Quantum computing software startup Classiq Technologies Ltd. announced today that it has expanded its Series B funding round to $49 million thanks to a new investment from Canadian-Israeli venture capital firm Awz Ventures.
The company previously announced it had raised $36 million in its Series B through investors including HSBC, NTT Finance and Intesa Sanpaolo. The additional $13 million added by Awz Ventures today brings the total to $64 million. Classiq said this makes it one of the best-funded quantum software startups in the world.
Classiq has created a unique platform that enables developers to build quantum algorithms and applications more easily. The company says it can help build extremely complex, optimized, and hardware-aware quantum circuits and algorithms that developers would find difficult to create themselves. Users can then analyze, tune, and maintain the quantum algorithms and circuits they create to perfect them for a range of workloads including quantum optimization, machine learning, finance, chemistry, and more.
In addition to the development of quantum software, a second focus of Classiq is on scaling the entire talent pool in the industry. Earlier this year, the startup introduced its Classiq Coding Competition, which offers rewards for developers who can use its tools to create the most efficient quantum circuits.
Classiq’s latest round may not be huge, but it shows investors’ willingness to continue investing early in what many believe will ultimately become a transformative technology across numerous industries. The company said its platform has already attracted a lot of interest from customers in the financial, automotive and pharmaceutical sectors.
According to Classiq, many companies have recognized the fact that quantum computing hardware is evolving rapidly and the path to business value is now shorter than expected. At the same time, these companies are aware that there are only a limited number of developers in the world who have the skills to program quantum computers and get results from them.
Co-founder and chief executive Nir Minerbi said he expects investments in quantum computing to bear fruit within just a year or two.
“Quantum computing can add significant value to the global economy because it can be a game-changing differentiator: from moonshot projects like curing cancer to everyday problems like optimizing shipping routes and balancing personal stock portfolios,” he said. “Investing in quantum today is comparable to investing in the internet in the 1980s. Getting into quantum technology today is inexpensive, and the cost of not being quantum ready is potentially huge. Companies and countries that don’t invest in quantum will be left behind.”
Analyst Holger Mueller of Constellation Research Inc. said Classiq’s round is further evidence that quantum computing is evolving rapidly in terms of hardware, platforms and software. As a result, he said, a race is evolving among startups hoping to provide developers with tools they are reasonably familiar with to help them build quantum solutions.
“Developers need a high-level, productive coding platform that abstracts the hardware it runs on so they can easily deploy code artifacts,” Mueller said. “Developer speed is fast becoming a very important factor for quantum platforms, so vendors like Classiq are well positioned to pioneer this new era of computing.”
To accelerate this goal, Classiq plans to grow its research and development team from 50 to over 100 employees by the end of next year. It will also open new local offices in Europe and Japan, which are two of the countries where it is seeing corporate interest. Already this year, Classiq has established notable partnerships with Amazon Web Services Inc. and Nvidia Corp. forged that focus on quantum experimentation and accelerating the path to quantum advantage.
“Classiq’s vision is impressive, coupled with a clear business plan that leverages the commercial potential of quantum computing today,” said Yaron Ashkenazi, Founder and Managing Partner of Awz Ventures.