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Pasqal Captures €100 Million in Series B Funding

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Pasqal SE, a France-based early-stage company that’s developing quantum-computing platforms based on laser-trapped arrays of neutral atoms, announced in late January that it had secured Series B equity funding of €100 million (US$110 million). The company said the financing—from a group led by the Singapore-based investment company Temasek, and also including the European Innovation Council, several venture funds and other investors—will be used to expand R&D efforts, build out production and expand globally.

Neutral-atom startup

Spun out of the Institut d’Optique of the Université Paris-Saclay in 2019, by a group including Alain Aspect, who shared the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics for his pioneering work on entanglement, Pasqal focuses on computers whose quantum bits (qubits) are trapped neutral atoms, in 2D and 3D arrays. The firm says it’s focused on bringing “a practical quantum advantage to its customers” that can “address real-world problems.”

In May of 2022 sold two 100-qubit analog quantum simulators to high-performance computing (HPC) centers in France and Germany, as part of a pan-European hybrid HPC-quantum development project. Longer term, the company believes that its neutral-atom platform “will deliver major commercial advantages over classical computers by 2024,” according to a press release accompanying the recent funding news.

More qubits for more places?

The company believes that its neutral-atom platform “will deliver major commercial advantages over classical computers by 2024.”

Pasqal says it will use the new €100 million in Series B money to speed up its near-term R&D efforts to build a 1,000-qubit quantum machine, and to create “fault-tolerant architectures” in the longer term. The company also plans to scale up production of some existing systems and to work on proprietary algorithms for customers “across key verticals” such as chemistry, health care and finance.

The firm also hopes the funding will help it boost its presence globally, from its current operations in Europe and North America. Pasqal expects to open offices in the Mideast and Asia during 2023, and also plans this year to double its number of employees (current 100).

“We are on a clear path to deliver a quantum computer capable of unlocking commercial advantage for our customers, and this latest investment round will help us reach this goal by 2024,” Pasqal CEO and cofounder Georges-Olivier Reymond said in a press release. “This funding round validates that neutral-atom technology is a premier platform for delivering real-world quantum applications, and we are proud to see its potential recognized by top investors.”

Publish Date: 02 February 2023

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