IonQ’s leadership sees that within a few years the company could see sales of its systems tip into nine-figures, according to an earnings call. Broadly, the call also pointed to progress in shaping the quantum computing industry into a legitimate investment.
In the call, IonQ’s President and CEO Peter Chapman said that over the next two years, one or two system sales could push IonQ’s combined Total Contract Value — TCV — contract bookings over nine figures for 2021 to 2023.
He added that there were plenty of cautions that could shape that prediction.
“That said the Quantum industry is nascent, making it harder to predict which quarter particular sales contracts will land,” Chapman said. “As a result, we expect our contract bookings in the near-term to continue to be very lumpy.”
The company reported it tripled its 2021 contract bookings forecast in September, from $5 million to $15 million and eded with $16.7 million for the full year. The resulting $2.1 million in revenue for 2022 fiscal year was 31% above the earlier forecast of $1.6 million.
Chapman told investors the company plans to aggressively add to its sales staff, doubling its sales team and adding sales people in Europe.
The CEO offered a positive near-term outlook for IonQ’s business, seeing “significant upside” to the company in the next few years.
“We estimate full year 2022 bookings at $22 million at the midpoint,” he said. “This represents a $7 million or 47% increase over our original forecast, which we set out before going public and a 32% increase from our outstanding 2021 results.”
Quantum Chemistry for Sustainability
The company spotlighted a few potential use cases for quantum in the call. Hyundai, for example, is exploring using quantum computers to simulate battery chemistry for electric cars.
“This work has the potential to greatly enhance charging, discharging, durability, capacity, and safety of batteries,” said Chapman. “With electric vehicle adoption increasing all over the world, battery development is a critical component in the transition to a more sustainable mobility.”
He added: “The Hyundai project shows the natural progression of tackling increasingly complex molecules with these projects. We believe the experience we gained from manipulating molecules, and the new Hyundai partnership, will be broadly applicable in related fields such as drug discovery and materials development.”
Chapman suggested that the progress on developing use cases for quantum, as well as the financial momentum, is evidence that their Kevin Costner-inspired technology-first strategy is paying off.
“When I joined IonQ three years ago, the Board told me to ignore sales, ignore the competition, and ignore the press, just focus on building the world’s best quantum computer and bring it to market as quickly as you can,” said Chapman. “In some sense, a Field of Dreams approach. If you build it, they will come.”