(ImperialCollegeNews) PsiQuantum, co-founded by Imperial’s Professor Terry Rudolph, is now valued at $3.15 billion, attaining ‘unicorn’ status and becoming one of the world’s most valuable quantum technology companies.The company, which was founded using theoretical insights developed at Imperial College London and the University of Bristol, has received $450 PsiQuantum hopes to become the first to develop a fully functional and commercially viable quantum computers.
The $450 million series D funding round was led by funds and accounts managed by BlackRock alongside other investors including Microsoft’s venture fund M12, and means the company has now raised a total of $665 million. PsiQuantum will use the funding to expand its 150-strong team in the USA, UK and Europe. This will progress efforts to build the world’s first commercially viable one million qubit quantum computer.
PsiQuantum was founded in 2016 by a team of academics from Imperial and the University of Bristol including its Chief Architect, Professor Terry Rudolph, a quantum physicist who maintains his professorship at Imperial, and fellow UK scientist Professor Jeremy O’Brien, the company’s CEO.
The company is aiming to manufacture its quantum computers at scale, taking advantage of its distinctive technology and its Silicon Valley headquarters, which allow it to access the region’s semiconductor industry and expertise in traditional electronics engineering and advanced semiconductor manufacturing processes.
“The big breakthrough came when we realised we could make the machine in silicon. It was the PhD thesis of Mercedes Gimeno-Segovia from the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Controlled Quantum Dynamics. Her PhD suggested we can build this thing if we get it into a silicon foundry.” Dr Gimeno-Segovia, who went on to a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Bristol, is now Senior Director of Quantum Architecture at PsiQuantum. Other Imperial alumni at the company include Dr Naomi Nickerson who is also Senior Director of Quantum Architecture.