(5GNewsroom) U.S. venture capital giant Bessemer Venture Partners has signed on to lead a US$100-million funding of Toronto startup Xanadu Quantum Technologies Inc., as competition intensifies in a global race to bring quantum computers to market.
Three sources familiar with the deal, whose composition is still coming together and which has not been finalized, say it would value Xanadu at US$400-million post-transaction.
Five-year-old Xanadu has previously raised $41-million in 2018 and 2019 from Canadian backers OMERS Ventures, Georgian Partners, Radical Ventures, Real Ventures and BDC Capital, plus U.S. billionaire Tim Draper. Xanadu CEO and founder Christian Weedbrook declined comment.
The new funding would be the second bet by Bessemer – an early funder of Pinterest, LinkedIn, Yelp, Skype, and Canada’s Shopify, Clio and Ada Support – in the quantum space, after investing US$20-million last year in Rigetti Computing.
Xanadu and PsiQuantum, which has raised US$215-million in venture funding, are trying to draw their computing power from light. Xanadu uses a process called “squeezing light” by firing lasers that enable light particles to generate quantum effects on thumbnail-sized chips. The method, based on Mr. Weedbrook’s PhD thesis at Australia’s University of Queensland, happens at room temperature, and he believes with further development he can cut out supercooling, which is still required for part of the process, altogether.
Without supercooling – an elaborate, expensive undertaking – Mr. Weedbrook has said Xanadu can develop machines quicker and cheaper than other quantum computers and eventually shrink his chips enough that they could fit in computers and smartphones.