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Pitchbook: VCs Making Record Bets on Quantum Technology

By IQT News posted 13 Sep 2021

(PitchBook) IQT-News summarizes here today’s article by the always excellent Pitchbook discussing VC Funding in the quantum sector.
Investors have invested $1.02 billion into quantum computing companies so far this year. That’s more than was funneled into the industry during the previous three years combined, according to PitchBook data.
Developing such machines may be the biggest technological challenge underwritten by investors today.
Tech giants including Google and IBM, as well as VC-backed startups like Rigetti Computing, IonQ and PsiQuantum, are all competing to make the world’s most powerful and reliable quantum computers.
The ultimate goal for quantum computer hardware makers is to develop a machine that can solve problems that no traditional computer could. Achieving this so so-called quantum supremacy, depending on who you ask, could still be a decade or more in the future.
But investors are betting that some real-life applications will emerge a lot sooner.
“The data we are seeing says that as early as three and no more than five years away,” there will be use cases for quantum computers in industrial, financial or national security settings, said Matt Ocko, a managing partner and co-founder of venture capital firm DCVC, which invested in Rigetti. The Berkeley, Calif.-based startup has raised a total of $186 million, including a $79 million Series C led by Bessemer Venture Partners last year.
PsiQuantum said last year that it plans to build a full-scale quantum computer by 2025. The startup raised a $450 million Series D in July led by BlackRock, reaching a $3.15 billion valuation.
IonQ, another contender in the race to build the first useful quantum computer, said in March that it plans to go public by merging with a SPAC at a valuation of $2 billion. The deal is expected to close later this year. In the meantime, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 has taken a “large,” but not the majority, stake in IonQ.
Startups like Zapata Computing and Cambridge Quantum Computing are raising funds for the development of quantum computer algorithms. Israel-based Quantum Machines recently anounced a $50 million Series B for building cloud infrastructure and the software for quantum computers.
Since the quantum computing industry’s future is entirely dependent on the development of a fully functional machine, the VC-backed computer hardware developers will still need significant infusions of capital, Ocko said

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