The VCs have been opening their wallets and their hearts to quantum computing startups this year. The year began with Munich’s Black Quant launching a €100 million quantum technology fund to back startups in the quantum technology space, Dutch/American VC firm Cottonwood stepped forward with $75 million to help drive deep tech innovations and French quantum computing startup Alice&Bob raised €27 million to build a fault-tolerant quantum computer.
Entering the ranks now, Reading-based Oxford Quantum Circuits (OQC) has raised $46.4 million in funding to accelerate its research and development as it looks to expand into Asia.
According to the company, it is the largest Series A fundraise for a U.K. quantum computing company. The round was led by Lansdowne Partners and Asian deeptech fund University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners (UTEC) and backed by British Patient Capital, Oxford Science Enterprises and Oxford Investment Consultants.
Founded in 2017 by Ilana Wisby, the Oxford University spin-off specialises in quantum computer hardware. Its approach to superconducting circuits aims to reduce the error rate in quantum computers, which store information in a measurement called qubits (traditional computers use bits). The quantum computing-as-a-service (QCaaS) company claims its 3D architecture for superconducting circuits makes it less likely for the quality of a qubit to degrade, compared to two-dimensional circuits.
Ilana Wisby, CEO of OQC said: “The investment reflects the confidence our investors have in our ability to lead the global quantum industry. It’s a testament to the significant technological and commercial progress we have achieved in recent months. It is also the first step in our international expansion, bringing quantum to our customers’ fingertips – wherever they are in the world.”
In February, the company unveiled Lucy, an 8-qubit processor, which is available for enterprise customers as part of Amazon Web Service’s (AWS) cloud-based quantum computing services.
“Since launching the U.K.’s first commercially available quantum computer, we have continued to be highly impressed with both the technical developments and also the future ambitions of OQC,” said Peter Davies, partner and head of developed markets strategy at Lansdowne Partners.