Pensando pulls in more DPU development cash

Data Processing Unit chip startup Pensando has had another $35 million invested in it, completing a C-round fund raise which had previously attracted $145 million in October 2019. 

Pensando has developed its Arm-powered Distributed Services Card which connects to a server across a PCIe interface. The Data Processing Unit (DPU) card offloads and accelerates networking, storage and management tasks from its host, freeing up the host CPU to run application workloads instead of infrastructure-focused tasks. 

The latest investors were Ericsson, Qualcomm and Liberty Global Ventures. Total funding now stands at $313 million.

Pensando’s marketing head, Christopher Ratcliffe, told us “These three investors made up the majority of the investment. Since we emerged from stealth we’ve been working closely with a broad range of service providers to expand the capabilities of the Pensando platform for the 5G market.”

This is an important market sector for Pensando, and Ratcliffe said: “As more vendors take full advantage of the 5G NR (New Radio), more and more services are being pushed to the edge and deployed in a virtualised and scale-out manner similar to that employed by public cloud providers. Given the capabilities of our platform, this presents an interesting growth opportunity for us. In addition to helping us scale our business, these investments bring us partners with a deep understanding of 5G technologies and requirements, as well as strong ecosystem relationships in every major market from healthcare to retail, automotive and manufacturing.”

We asked him about Pensando’s headcount and revenue growth, and he replied: “In terms of employees and revenues we’re currently at over 300 employees and continue to hire across a range of roles in our HQ locations in Silicon Valley and Bangalore as well as various remote locations. 2020 was our first full year out of stealth and we exceeded our revenue expectations despite the global pandemic. 2021 is looking very good at this point.”

How about the status of customers and partners?

“We have a broad range of Fortune customers in deployment at this point. We’ve publicly discussed our relationship with Goldman Sachs among a number of other financial institutions and are very engaged via our partnerships with HPE, Dell, NetApp and VMware. We also have a number of major cloud providers deploying at scale that we should be able to talk about in the near future.”

We think that Pensando’s growth results in 2020 triggered the late C-round investments, and look forward to hearing more about its 2021 activities and growth later this year.