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IonQ hits $100 million in bookings, Rigetti revenue grows as commercial quantum market revs up

IonQ's new performance results reveal a powerhouse of quantum technology.
By Dan O'Shea posted 10 Nov 2023

As publicly-traded quantum computing companies began to report quarterly earnings this week, IonQ continued to be the star of the group, with the company stating that it had hit its goal of achieving $100 million in bookings within its first three years of commercialization, a goal it first articulated in 2021.

IonQ’s performance throughout 2023 so far has been one of the clearest signs that the quantum computing sector is starting to transition from an experimental phase to a commercial one. Meanwhile, fellow publicly-traded quantum firms Rigetti Computing also reported third quarter earnings this week, demonstrating its own revenue growth.

What it all adds up to a quantum computing market that suddenly is maturing more rapidly than ever before, one that finally is moving from experiments and proof-of-concept projects to full-scale or partial system deployment and real-world applications.

First, here are the highlights of IonQ’s third quarter 2023 earnings report:

  • IonQ recognized revenue of $6.1 million for the third quarter, which is above the high end of the previously provided range, and represents 122% growth compared to $2.8 million in the prior year period.
  • IonQ achieved $26.3 million in new bookings for the third quarter, and $58.4 million year-to-date as of September 30, 2023.
  • IonQ achieved its previously stated goal of $100 million in cumulative bookings within the first three years of its commercialization efforts, starting in 2021, a full quarter ahead of the initial prediction.
  • Cash, cash equivalents and investments were $485.1 million as of September 30, 2023.
  • Net loss was $44.8 million and Adjusted EBITDA loss was $22.4 million for the third quarter. Exclusions from Adjusted EBITDA include a non-cash loss of $7.6 million related to the change in the fair value of IonQ’s warrant liabilities.

IonQ President and CEO Peter Chapman, speaking from the company’s newly-opened Seattle area office, said of the company’s progress, “Over the course of this year, we have substantially built the size and visibility of our sales pipeline. Though we expect the market to continue to be lumpy, today we are pleased to announce that we are on path by the end of 2023 to exceeding our goal of cumulative $100 million in bookings since the start of 2021.”

He added, “Both public and private institutions are quickly coming to the understanding that early adopters stand to benefit the most from quantum technology and are eager to prepare themselves for the quantum era.”

That means IonQ is migrating more to an operational strategy focused on product development and sales, and is building up in-house programs for manufacturing and marketing, and even operating system software, quantum networking, and application development as it looks to build its case as a full-stack quantum computing company, Chapman said.

Rigetti has not quite been blowing expectations out of the water to the degree IonQ has, but the company is in a different boat as for the last several months it has been in rebound mode after losing its founder and other executives and laying off more than a quarter of its workforce.

  • Total revenues for the three months ended September 30, 2023 were $3.1 million
  • Total operating expenses for the three months ended September 30, 2023 were $19.1 million
  • Operating loss for the three months ended September 30, 2023 was $16.8 million
  • Net loss for the three months ended September 30, 2023 was $22.2 million
  • As of September 30, 2023 cash, cash equivalents and available-for-sale securities totaled $110.2 million
  • Raised $12.7 million during the three months ended September 30, 2023 from sales of stock through the Company’s Common Stock Purchase Agreement with B. Riley
  • In addition, Rigetti reported that based on its current operating plan and assuming no additional capital is raised in the three months ending December 31, 2023, it expects to have cash, cash equivalents, and available-for-sale securities of $88 million-$94 million at the end of 2023.

Similar to the efforts of IonQ, Rigetti is seeking to be a full-stack quantum computing company with multiple revenue channels, including cloud services and foundry services in addition to processor sales and system sales and contracts.

Rigetti CEO Dr. Subodh Kulkarni acknowledged that market opportunities for the company area starting to change and broaden from what had been primarily academic projects. “Commercial interest is definitely there, but it is still relatively focused on national labs and university researchers,” he said. “As we approach narrow quantum advantage in the next two to three years, we can expect commercial interest to grow, and that’s when the potentially explosive growth opportunity will come.”

Dan O’Shea has covered telecommunications and related topics including semiconductors, sensors, retail systems, digital payments and quantum computing/technology for over 25 years.

Categories: quantum computing

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Quantum News Briefs looks at news in the quantum industry.Quantum News Briefs looks at news in the quantum industry.