Korean startup Rebellions, an AI semiconductor design startup, has attracted 30 billion won ($22 million) of strategic investment from KT (Korea Telecom). Rebellions had attracted 62 billion won ($37 million) Series A investment just last month.
The AI chip market is heating up with many global companies, including tech giants like Nvidia, Google, Apple etc., developing products. The global AI Chip market is projected to reach $194.9 billion by 2030. South Korea is leading in the global AI semiconductor chip research and development. Government and investor ecosystem are interesting in funding AI chip makers.
According to Gartner’s research, the global AI semiconductor market is expected to grow more than fourfold over the next 10 years, from $26.7 billion in 2021 to $117.9 billion in 2030. So companies working on the development of AI chips and resources are going to flourish,
Rebellions is a Korean company that has established a differentiated position in the AI semiconductor field with excellent development manpower and high-level ASIC design competitiveness.
KT wants to ace the AI chip market with strategic investments
While Korea ranks first in memory semiconductor production and second in foundry (semiconductor consignment production), globally, its share in the fabless (semiconductor design) sector is only 1%. Investment from KT is expected to catalyze the domestic and foreign market competitiveness for Rebellions in the fabless field.
Rebellions have raised about 92 billion won ($72.8 million) in total Series A funding, bringing its total funding to about $102.8 million since its inception in 2020. In the Series A funding KDB, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, SV Investment, IMM Investment, KB Investment, KT Investment and Mirae Asset Capital participated as new investors. In addition, Temasek Pavilion Capital, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, became the first global investor to become a shareholder of Rebellions.
The startup plans to use the investment to extend the mass production of its second AI chip prototype, ATOM. The new chip will be used for large companies in the cloud sector and data centers. Meanwhile, with the strategic investment, KT wants to develop AI chips such as NPU (neural processing unit) that will be used for data centers, autonomous vehicles and fintech.
Rebellions is KT’s second strategic investment startup in the AI infrastructure sector, following MOREH, an AI infrastructure solution company, last year. KT plans to enter the AI semiconductor field in cooperation with these companies to accelerate Digico’s growth and secure future business opportunities.
KT plans to play the role of a control tower for the AI semiconductor business, such as designing and verifying next-generation AI semiconductors and collaborating with large-capacity language models by joining Rebellionss in business cooperation. The strategy is to pioneer and preoccupy the NPU market, where demand will increase in many areas such as data centers and autonomous driving.
Rebellions CEO Park Seong-Hyeon said, “As Korea’s first strategic investor, collaboration with KT, an absolute powerhouse in the cloud/IDC field, is expected to become a new growth engine for Rebellions and its business. We will be able to show that pure domestic technology beyond localization is competitive in the global market.”
KT CEO Koo Koo emphasized, “As AI semiconductors are a key area that can become Korea’s next-generation food, we expect Rebellions, a leader in the domestic AI semiconductor field, to become a global fabless company like Nvidia and Qualcomm through collaboration with KT.”