CoreWeave plows £1B into UK HQ and datacenters as it eyes European expansion

Ah, just nod and smile when they talk about Britain and Europe

American GPU cloud operator CoreWeave is expanding its operations across the pond, setting up a new European headquarters in London and revealing plans to build a pair of AI datacenters in the UK, all valued at £1 billion ($1.3 billion).

Founded in 2017, CoreWeave specializes in large-scale Nvidia accelerator clusters to train and run today's cutting-edge neural networks. The London site will serve as a base of operations as the New Jersey datacenter operator looks to expand its operations beyond the US to the European continent.

"We are seeing unprecedented demand for AI infrastructure and London is an important AI hub that we are investing in," CoreWeave CEO Mike Intrator said in a canned statement.

The scale of CoreWeave's deployments has garnered considerable attention amid a ramp in generative AI development following ChatGPT's debut in late 2022. The bit barn has routinely deployed tens of thousands of Nvidia's fastest AI accelerators at a time.

The two datacenters bound for the UK are expected to come online later this year, and CoreWeave is already exploring additional sites for 2025. That's assuming that Britain's National Grid can actually provide adequate power to run them. As we reported this spring, National Grid CEO John Pettigrew warned that substantial work would be required to support the growing power demand associated with AI datacenters.

Friday's announcement comes just over a week after CoreWeave scored a $1.1 billion in Series C funding, pushing its valuation to $19 billion — that's a lotta unicorn horns. To date, CoreWeave has raised $4.6 billion. That includes $2.4 billion in debt financing using the highly coveted GPUs at the heart of its operation as collateral.

CoreWeave's decision to set up shop in the UK, unsurprisingly, drew praise from UK officials including the current Prime Minister Rishi, Sunak who has spent more than a year trying to cement the country's status as a world leader in AI research and development and attract investment.

"We're leaving no stone unturned to make the UK the best place for pioneering companies like CoreWeave to grow," Sunak said in a statement on Friday.

Meanwhile, the UK's Secretary of State of Science, Innovation, and Technology Michelle Donelan touted the jobs and opportunities that CoreWeave's investments would bring to the region. With that said, datacenters generally don't require that many staff, so presumably those job opportunities will come from UK AI startups deploying workloads in CoreWeave's facilities.

CoreWeave isn't the only one eyeing the UK as a launchpad to expand their operations.

In April, Microsoft revealed it was opening an AI research and development hub in London which would be led by former Google DeepMind scientists. Microsoft has also established a research lab at Cambridge, pledged to bring 20,000 GPUs to the country by 2026, and committed £2.5 billion ($3.13 billion) to prepare British workers for the new AI world order. ®

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