PASQAL, a leading French-based quantum hardware providers developing quantum processors based upon neutral atom technology, raised €100 million in Series B funding to bring the total amount raised so far to about €125 million. The round was led by new investor Temasek, a global investment company headquartered in Singapore with additional participation from the European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund, Wa’ed Ventures and Bpifrance, through its Large Venture Fund, and continuing investors Quantonation, the Defense Innovation Fund, Daphni and Eni Next. This investment is the largest private quantum fund raise that has occurred in Europe so far.

The company will be using the funds to accelerate its R&D efforts and increase production of its quantum systems. They intend on producing a 1000 qubit processor in the short term and will also be offering systems to HPC centers for on-premise installation. They will also use the funds to expand their sales and support activities with plans on opening offices in the Middle East and Asia. Last year they opened up offices in both Canada and the U.S. to help promote and develop new applications for their processors. Overall the company intends on expanding its employee base from the current 100 people to roughly 200 people by the end of this year.

The company’s quantum technology is a little different from many of the other quantum hardware company because they focus almost exclusively on utilizing the system in what is called analog mode rather than the more common gate-based digital mode. This mode allows a user to flexibly configure the atoms on the chip to better represent the particular problem to be solved. For example, if a user were simulating a graph structure problem they could position the atoms on the chip in a way that mimics the structure itself. Similarly for a computation chemistry problem, a user could position the atoms to mimic the bonds of the atoms in the molecule. Although this approach may not be able to universally solve all potential quantum problems, PASQAL believes that this approach will allow their users to achieve commercial quantum advantage in 2024, earlier than what most people believe will be possible with the gate-based digital machines. PASQAL has provided their own software called Pulser and Pulser Studio that allows users to program their processor. Other companies that have been working with analog mode include QuEra and Silicon Quantum Computing. The PASQAL neutral atom processors would also be capable of executing gate-based programs at some point, but that has not been their focus so far.

The company has already engaged in a large number of customer and partner collaborations including those with Crédit Agricole CIB, BASF, BMW, Siemens, Airbus, LG Electronics, Johnson & Johnson, Thales, University of Chicago, CINECA and others. They have also agree to provide two of their quantum processors to HPCQS, a consortium for European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking. Access to the company’s processor is currently available through OVHCloud, a leading European cloud provider with more cloud announcements expected later this year for availability on Microsoft Azure and other cloud systems.

Additional information about this latest investment is available in a press release posted on the PASQAL website here.

January 24, 2023