Gensyn, a London-based AI protocol, has raised a seed round of almost £5 million to launch a decentralised compute network for training AI models. 

The network connects GPUs and provides their owners with a financial return for running deep learning training tasks submitted by users. Using a blockchain network, Gensyn has created a way to trustlessly verify that the deep learning tasks have been performed correctly, triggering payments via a token.

The investment is led by Eden Block – a web3 infrastructure VC – while other new investors include Galaxy Digital, Maven 11, Coinfund, Hypersphere, Zee Prime and founders from major blockchain protocols. 

This adds to a previously unannounced pre-seed investment of $1.1m in 2021, led by 7percent Ventures and Counterview Capital, with participation from Entrepreneur First and id4 Ventures.

“Deep learning has revolutionised diverse areas from facial recognition to spy plane radar operation. The core concepts emerged in the ‘50s, but the last decade has seen real world application grow sharply – and this will only increase,” said Harry Grieve, co-founder. 

“With this scale comes existential questions about our work, life, and identity. This, along with ballooning demand for hardware – and fat margins – is why the usual names like AWS and Azure have fought to command such high market share. 

“The result is a market which is more expensive and places control of who-gets-what in the hands of centralised entities. We’ve spoken to a number of companies with staggering cloud compute bills who struggle to purchase outright the hardware that they need; so we designed a better way – superior on price, with unlimited scalability, and no gatekeepers.” 

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Ben Fielding, co-founder of Gensyn, added: “Deep learning models, regardless of your opinions on their level of consciousness, have proven to be tremendously effective at tackling end-to-end tasks involving complex data. However, training these models requires enormous computational resources. 

“Resources which are currently accessible only via the major cloud providers, or by building and hosting your own permanent physical cluster. Gensyn takes the approach of trustlessly connecting existing compute together – allowing it to be used for highly distributed deep learning training on-demand – at a fair market price. 

“This allows anyone to effectively access all of the world’s AI-capable hardware, removing barriers to AI research and development, and creating a path towards the realisation of global scale artificial general intelligence.”