Chopping Up Compute: Why We Invested in Salad Technologies, Inc.

  • April 12, 2022
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There are nearly 2 billion PC gamers across the world. Their digs vary dramatically, from a desktop setup in the bedroom to a dark gaming cave in the basement. But their rigs have a lot in common – often characterized by having high performance computer chips, high speed network connectivity, and an abundance of storage capacity. Those high-end computing resources make gaming extremely entertaining – allowing multiplayer environments with realistic graphics and nearly zero latency. But those same computing resources sit idle for some portion of every day.

Meanwhile, shared cloud computing offerings from Amazon, Microsoft and Google have grown rapidly and are in high demand from business customers, with the public cloud computing market estimated at nearly $500 billion. Separately, the demand for High Performance Computing – for tasks like AI models, ‘proof of work’ on the blockchain, pharmaceutical research, and hedge fund trading strategies – has grown to $20B+ a year.

What if those idle, high performance gaming resources could be tied together to create a new distributed computing network? We are pleased to announce our investment in Salad Technologies.

Lettuce tell you more about it. Salad is the largest compute-sharing network that allows gamers to exchange idle resources for rewards. Left Lane Capital co-led the round, with participation from Kickstart Seed Fund, Royal Street Ventures, and Carthona Capital.

With 30K daily active nodes, and 100 PetaFLOPS of peak processing power across its distributed network, Salad is disrupting the conventional cloud services marketplace with a decentralized alternative powered by the world’s idle gaming PCs. The open-source Salad desktop applications allows gamers to share compute cycles, storage, and bandwidth. We believe the decentralized computing movement will require hardware solutions – and Salad operates the largest hardware network in the world.

To date, the company’s network of “Salad Chefs” has contributed over 7,500 years of processing time to support the Ethereum network and other blockchain ecosystems. While the company provides gaming rewards to its network participants, it collects the output – to date, largely Bitcoin and Ethereum from providing proof of work capacity – as its payment.

We first met founder and CEO Bob Miles in 2018, when he was first building Salad in Utah – washing the vegetables, chopping the ingredients, and raising a seed round. The company was not the right stage fit for Origin Ventures at that time – but we kept in touch with Bob, tracked the company’s progress, and believe Salad is now extremely well positioned to capitalize on the distributed computing movement.

The company will use the proceeds from this round to grow its network and diversify its revenue generation. We look forward to working with Bob and the entire team at Salad!

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