The round was led by Bessemer Venture Partners with additional participation from Capricorn, Tiger Global, BDC Capital, In-Q-Tel and returning investors Georgian, OMERS, and Tim Draper. This follows previous investments in Xanadu of $45 Million USD. Xanadu, based in Toronto, Canada, is developing a photonic quantum processor and also provide the hardware agnostic Pennylane software package for machine learning and the Strawberry Fields package for developing algorithms for photonic quantum computers. They currently have a 24 qubit (or modes) computer available on a public cloud and have developed one with 40 qubits. Their plan is to develop a cluster that will provide up to 1 million qubits and achieve by networking multiple smaller chips together. You can view a Medium article that describes how they intend on doing this. Unlike some other quantum systems which use superconducting technology, Xanadu uses a photonic technology. As a result, they do not need to use an expensive dilution refrigerator to cool the system down to millikelvin temperatures, saving $100’s of thousands in manufacturing cost per machine. Most of the system can run at room temperatures, but they do use cryogenic photon detectors in their system that need to be cooled to a few kelvin degrees. But these can use a much cheaper cooling technology it doesn’t need to reach the millikelvin temperatures. PsiQuantum, which raised $150 million in additional funding last year, is also taking a similar approach by utilizing photonic technology to create chips and network them together to create a 1 million qubit machine. Both companies are having their chips manufactured at commercial semiconductor foundries. PsiQuantum is using GlobalFoundries, but Xanadu has not yet disclosed which one they are using. For more information about this investment, you can view a news release posted by Xanadu here.
May 25, 2021