Illustrative image of a glowing quantum computer (sakkmesterke; iStock by Getty Images)
Israeli startup Quantum Machines, the developer of a standard universal language for quantum computers, as well as a unique platform that helps them run, raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Israeli and foreign investors, according to an announcement on Monday.
The investment round was led by Israeli venture capital company Red Dot Capital Partners, with the participation of Exor, an investment holding company based in the Netherlands; Claridge Israel; Samsung NEXT; Chicago-based Valor Equity Partners; TLV Partners; Battery Ventures; and 2i Ventures, an affiliate of Israeli investment company Altshuler Shaham.
Founded in 2018 by award-winning quantum electronics experts Dr. Itamar Sivan, Dr. Yonatan Cohen and Dr. Nissim Ofek, Quantum Machines built the Quantum Orchestration Platform (QOP), a hardware and software solution for operating quantum systems to facilitate research and enable future breakthroughs, according to the company.
It also released the QUA, a standard universal language for quantum computers that the startup says will allow researchers and scientists to write programs for varied quantum computers with one unified code.
In a nutshell, quantum computers process exponentially more data compared to classical computers, using quantum bits, or qubits, the basic unit of quantum information. Whereas classical computers carry out logical operations based on one of two positions — 1 or 0, on or off, up or down — quantum computers can keep qubits in “superposition,” a principle of quantum mechanics where they are both simultaneously. In this state, quantum computers “can crunch through a vast number of potential outcomes simultaneously,” according to an MIT Technology Review explanation.
There is also the concept of entanglement, where pairs of qubits exist in a single quantum state. “Quantum computers harness entangled qubits in a kind of quantum daisy chain to work their magic. The machines’ ability to speed up calculations using specially designed quantum algorithms is why there’s so much buzz about their potential,” according to the magazine.
The field is relatively new and extremely complex, but experts say that quantum computing can be extremely beneficial in industries like cybersecurity, materials and pharmaceuticals, banking and finance, and advanced manufacturing.
Tech giants like Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Intel are all racing to make quantum computing more accessible and building their own systems. According to recent market projections, the global quantum computing market size is expected to value $487.4 million in 2021 and reach $3.7 billion by 2030.
IBM’s Quantum System One, the world’s first integrated quantum computer system. (IBM)
Quantum Machines’ stated vision is to bring about “useful quantum computers” and says that its Quantum Orchestration Platform makes it “seamless to realize the potential of all quantum processors.”
The startup said that it already provides control and orchestration systems for quantum computing to customers in 15 countries, including multinational corporations, government laboratories, academic institutions, and quantum development startups.
Quantum Machines’ latest funding round is believed to be the largest investment in a company not creating a quantum computer itself, said Dr. Sivan, who serves as CEO of Quantum Machines, in a company statement on Monday.
“Quantum processors hold the potential for immense computational power, far beyond those of any classical processor we could ever develop, and they will impact each and every aspect of our lives. Given that we work with so many of the global leaders in the field, we are in an incredible position to make this happen sooner than ever believed possible,” he added.
Sivan said that the investment was “a major step forward towards implementing an effective cloud infrastructure for quantum computers.”
Dr. Cohen, Quantum Machines’ CTO, said “quantum technology development is rapidly accelerating, and researchers require tools that can push their capabilities to the next level.”
Quantum Machines is focused on “solving a critical bottleneck with quantum research and development, providing the best infrastructure capable of the most advanced algorithms and scaling at the rate of development.”
The startup indicated that it would use the funds to expand its current offerings, grow its teams, and open offices in new capitals.
In March, Quantum Machines was one of seven Israeli companies named among American business magazine Fast Company’s “most innovative companies” in 2021. The startup appeared in fourth place on the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) list because “quantum computing is the next frontier.”
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