Rigetti announced today that they have acquired QxBranch in an all-equity transaction with the goal of expanding their full-stack capabilities at the application layer. Details of the financial terms were not disclosed. Michael Brett, CEO of QxBranch will join Rigetti as the Senior Vice-President of Applications and Dr. Ray Johnson, Board Chair of QxBranch, will join the board of Rigetti as an independent director.
QxBranch was founded in 2014 and had previously received $8.5 million of venture capital financing. They develop algorithms and software for quantum and classical computers, focused on predictive analytics, forecasting, and optimization and have facilities in Washington, D.C., Adelaide, Australia, and London, U.K. Rigetti Computing, based in Berkeley and Fremont, California develops and delivers integrated quantum and classical computing capabilities over the cloud and has received approximately $119.5 million of venture capital financing to date.
In an interview Michael Brett, described that Rigetti’s approach to the quantum market so far as one that was from the bottom up while QxBranch’s has been from the top down. Combining the two organizations will bring new synergies and presents a great opportunity for both companies. For QxBranch, this will provide the opportunity to have a tighter integration between the platform provider and the applications developer. For Rigetti, this will provide an increased level of access to end customers as well as a much broader geographic exposure as their company had previously been located only in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, they will be able to beef up their management, engineering, and business development staff with additional talent that has quantum experience.
One question that remains is how this acquisition will affect their relationships with other quantum platform providers and software developers. Michael Brett mentioned that a key attribute customers want to have is application portability and he will continue supporting other platforms. He also indicated that Rigetti will want to continue working with other software developers because no one company can cover everything. At this stage of the market, he felt that the best thing to do is to continue to work together with other applications developers to expand the quantum ecosystem.