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€100m kicks off quantum computing venture by Nobel laureate

Alain Aspect.jpg

A quantum computing company co-founded by a winner of last year’s Nobel Prize for physics has raised €100 million in funding.

Pasqal, which specialises in neutral atoms quantum computing, said the €100 million Series B funding was led by new investor Temasek, the Singaporean state holding company.

Nobel laureate Alain Aspect (pictured) said: “Pasqal’s engineers have transformed world-class fundamental research into a system that is easy to use and is expected to deliver tremendous benefit to the world. I am incredibly proud of their accomplishments and impressed by the recognition from the investment community.”

With the new funding, Pasqal plans to accelerate the company’s research and development efforts to build a 1,000-qubit quantum computer in the short term and fault-tolerant architectures in the long term.

The company said it also plans to increase the production of its quantum systems for on-premise installations as well as expand the development of proprietary algorithms for customers across key sectors. It listed energy, chemistry, automotive, mobility, healthcare, enterprise technology, finance and government.

Aspect was one of three winners of the Nobel Prize for physics in 2022, along with John Clauser and Anton Zeilinger, “for experiments with entangled photons, establishing the violation of Bell inequalities and pioneering quantum information science”, according to the citation. His experiment, 40 years ago, was the first to demonstrate quantum entanglement – a fundamental part of the emerging technology of quantum computing.

Nicklas Bergman, advisor to one of the new investors, the European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund, said: “Pasqal’s innovation in the quantum computing space has made them an industry leader in Europe and globally. We are excited to be a part of their incredible growth and contribute to their lasting impacts.”

Pasqal said it will also use the funding to expand its global footprint. The company plans to open offices in the Middle East and Asia this year in addition to growing its existing operations in Europe and North America.

Pasqal plans to double its current team of 100 employees this year. “We are on a clear path to deliver a quantum computer capable of unlocking commercial advantage for our customers, and this latest investment round will help us reach this goal by 2024,” said CEO Georges-Olivier Reymond.

Other new investors are Wa’ed Ventures and Bpifrance, through its large venture fund. Continuing investors include Quantonation, the Defense Innovation Fund, Daphni and Eni Next, said Pasqal this morning.