Universal Quantum Computing Company IonQ Closes $55 Million In Funding

By Annie Baker ● October 28, 2019
  • Universal quantum computing company IonQ announced recently that it closed $55 million in funding 

Universal quantum computing company IonQ recently announced it has raised $55 million in funding led by the Samsung Catalyst Fund and Mubadala Capital. Founded by Jungsang Kim and Christopher Monroe in 2015, IonQ has raised a total of $77 million since launching.

With this round of funding, IonQ plans to use the investments to make quantum computing more accessible to businesses and lower the barrier to entry for developers. And the company plans on making its quantum computers commercially available via the cloud and developing next-generation systems for programming these machines.

IonQ’s trapped-ion approach is known for offering the most promise for making reliable and scalable quantum computing a reality. And recently, the company built the largest programmable quantum computer to date thus demonstrating performance benchmarks that no other quantum computer has been able to match.

“This investment round marks a key milestone in our effort to make quantum computing commercially viable,” said Peter Chapman, CEO of IonQ. “We are building a future where IonQ’s quantum computers will be available to developers in fields from finance to manufacturing to pharmaceuticals. We expect this to inspire a new generation of developers to build applications that will power the next wave of discovery.”

Quantum technology has been exciting investors since it is well-suited to solve optimization problems ranging from helping identify the best delivery routes for shipping companies to helping hardware designers produce more energy-efficient materials and batteries.

“Foundational and revolutionary technologies — like the transistor, the laser, or the mobile phone — take years to evolve into innovations that transform the way we live,” added Young Sohn, Corporate President and Chief Strategy Officer for Samsung Electronics and Chairman of the Board for HARMAN. “Though it’s still early days, we see a similar revolution taking place with quantum computing, which is why we’re excited to work alongside the IonQ team. Together, we can unlock the vast potential of this technology to address new opportunities in drug discovery, artificial intelligence, breakthrough materials, and many other areas that will have a profound impact on our way of life.”

By 2023, 20% of organizations are intending to budget for quantum-computing projects compared to less than 1% in 2018. And this rapid growth reflects a growing awareness that quantum computing will transform the way enterprises do business.

“Mubadala Capital’s ventures strategy seeks transformative technologies with the promise of disrupting traditional industries,” explained Alaa Halawa of Mubadala Capital. “As we have developed our understanding of the opportunity and challenges of the technology, we came to believe that trapped ions have the highest potential to deliver on the promise of a scalable general-purpose quantum computer. While we are in the early innings of this industry, we believe that the groundbreaking work of the IonQ team will position the company as the leader in developing commercially viable quantum computers in the near-term and beyond.”

The additional investors that participated in this funding round included ACME Capital, Airbus Ventures, Hewlett Packard Pathfinder, Tao Capital Partners, Correlation Ventures and A&E Investment LLC as well as previous investors Osage University Partners, New Enterprise Associates, GV and Amazon.

“We view quantum computing as an exciting opportunity to address advanced scientific applications at scale,” commented Paul Glaser, head of Hewlett Packard Pathfinder. “IonQ provides industry-leading qubit technology and complements our current architectural direction for Memory-Driven Computing as a service.”