Funding keeps flowing: Atom Computing, Terra Quantum, Black Quant Fund highlight a busy week

By Dan O'Shea posted 21 Jan 2022

For a hot minute there, it looked like the funding flow for quantum start-ups was slowing down, but this week has featured a flood of news on the financing front.

Along with Terra Quantum announcing $60 million in funding this week, Germany’s CM-Equity partnered with the European Quantum Business Network to allocate €100 million (about $113 million) to create the Black Quant Fund, which will use the money for investments ranging from pre-seed to Series A and later investments to accelerate technological advancements and the commercialization.

Last but not least we have neutral atom quantum computing firm Atom Computing, which separately from all of the above announced its own $60 million financial infusion. Atom’s Series B was led by Third Point Ventures, and also included Prime Movers Lab and insiders including Innovation Endeavors, Venrock and Prelude Ventures. 

Atom claims to have been “the fastest to deliver a 100-qubit system” with its first-generation effort, called Phoenix,, and plans to use this new investment to build a second-generation system and commercialize its technology. The company said it will now “turn its focus to developing much larger systems that are required to run commercial use-cases with paradigm-shifting compute performance.”

Rob Hays, CEO and President, Atom Computing, added in a statement. “We’ve seen a tremendous amount of investor interest in what many are starting to believe is a more promising way to scale quantum computers – neutral atoms. Our technology advancements and this investment gives us the runway to continue our focus on delivering the most scalable and reliable quantum computers.”

Curtis McKee, Partner at Third Point Ventures, will join the Atom Computing Board of Directors as a result of the investment. 

While Atom is another U.S.-based (Berkeley, California) quantum start-up earning fresh investment, the creation of the Black Quant Fund and the investment in Switzerland’s Terra Quantum show that efforts to nurture European quantum start-ups also are gathering steam. The European Innovation Council has been among the other parties leading that effort.

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