NEW HAVEN, Conn., Nov. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Quantum Circuits Inc (QCI) has raised $18M in Series A funding, co-led by Canaan and Sequoia, to build and sell the first practical and useful quantum computers. Tribeca Venture Partners, Osage University Partners, and previous investor Fitz Gate Ventures also participated in the financing. Brendan Dickinson of Canaan and Bill Coughran of Sequoia are joining the company's board.
QCI's founding team of Michel Devoret, Luigi Frunzio and Robert Schoelkopf of Yale University are world-renowned experts in ground-breaking and proprietary quantum technology. The Yale team has pioneered the field of quantum computing with superconducting circuits, introducing the transmon qubit and techniques for distributing quantum information on wires, and performing the first quantum algorithms and quantum error correction in integrated circuits. QCI is developing its computers based on a proprietary approach for error-correcting quantum bits that is hardware-efficient and requires significantly less redundancy.
"No team has done more to pioneer the superconducting approach to qubits than the QCI founders and their collaborators at Yale, who are responsible for the key breakthroughs bringing solid-state quantum computing to feasibility, over the past decade," said Isaac Chuang, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Professor Physics at MIT and a member of QCI's advisory board. "With the strong multi-disciplinary team being assembled by QCI, these leaders are uniquely positioned to deliver a full-stack solution for useful quantum computing."
The QCI team's core focus is to build a modular quantum computer that can be reconfigured and reprogrammed in many different ways, with initial applications that will address drug design for biotech, improved processes for industrial chemicals, fintech, machine learning, and energy. Quantum computing allows for computation speeds for some of these problems that are orders of magnitudes faster than today's supercomputers.
“Quantum computing is a new paradigm, with new rules that allow us to process information in a completely new way,” said Rob Schoelkopf, Sterling Professor of Applied Physics and Physics, who will take a leave to formally assume the role of CEO of QCI in January 2018. “We are at a tipping point in quantum technology where we understand how to build machines to tackle problems that are otherwise uncomputable.”
QCI's unique approach unifies scientific innovation with practical implementation, with the technology developed in Yale's labs giving QCI a leading position to pursue commercial development of quantum computing. The Yale scientists are continuing the research that generates new breakthroughs, and QCI will look to incorporate those scientific advances into its hardware and software development.
"Quantum computing is a whole new kind of high-performance computation – and with it we'll see a new wave of innovation just as we did with the first computer," said Brendan Dickinson, Partner at Canaan. "QCI is taking a hands-on and commercially scalable path to building the first useful quantum computers that will tackle problems that classical computers could never solve."
"Rob and team's unique approach to quantum computing is practical, scalable, and incredibly promising," said Bill Coughran of Sequoia. "QCI is ushering in a new era of computing much faster than we anticipated."
QCI's goal is to build multiple generations of general purpose, universal quantum computers that can be reconfigured and reprogrammed in many different ways, expanding their applications. With this new capital, QCI will combine deep experience in quantum physics with the electrical, mechanical, and systems engineers needed for the scaling of quantum computers, as well as the software designers and programmers focused on algorithms and applications to real world problems.
"Quantum Circuits is a case study on the advantages of Yale's long-term approach to supporting the work of our research faculty," said Jon Soderstrom, Managing Director of Yale's Office of Cooperative Research. "We've worked closely with QCI's scientific founders to position their research for commercial development outside the University, and are thrilled that this company joined the growing startup environment right here in New Haven."
About QCI Quantum Circuits, Inc. (QCI) was founded in 2015 with the goal of developing, manufacturing and selling the first practical and useful quantum computers based on superconducting devices. QCI was founded by three world-leading experts in quantum devices and information processing from the Department of Applied Physics at Yale University: Michel Devoret, Luigi Frunzio, and Robert Schoelkopf, joined by Brian Pusch, currently QCI's President. Their group has produced many scientific firsts, including the development of a "quantum bus" for entangling qubits with wires and the first implementation of a quantum algorithms and error-correction with a solid-state device. www.quantumcircuits.com
About Canaan Canaan is an early stage venture capital firm that invests in entrepreneurs with visionary ideas. Over the past 30 years and with $5B under management, a diversified fund and over 190 exits to date, Canaan has invested in some of the world's leading technology and healthcare companies. Canaan's focus areas include fintech, enterprise/cloud, marketplaces, frontier tech, biopharma, digital health and medtech. To learn more about our people and our portfolio, please visit canaan.com.
About Sequoia From idea to IPO and beyond, the Sequoia team helps a small number of daring founders build legendary companies. We spur them to push the boundaries of what's possible. In partnering with Sequoia, companies benefit from our unmatched network and the lessons we've learned over 45 years working with Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, John Morgridge, Jerry Yang, Elon Musk, Larry Page, Jan Koum, Brian Chesky, Drew Houston, Adi Tatarko and Jack Dorsey, among many others. In aggregate, Sequoia-backed companies account for more than 20% of NASDAQ's total value. We're proud that their success also fuels great causes. The vast majority of money we invest is on behalf of non-profits and schools like the Ford Foundation, Mayo Clinic and MIT, which means that the returns generated from the incredible achievements of founders can make a massive difference.