Myrtle Software has secured seed funding from the Cambridge Angels Group led by technology investor Robert Sansom. A number of well known business angels participated in the round including serial entrepreneur Robert Swann, artificial intelligence entrepreneur William Tunstall-Pedoe, IQ Capital and Dr. Adrian Weller of the Machine Learning group at Cambridge University.
Myrtle has been working on efficient hardware based deep learning technologies for a global auto maker, and has recently won contracts to further their research with the MoD as well as under the UK government’s autonomous systems program. The funding round will enable Myrtle to expand its core development team and launch a number of new technologies in the year ahead.
Lead Investor Robert Sansom, said “We are very impressed by the achievements of Myrtle’s team – by their unique blend of hardware, software and mathematical skills – and by the results they have demonstrated under existing contracts. Deep learning is having a big impact on data owners, so we’re excited to be participating in this round of company growth for Myrtle and to help them release their solution at-scale within data centers.”
Myrtle’s team of PhD mathematicians, computer scientists and hardware engineers have developed software to automatically realize deep learning algorithms as efficient silicon designs, capable of very high performance and low power usage. Demand for power efficient deep learning algorithms is well established and the market is expected to be worth more than $10B by 2024 (Tractica).
Myrtle’s technology constructs efficient neural network circuit designs automatically, without the need for FPGA hardware expertise. Christiaan Baaij, Lead Architect explains “It’s a unique approach that produces bespoke designs for each specific network and avoids the inefficiencies of existing methods that use intermediate languages such as OpenCL.” The approach is also highly scalable in terms of the resources that can be targeted on the FPGA: an important factor in commercial applications where running multiple neural networks together is becoming common.
Peter Baldwin, Myrtle’s CEO says “We have a fantastic team of talented engineers who have developed some unique capabilities here in Cambridge. Myrtle can provide a key component of the future cloud infrastructure that will radically improving speed and minimize costs. We are delighted to secure this investment round and anticipate rapid adoption of Myrtle’s technology”.
The advisors on the deal were Greenwoods and Taylor Vinters.