Pasqal, a startup developing a quantum computer based on trapped neutral atoms, has raised $100 million in a Series B funding round led by Tiger Global.
Founded in 2016, Pasqal has now raised $161 million to date. The latest financing will be used to grow the company’s team, advance its technology and build a commercial-grade quantum computer.
Pasqal’s quantum computer is based on trapped neutral atoms, which the company says is a more scalable and stable approach than other methods such as using superconducting qubits.
The company has developed a proprietary algorithm that can correct for errors in the quantum computing process, which is a key challenge for the technology.
Pasqal says it has achieved “quantum supremacy” with its system, meaning it can perform calculations that are beyond the reach of classical computers.
The company is now working on developing applications for its quantum computer in areas such as drug discovery and materials science.
Pasqal is based in Paris, France and has a team of 40 people. The company’s investors include Airbus Ventures, Cathay Innovation, hardware VC firm Founders Future and French VC firm Daphni.
Pasqal raises $100M to build a neutral atom-based quantum computer
Pasqal, a French startup that is building a new type of quantum computer, has raised $100 million in a Series B funding round led by U.S. venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Other participants in the round include European investorsLynn Tilton’s family office, Aglae Ventures, and Quantum Wave Fund.
Founded in 2016, Pasqal is developing a so-called “neutral atom” quantum computer, which it says will be more stable and easier to control than existing quantum computers that use superconducting qubits.
The company has now raised a total of $134 million, and says it will use the new funding to scale up production of its quantum computers and to expand its team of scientists and engineers.
“With this new round of funding, we will be able to bring our technology to market faster and build a world-class team to continue pushing the boundaries of quantum computing,” said Pasqal co-founder and CEO Pierre Jules.
How does a neutral atom quantum computer work?
Traditional quantum computers use superconducting qubits, which are electrons that have been cooled to near absolute zero and manipulated to exhibit quantum effects.
Neutral atoms, by contrast, are atoms that have had their electrons removed, leaving only the nucleus. These “naked” atoms are much easier to control than superconducting qubits, which makes them a promising platform for quantum computing.
Pasqal’s quantum computers will use laser beams to trap and manipulate the nuclei of neutral atoms, and the company says this will make them more stable and easier to control than existing quantum computers.
The potential of quantum computers
Quantum computers are still in their infancy, but they have the potential to revolutionize computing by providing a much faster and more powerful way to solve certain problems.
In particular, quantum computers could be used to solve problems in machine learning, material science, and drug discovery. They could also be used to crack existing encryption schemes, which is why many governments and companies are investing in quantum computing research.
Pasqal is not the only company working on neutral atom quantum computers. Other startups in the space include IonQ and Aliroot, and tech giants like IBM, Google, and Microsoft are also researching this technology.