13 hot chip and semiconductor startups investors are betting on to fill supply-chain gaps and compete with giants like Intel and Nvidia

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  • Manufacturing costs and big firms have made it hard for new chip players to enter the market.
  • But amid supply-chain woes, chip startups have emerged to fill the gaps.
  • Insider complied a list of 13 chip startups VCs are betting on to disrupt the chips industry.

Venture capitalists invested a record $19.4 billion in chip and semiconductor startups in 2021.

It’s a huge sum of money that may have seemed impossible years ago. Historically, the semiconductor industry has a high barrier of entry. Expensive manufacturing costs and entrenched firms like Intel, Nvidia, and AMD keep new players out

But with supply-chain constraints, new models of manufacturing have popped up. Fabless-chip firms, or when a company designs the chips but outsources the creation, and new computing needs have disrupted the old foundation of the semiconductor industry.

Plus, legislation that would infuse $52 billion into domestic chip making and development has been sent to President Joe Biden’s desk for him to sign into law. That could potentially usher in a new era of chip manufacturing.

To get a better sense of why VCs are betting on chip startups, Insider compiled a list of several startups investors say are bringing new technological strides to the field.

The firms range from chips designed for artificial intelligence and machine learning to semiconductors embedded in clothes. The firms on this list were picked in consult with VCs and analysts. They were chosen for their funding, leadership, and other criteria to help determine which will stick around.

All of the valuations are according to Pitchbook data unless noted otherwise. 

These are the chip startups worth betting on, in order of least to most capital raised: