SoftBank and IonQ in Strategic Pact on Quantum Computing
(WallStreetJournal) SoftBank Investment Advisers, which runs its SoftBank Vision Funds 1 and 2, has taken a “large” equity stake in IonQ, though not a majority stake, said Peter Chapman, chief executive of IonQ, without giving specifics.
IonQ is SoftBank’s first investment in quantum computing, said Kirthiga Reddy, partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers.
“There’s an exponential increase in the need for computational power, and quantum computing uniquely helps enable that,” said Ms. Reddy, who led the IonQ investment.
Financial terms weren’t disclosed. SoftBank Investment Advisers bought into IonQ through its Vision Fund 2.
Eventually, SoftBank wants to use quantum computing to speed up calculations on machine-learning and materials science for some of its portfolio companies, Ms. Reddy said. Which SoftBank portfolio companies might start availing themselves of IonQ’s quantum-computing tech wasn’t disclosed.
Ms. Reddy said she has been impressed with IonQ’s ability to take university lab research and apply it to early-stage commercial uses in the energy and manufacturing sectors, and to throw open the use of its current early-stage, quantum-computing devices through partnerships with cloud-computing service providers.