U.K. quantum computing startup Quantum Motion raises $50.5M • TechCrunch

U.K. quantum computing startup Quantum Motion raises $50.5M • TechCrunch

British Society for Quantum Computing quantum movement raised £42 million ($50.5 million) in a fundraising round led by Bosch Ventures (RBVC), with participation from Porsche, the UK government’s National Security Strategic Investment Fund (NSSIF) and many other investors.

Quantum computing, for the uninitiated, relies on principles borrowed from quantum mechanics, with an emphasis on quantum bits (qubits) rather than atoms, which promises To advance which is possible with computers by performing complex calculations in a fraction of the time. Use cases can include accelerating new drug discovery or powering the vast amount of data processing required for AI applications.

“Quantum computers will think completely differently than computers today,” James Palles-Dimmock, CEO of Quantum Motion, told TechCrunch. “Problems that would take a supercomputer thousands of years to solve could be solved by a quantum computer in minutes. The earliest impact will be in areas related to materials science, including energetic materials, chemistry such as drug discovery or optimization – potentially extending to logistics and transportation.

Founded in 2017 by Professors John Morton and Simon Benjamin of UCL and Oxford University respectively, Quantum Motion aims to create “scalable quantum computers” through new quantum computing architectures compatible with silicon processing established.

As with normal computers, heat has a negative impact on qubits in quantum computing, which means quantum computers must be kept very cold. Quantum Motion claims to have designed integrated circuits capable of “generating, routing and processing signals at deep cryogenic temperatures”, operating at a few tenths of a degree above absolute zero.

“Our silicon-based quantum chips are typically a few millimeters in diameter, and we anticipate that the cooling system required to run the chip will have a form factor similar to a standard 19-inch server rack,” said Palles- Dimmock. “Being able to show that our approach to quantum computing does not require football field-sized data centers or large CERN-like facilities, was one of the motivations behind our location at the center of London.”

Quantum Motion: work on a dilution refrigerator

Quantum Motion: work on a dilution refrigerator Image credits: Quantum motion

what a jump

Quantum Motion’s latest boost comes amid a flurry of activity in the quantum computing space. In the past month alone, we’ve seen a French startup Pasqal raises 100 million euroswhile Israel’s quantum machines closed its Series B round at $70 billion and Quantum Brilliance from Australia got $18 million. Elsewhere over the past year, Finnish IQMFrance Alice&BobAnd UK based Quantum Circuits have all raised considerable amounts of venture capital funds.

Quantum Motion and its ilk also face a host of competitors in the larger tech sphere, including IBM which recently unveiled its 433-qubit Osprey quantum computerwhile Google gained a new quantum computing sibling last year after Alphabet created Sandbox AQ as a stand-alone companygoes to raised $500 million in funding last week. Elsewhere, other tech behemoths such as Microsoft And Intel is also investing heavily in quantum.

So what can Quantum Motion and its upstart brethren bring to the mix that deep-pocketed behemoths can’t?

“Compared to big tech companies, our advantage is that we’re nimble, single-minded, and have a team that’s comparable to the best in the world,” Palles-Dimmock said. “We have a highly skilled team across multiple disciplines, including IC (instrumentation and control) engineering, quantum theory, hardware and software, and close relationships with world-class universities that help us source this talent. .”

James Palles-Dimmock, CEO of Quantum Motion, with co-founders Professor John Morton (CTO) and Professor Simon Benjamin (CSO) Image credits: Quantum motion

Quantum Motion previously raised about $24 million in equity and funding, and with its new cash injection, the company said it plans to accelerate its development of quantum silicon processors by forging “deeper connections » with manufacturers. Indeed, the startup’s strategic investors, including Bosch and Porsche, provide clues to the impact Quantum Motion seeks to have on the industry – quantum computing. could transform battery technology as we know itallowing scientists and researchers to simulate batteries to better understand what is happening at the molecular level to optimize materials and thus improve energy density.

But the true possibilities are indeed endless, and it’s hard to conceive just how transformative quantum computing will turn out.

“Like computing in the early 1960s, it was hard to predict what amazing things computing would lead to, and yet it revolutionized our society,” Palles-Dimmock said. “It wasn’t until computers got into the hands of people around the world that we got really creative and pushed the boundaries of what computers can do. Quantum computing will be similar, we know it will will be transformative in areas like drug discovery, battery technology and more, but we won’t know how transformative they will become until they get there.

It’s worth noting that while quantum computing is advancing at breakneck speed, it’s still in its infancy, and the fruits of all the current R&D work we’re seeing across the board could still be a few years away.

“Many quantum computing companies exist today and they are all in R&D mode,” Palles-Dimmock said. “Investors know it will take time. It may be until the end of the decade before we have truly impactful quantum computers. This increase allows us to strengthen our relationships with our manufacturing partners and demonstrate prototypes of up to millions of qubits. »

Quantum Motion’s latest cash injection included contributions from Octopus Ventures, Oxford Sciences Enterprises, British Patient Capital, Inkef, Parkwalk Advisors and IP Group.