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Classiq raises $33 million from HPE venture arm, insurance giant, others

By Dan O'Shea posted 21 Feb 2022

Classiq, whose software enables development of quantum algorithms, has raised $33 million n new funding from an array of investors hailing from different sectors, including Hewlett Packard Pathfinder, the venture capital program of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE); Phoenix, a $60-billion insurance company; Spike Ventures, a Stanford alumni investor group; and Samsung NEXT, the investment arm of wireless and consumer electronics giant Samsung.

The round, which brought Classiq’s total funding to $48 million in its first 20 months of existence, also included personal investments from Lip-Bu Tan, who is the executive chairman of Cadence Design Systems,  and Harvey Jones, who is the former chief executive of electronic design automation (EDA) firm Synopsys and a board member at chip giant Nvidia. The participation of each seems significant in that they have led companies that do for EDA what Classiq is aiming to do for quantum software in terms of advancing the planning and design processes of quantum projects and product efforts.

The new investors join existing Classiq investors Wing VC, Team8, Entrée Capital, Sumitomo Corp. (through IN Venture) and OurCrowd.

“We were impressed by Classiq’s novel synthesis engine that automates the creation of quantum circuits and leads to significantly lower barriers of entry for quantum computing,” said Paul Glaser, vice president and head of Hewlett Packard Pathfinder, in a statement.

Boaz Morris, investment manager at Phoenix, added, “While quantum hardware has made impressive progress, the software used to operate these advanced computers remains woefully inadequate. Classiq’s hardware-agnostic platform enables enterprises to develop sophisticated quantum software faster and better than any other method.”

Asked by IQT News how the new funding will be used, Classiq CMO Yuval Boger said by email, “We expect to substantially increase our sales and marketing headcount as well as our engineering and R&D headcount. We would not be surprised if we have tripled our size by the end of 2022.”

The company also is planning to open new offices in Europe and Japan, with locations chosen based on their proximity to Classiq customers.

Commenting on the varied background of Classiq’s new institutional investors, Boger said, “While I can’t speak for these institutional investors, I think it’s fair to say that they look at the Classiq investment both as a very attractive financial opportunity but also as a strategic priority. For instance, most cloud providers are working to build and bolster their quantum capabilities. Similarly, insurance, banking, trading and other financial services institutions realize the potential of quantum computing in transforming risk analysis, portfolio management and many other aspects of their business.”

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