- Salesforce Ventures becomes a new investor
- Wallabies legend John Eales also supported Q-CTRL
- A record A$74 million was raised in Series B
Quantum software startup in Sydney Q–CTRL has raised US$27.4 million (A$39 million) in an expansion of its Series B
Several new investors joined Q–CTRL’s cap table, including Salesforce Ventures, the VC branch of the American software giant. Other new investors include Alumni Ventures, ICM Allectus, Mindrock Capital, former General Dynamics Vice President Bill Lightfoot and World Cup winner former Wallabies captain John Eales.
Existing lenders Airbus Ventures, Data Collective, Horizons, Main Sequence and Ridgeline Partners also participated.
Q-CTRL raised US$25 million (A$35m) 14 months ago in the first tranche of its Series B, led by Silicon Valley-based Airbus, bringing the total in the round to $74 million, the largest among quantum software companies, according to to Pitchbook data. Local VC Square Peg led 2019’s Series A of $22 million.
Salesforce Ventures’ support comes as the company cuts 10% of its workforce, closes its Sydney office, and makes Australia’s chief executive, Mike Ferrari, redundant. The VC now manages its Australian investment portfolio of 17 startups from its US headquarters.
Robert Keith, CEO of Salesforce Ventures, said Q-CTRL’s technology “stands head and shoulders above the rest of the industry” in addressing the most fundamental challenge in quantum computing.
“Q-CTRL’s products are essential to the enterprise adoption of quantum computing, and their use of AI delivers critical insights on hardware platforms that no one else can match,” he said.
“With their additional leadership in breakthrough quantum sensors, we came to see Q-CTRL as one of the most important companies in the industry for their ability to deliver value through quantum technology.”
University of Sydney professor Michael J. Biercuk founded Q-CTRL in 2017 as a pioneer in the quantum infrastructure software segment. The startup’s quantum control infrastructure software for R&D professionals and quantum computing end-users delivers the world’s best performing error correction and suppression techniques and offers a unique opportunity to accelerate the path to the first usable quantum computers and quantum sensors.
Q-CTRL also built the world’s leading edtech platform for quantum computing, Black opalthat allows anyone to go from zero to programming real quantum computers in minutes a day.
Team grows 50%
Professor Biercuk plans to use the funding to double his technology and product engineering capabilities and invest in sales and marketing capabilities. He hopes to grow the team from 80 to about 120 this year, with offices in Sydney, Los Angeles and Berlin.
Q-CTRL has more than 8,000 users and generated more than $15 million in bookings between its quantum computing and quantum sensing divisions by 2022. It counts Xerox PARC, Capgemini and Transport for NSW among its customers.
“Our technical and product achievements are exceptional, and it is exciting to see our products so widely adopted by some of the largest and most important technical and business customers,” said Biercuk.
“With the world’s largest team of quantum control and error suppression experts, we have established ourselves as the leading provider of some of the industry’s most important technologies. Today’s additional confirmation from the investor community – especially as capital raises have been hard to come by – is a huge boost to our mission and ambition to make quantum technology truly usable.”
Biercuk explained that quantum computers promise huge strategic advantages for business users struggling with difficult computational challenges, from finance to pharmaceuticals.
“However, quantum computers cannot deliver on their promise because the hardware is prone to errors and instability, making it the Achilles’ heel of the field.”
“Q-CTRL has developed a unique technology that improves the utilization and performance of quantum hardware by addressing the existential problem of hardware failure.”
IDC, the US global market information agency, analyzed Q-CTRL’s emphasis on expanding performance and usability without the need to invest heavily in understanding new, complex software.
IDC Research Manager Heather West said hiring teams of specialists can be risky and expensive.
“Q-CTRL’s frictionless quantum infrastructure software has a shallow learning curve and enables CIOs and CTOs to become quantum ready today, reducing business risk,” she said.
“Q-CTRL expects its software to enable companies to leverage the skills of their current IT developers to easily develop, optimize and run quantum algorithms and achieve high levels of performance on a given hardware at a low net cost. ”For more information about Q-CTRL, visit: