Maple VC co-leads $4-million USD seed round for Canadian-led

Palo Alto-based startup is the latest to receive investment from Maple VC. is the one of the latest Canadian-founded startups to secure an investment from Maple VC. 

The Palo Alto, California-based startup, founded in 2023, helps companies access graphics processing units (GPUs) to support the training and inference of artificial intelligence (AI). The startup’s $4-million USD seed round was co-led by Maple and Cherubic Ventures, with additional participation from Fusion Fund.

“We think will be a key player in powering the AI applications of the future.”

Andre Charoo, founder and general partner, Maple VC

San Francisco-based Maple VC aims to back Canadian entrepreneurs, regardless of their location. The firm recently invested in Dexa, which is also based in the United States but founded by Calgary native Riley Tomasek. was founded by CEO John Yue and CTO Michael Yu, two serial entrepreneurs who previously co-founded and led Toronto-based Bifrost Cloud, which offers a distributed cloud storage solution for businesses.

Prior to founding his own startups, Yue worked as a pre-sale engineer for Mavennet and prior to that was a blockchain engineer for Aion, the cryptocurrency of The Open Application Network. He also previously held roles at Merrill Lynch, RLDatix, and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, according to his LinkedIn.

Yu previously worked as a senior software engineer for Toronto-based Horizon Blockchain Games until 2022, prior to which he worked as a consultant for AppCentrica and a software engineer for IBM.

“John was ahead of the curve four years ago when he first focused on building a distributed storage business and is perfectly positioned for this moment in time,” Andre Charoo, founder and general partner of Maple VC, said in a statement. “We think will be a key player in powering the AI applications of the future.” is looking to tackle the global GPU scarcity, driven in part by demand from cryptocurrency miners and supply chain disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These factors have led to a significant shortage of these units in recent years.

RELATED: Maple VC backs Canadian-founded Dexa’s $6-million seed round

With the recent explosion of AI, companies’ need for compute capacity is increasing, particularly for inference, which requires running live data through an AI model to make a prediction or solve a task. This is a priority not just for private sector—the Canadian government recently signed an agreement with the United Kingdom to collaborate on increasing AI compute capacity. has created algorithms to align companies’ workloads with available GPU resources in order to streamline the process of selecting and accessing the necessary infrastructure at a lower cost a compared to other public cloud providers.

“We saw this gap in the market and wanted to create a solution for the next phase of the revolution,” Yue said in a statement. “At, we are striving to make GPU services available to the most visionary entrepreneurs creating killer AI applications – at a price that won’t break the bank.”, which plans to use the new seed funding to continue developing its hardware deployment infrastructure, is not the only startup looking to address the GPU shortage. Toronto-based CentML, which raised $37 million CAD led by Google’s AI-focused venture fund last year, seeks to help companies determine what hardware they can use to boost the performance and reduce the cost of their machine learning models.

Feature image courtesy Unsplash. Photo by Igor Omilaev.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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