(TheGlobe&Mail) Quantum computer maker D-Wave Systems Inc., has secured a $40-million financial contribution from the federal government.
The funding, through Ottawa’s Strategic Innovation Fund, follows a year of reset expectations for D-Wave, a leader in the global race to develop computers whose chips draw their power by harnessing natural properties of subatomic particles to perform complex calculations faster than conventional computers.
Burnaby, B.C.-based D-Wave is the first company to offer a commercially available quantum computer, but after 20-plus years of development and more than US$300-million in funds raised, it is still in the early stages of building a sustainable business.
D-Wave has focused on selling online access to the technology and expanded its software applications, which Mr. Baratz had started developing after joining as chief product officer in 2017. Customers including Volkswagen and biotechnology startups have used D-Wave’s technology to find answers to dense optimization problems, such as improving traffic flows in big cities, identifying proteins that could become breakthrough drugs and improving the efficiency of painting operations on vehicle production assembly lines.
D-Wave also completed a costly US$40-million refinancing last year that wiped out most of the value of some long-time investors, including the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s venture capital arm, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and fund giant Fidelity Investments. The capital restructuring cut D-Wave’s valuation to less than US$170-million, down from US$450-million