I am pleased to announce that Graphcore has secured an additional $150 million in new capital to secure our position as the leading pure-play machine intelligence AI processor company. This private placement has been supported by leading financial asset managers, growth equity funds and investment trusts and includes new investors Baillie Gifford, Mayfair Equity Partners and M&G Investments alongside existing investors such as Merian Chrysalis.
At the end of 2018 we closed a $200 million Series D investment and we have now extended that funding round with this additional \$150 million private placement as primary investment. This brings the total investment in Graphcore to date to over \$450 million with the most recent valuation at \$1.95 billion. We are extremely well capitalized, holding over \$300 million in cash reserves after this new D2 round investment, to support our continuing, major R&D investment and global expansion.
2019 was a transformative year for Graphcore as we moved from development to a full commercial business with volume production products shipping. We publicly announced our close partnership with Microsoft in November 2019, jointly launching Intelligence Processing Unit (IPU) availability for external customers on the Azure Cloud, as well as for use by Microsoft internal AI initiatives. In addition, we announced availability of the DSS8440 IPU Server in partnership with Dell Technologies and the launch of the Cirrascale IPU-Bare Metal Cloud. We also shared news about some of our other early access customers which include Citadel, Carmot Capital, and Qwant, the European search engine company.
During 2019 we were able to attract the very best software, silicon and hardware engineers to join our team, which has more than doubled in size. Investment in R&D remains a priority. Customer engineering teams and field and support engineering teams are ramping fast to keep pace with customer growth. We have expanded all of our facilities and opened in new geographies as we build a leading technology company delivering IPU products which we believe will be the industry standard for AI compute.
Demand for our IPU products is increasing amongst new and existing customers, and the outlook for our business in fiscal 2020 is extremely positive. The major investments that we have made during 2018 and 2019 will help us to meet this strong demand by extending the capabilities of our technology and ecosystem, and will support long-term revenue growth and returns for our investors.
First full general availability release of the Poplar® software platform, a complete SDK for developers to run AI models on IPU products quickly and easily
Microsoft Azure IPU-Cloud open for customers (launched November 2019)
Production launch of Dell Technologies DSS8440 IPU Server for enterprise data centre customers in November 2019
Launch of IPU-Bare Metal Cloud service in partnership with Cirrascale
First public customers announced including Microsoft, Citadel Securities, Carmot Capital and Qwant
Major increase in R&D investment with headcount more than doubling
Major expansion of engineering centres in Bristol (UK HQ), Oslo (Norway) and our sales and support office in Palo Alto (USA)
Opening of Beijing sales, support and engineering centre (China), Cambridge engineering centre (UK) and Hsinchu operations facility (Taiwan)
You can read the press release about the funding here.