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Czech Tensor Ventures and Depo Ventures sell Neuronix to Microchip Technology
17 April 2024·3 min read

Dara Kachinska

News Editor, Vestbee

Czech Depo Ventures and Tensor Ventures sell AI chip startup Neuronix to Microchip Technology

Depo Ventures and Tensor Ventures, two Czech investment firms, have announced their joint exit — the funds sold their shares in American-Israeli AI chip startup, Neuronix AI, to US tech giant Microchip Technology, which has a market value of about $50 billion.

  • Yaron Raz and Asher Hazanchuk created the US-Israeli startup Neuronix AI in 2020 with the goal of lowering the cost and power consumption of computer-vision AI for cloud and edge device applications. 
  • As the startup says, it has led the way in creating strategies to lower energy usage and operating expenses in industries like semiconductors, security technology, and smart cities. According to Crunchbase, a total funding amount of the startup is $1.6 million. 
  • The one who bought Neuronix AI from Tensor Ventures and Depo Ventures was Microchip Technology. This is a semiconductor manufacturing company based in Chandler, Arizona. It is one of the top suppliers of intelligent, networked, and safe embedded control systems. Microchip Technology decided to buy Neuronix AI due to the goal of expanding its capabilities for power-efficient, AI-enabled edge solutions deployed on field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs).
  • One of the leading investors in the startup was Prague-based Tensor Ventures. Founded by Martin Drdul and Roman Smola in 2018, the fund focuses on seed and Series A investments. “Sometimes we lead; other times, we tag along with trusted partners. We only invest in sectors we are fluent in,” it claims on its web page. The fund's “fluent” sectors are deeptech and sustainable tech. Right now, its portfolio consists of 21 startups. 
  • Another shareholder was Depo Ventures, also a Prague-based fund, which was launched by Michal Ciffra and Petr Šíma in 2016. It has 35 startups in its portfolio at this moment.

"Despite being perceived as 'too deeptech' by many Silicon Valley funds at the time, I reached out to Tensor Ventures to join us. This American-Israeli-Czech collaboration has been instrumental in the startup’s journey, playing a strategic role in the success of Yaron and his team. It proves that investments in cutting-edge technology are worthwhile. I thank Yaron and Asher for their dedication and hard work, and wish them continued success under the umbrella of Microchip Technologies," said Michal Ciffra from Depo Ventures, about their decision to invest in Neuronix AI back in 2021.

  • It wasn’t the first time that Tensor Ventures and Depo Ventures worked together. Back in 2022, both of the investment funds invested in Tantum, a global company that simplifies blockchain application development and is based in the UK and the US. 

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