest in AI surges. Gensyn said it would use the money to accelerate the start of the protocol and expand its workforce.
Gensyn, a provider of blockchain-based computing resources for artificial intelligence platforms (AI), has secured a $43 million, Series A funding round, led by venture capital giant a16z.
The U.K.-based company’s protocol enables developers to build AI systems on smaller data centers, personal gaming computers and other connected hardware and to pay on demand. Gensysn uses a cryptographic verification network that without the need for intermediaries allows users to determine that machine learning work shared over the protocol has been finished correctly..
“The realization of its (AI’s) potential requires huge computational power,” Gensysn co-founder Ben Fielding, said in a press release Monday (UTC). “We’re harnessing the electricity of a new age and making it available to everyone at unlimited scale and fair market prices.”
Fielding said that such widespread accessibility was “essential” for avoiding “dangerously biased technology serving the many but built by the few. The key to useful, aligned AI is allowing everyone in the world to contribute to its development.”
In the release, Gensyn co-founder Harry Grieve also noted that “with decentralized networks, value simply accrues to the network as a function of supply and demand.”
“It also sharply increases the amount of compute supply by connecting previously underutilized hardware from around the world,” he said.
The announcement comes amid surging interest in AI, which could potentially transform the way businesses in a range of industries operate, including media, retail, manufacturing and financial services. Last month, computer chipmaker Nvidia, whose products are integral for the graphics processing units (GPUs) at the core of AI systems, reached a $1 trillion valuation.
With its latest round, Gensyn has raised more than $50 million and the company said it would use the fresh capital to accelerate the introduction of the protocol and to expand its workforce, including the addition of protocol and machine learning engineers. Prominent investment firms CoinFund, Canonical Crypto, Protocol Labs, Eden Block and a variety of AI and crypto venture capitalists and angels joined a16z in the round.
“The recent advancements in AI are incredible, but substantial computational power requirements give big technology companies an advantage over startups in the race to capture AI’s value,” a16z crypto General Partner Ali Yahya said in a statement. “We believe nobody combines the knowledge and cultural understanding of both the AI and crypto cypherpunk worlds better than Gensyn, and look forward to partnering with them to make infrastructure for AI much more widely accessible.”