QuEra announced it’s raised $17 million for a scalable, programmable quantum computer solution to take on computational tasks that are currently deemed impossibly hard. The firm has also completed the construction of its first 256-qubit device which will be soon accessible to customers across a variety of targeted sectors, including finance.
QuEra is focused on making significant advances in two key areas: increasing the number of useful qubits and enhancing their programmability. The company’s hardware uses arrays of neutral atoms where hundreds of atoms are cooled and then arranged by laser fields in a small vacuum chamber.
The quantum computing startup recently received a DARPA (US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) award and has already generated $11 million in revenue. Investors in the fundraise included Rakuten, Day One Ventures, Frontiers Capital and tech investors Serguei Beloussov and Paul Maritz among others.
“There is an enormous opportunity to make headway on some of today’s most critical –and presently impossible – problems that impact nearly every one of us,” said Alex Keesling, CEO of QuEra and co-inventor of QuEra’s technology. “With our first machine, we are excited to begin to demonstrate what quantum computers can do for humanity.”
Takuya Kitagawa, chief data officer at Rakuten, who led Rakuten’s investment in QuEra, said in a stateement. “QuEra will accelerate the quantum computing industry’s trajectory, making it a technology not of the future, but of today.”
The neutral-atom technology is based on the patented research of QuEra’s scientific co-founders, Mikhail Lukin, professor of Physics at Harvard, Markus Greiner, professor of Physics at Harvard, and Vladan Vuletic, professor of Physics at MIT. They are joined on the founding team by chip-scale optoelectronic control expert Dirk Englund, associate professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, Nathan Gemelke, as chief technology officer, and John Pena, a serial hard-tech entrepreneur.
The QuEra team is taking a stepwise approach where it will continue to boost the technology’s power while closing in on “universal quantum computers” with thousands of logical qubits.