Photonic quantum computing provider Xanadu has raised $100 million in Series B financing. This funding would position Xanadu to achieve its next major milestone, the building of a fault-tolerant quantum computing module.
The round brings Xanadu’s total investment to date to $145 million. The latest round was led by Bessemer Venture Partners with participation from Capricorn, Tiger Global, BDC Capital, In-Q-Tel, along with returning investors Georgian, OMERS, and Tim Draper.
Xanadu was founded in 2016 to use particles of light for quantum computing to perform extremely fast and previously impossible computations at room temperature.
“The strong interest from VC firms to fund this Series B financing demonstrates significant market confidence in Xanadu’s photonic approach and our world-class team,” said Christian Weedbrook, founder and CEO of Xanadu. “We believe this confidence is grounded in the significant advantages offered by photonics: The ability to leverage preexisting foundries and off-the-shelf optical components, and the capability to naturally network photonic chips together to form a larger quantum computer with one million qubits.”
A quantum computer must include error correction and fault tolerance in order to handle major practical challenges. This equates to constructing a quantum computer with one million qubits, as well as other critical hardware specifications. A modular technique will be used to achieve this scale, with a number of smaller quantum devices networked together.
“This fault-tolerant module is the size of a few conventional server racks and will be the key building block to reaching one million qubits and to solving meaningful problems, leading to the opening up of a new global market,” said Mr. Weedbrook. “Photonics has the advantage that networking these modules together is achieved using light, which is already the medium of choice for our quantum computer.”
Open-Source Products: PennyLane and Strawberry
Xanadu has constantly doubled their qubit count over the previous few years and made their quantum computers available via the Xanadu Cloud – a photonic quantum cloud platform. They have also released two open-source software products: PennyLane, the hardware-agnostic and industry-leading standard for quantum machine learning; and Strawberry Fields, a full-stack platform for photonic quantum computing. Developers, clients, and scientific researchers can use these services to access the most cutting-edge computational tools to generate new algorithms and design new solutions for real-world challenges.
“Based on their impressive team and progress, Xanadu impressed us as the leading contender to develop the first commercially valuable, photonic quantum computer,” said David Cowan, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. “BVP is betting that in this decade quantum computers, like Xanadu’s, will make the conventional supercomputer look like an antiquated abacus.”