Risc-V is the underdog, but I fear that it always will be.
I just can't see why any company would take it on as a tool to try and achieve market dominance in any existing CPU market segment. To achieve that would take a lot of money and time, and a lot of nerve, unless they already were a large incumbent in the industry.
Look at how long it's taking ARM to get into the server market; years and years of trying by various ARM licensees, and there's still very large customers who still won't even look at AMD (who are at least compatible with Intel), never mind giving a whole new ISA a try.
Nor can I see an academic collective being able to do things fast enough for it to challenge a well resourced, well practised company.
People who sell or run software for a living are collectively very conservative. Even if someone came up with a compelling, gonna-be-market-beating Risc-V offering, a large part of the existing software owners / runners would be content to wait for Intel / AMD / ARM to catch up and stamp all over it.