Zapata Raises $38 Million for Quantum Machine Learning
(VentureBeat) Zapata Computing has raised $38 million for its quantum computing enterprise software platform. The figure, which brings its total funding to over $64 million, will be put toward Zapata’s core mission: “Delivering quantum advantage for customers through real business use cases.”
This series B round was led by Comcast Ventures, Pitango, and Prelude Ventures, with support from existing series A investors BASF Venture Capital, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, and The Engine Accelerator Fund. New investors included Ahren Innovation Capital, Alumni Ventures Group, Honeywell Venture Capital, ITOCHU, and Merck Global Health Innovation Fund.
Earlier this year, Zapata CEO Christopher Savoie told VentureBeat that the quantum computing and machine learning business use case is “a when, not an if.” Indeed, while the 58-person company plans to continue its work on optimization and simulation, the team believes “the nearest-term quantum use cases are in machine learning.”
“Machine learning is a field focused on finding patterns in high-dimension, noisy data, and this is exactly where quantum excels,” Savoie said. “Another reason quantum will be popular for machine learning is because training machine learning algorithms ordinarily takes enormous amounts of computational power. Quantum hardware can, in theory, reduce the training time of deep networks from months to hours. In fact, recent research from IBM demonstrated a significant quantum speed-up in supervised machine learning.”
With the new funding, Zapata hopes to grow its R&D, science, and engineering teams to support its “global customers” and “develop more cutting-edge features for Orquestra.” Savoie declined to discuss individual customers and use cases due to confidentiality agreements.