Rigetti Computing Took a $71 Million Down Round: Because Quantum Computing Is Hard
(TechCrunch) The $71 million in financing that quantum computing technology developer Rigetti Computing recently raised came at a significant cut to the company’s valuation, according to several sources with knowledge of the company.
Rigetti is one of a handful of startups attempting to make quantum computing commercially viable. The company declined to comment on its valuation or the recent round of funding it secured.
Huge corporations, including Google and IBM, have invested hundreds of millions to develop quantum computers, and there’s a growing push among politicians in the U.S. government to devote more money to the technology — out of fear that China’s scientists and national efforts have outpaced American advances in the field.
Quantum computing is an area that’s set for a windfall of government dollars under the budget proposed earlier this year by the Trump administration.
If commercial traction is one issue for quantum computing startups — which lack access to the billions available to companies like Alphabet (Google’s parent company) or even the tech giant IBM — then recent trends in venture capital investment have proven to be another.
The lack of available, non-dilutive capital for companies like Rigetti may be a problem going forward, if the U.S. wants to provide a broad base of support for the pursuit of quantum technology innovations, according to some industry observers. “This is a national security issue. We should be trying to be doing everything we can,” said one industry observer.