Startups

AI blockchain startup IO Research secures $30M in Series A funding to grow its decentralized GPU platform io.net

IO Research, a startup at the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology, announced today it has closed $30 million in Series A funding round. The round drew support from prominent investors including Hack VC, Solana Labs, and leading cryptocurrency exchange OKX.

At the core of IO Research lies its flagship product, io.net, the world’s largest GPU decentralized physical infrastructure network (DePIN) and a blockchain-powered network designed to enable users with idle graphics processing units (GPUs) to contribute their computing power to resource-intensive AI enterprises.

The news of the funding comes just a week after io.net launched its rewards program ahead of the April token launch to boost the GPU power supply on Solana Blockchain.

IO Research said it will use the new capital infusion for new strategic initiatives, including team expansion, meeting burgeoning service demands, and further enhancing the capabilities of io.net, Reuters reported. While the precise valuation following the Series A infusion remains undisclosed by IO Research, the funding marks a significant milestone in the company’s growth trajectory.

The latest round also signifies a potential resurgence for venture capitalists with a focus on cryptocurrency, following the turbulence induced by the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX and subsequent repercussions on various funds within the ecosystem.

Moreover, the announcement underscores a broader trend of investor enthusiasm for AI-driven technologies alongside a renewed interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain solutions. This sentiment is evidenced by the remarkable performance of stocks associated with AI infrastructure, such as Nvidia and Super Micro Computer, which have experienced notable surges in recent weeks.

At the same time, the cryptocurrency market appears to be regaining momentum, with its market capitalization reaching heights not witnessed since late 2021, exceeding $2.65 trillion, driven largely by the resurgence of Bitcoin and other leading digital assets.

Further validating the intersection of AI and crypto, the CoinDesk Indices Computing Index, encompassing AI-linked crypto tokens, has witnessed an impressive 44% surge thus far in 2024.

Commenting on the development, Shayon Sengupta, Investment Partner at Multicoin Capital, participating in IO Research’s funding round, emphasized, “Industry analysts are still radically underestimating how much compute power will be needed to fuel the next generation of AI applications.”

In alignment with this sentiment, asset manager VanEck recently projected that revenues from projects amalgamating crypto and AI would escalate to $10.2 billion by the year 2030, underscoring the immense potential and burgeoning opportunities within this burgeoning convergence of technologies.

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