EeroQ Announces $7.25 Million Seed Funding Round For Its Helium Quantum Chip Design

Images: EeroQ

Insider Brief

  • The $7.25 million seed round is EeroQ’s first round of institutional funding after five years of R&D. Multi-stage investment firm B Capital’s Ascent Fund led the round.
  • The company’s approach is to build a large scale quantum computer using electrons on helium (eHe)
  • Among other advantages, company officials report its approach will be more compact — allowing for large-scale computers to be the size of a thumbnail — and highly scalable.

EeroQ, a quantum computer (QC) chip design company, today announced its first round of institutional funding after five years of R&D, a $7.25 million seed round led by multi-stage investment firm B Capital’s Ascent Fund, with participation from V Capital, Calibrate Ventures, Alumni Ventures, Unbound Ventures, and Red Cedar Ventures, according to a company statement.

B Capital Chair Dr. Howard Morgan and Senior Principal Morgan Polotan will join the board.

Quantum computers are the next generation of supercomputers, and may allow for breakthrough discoveries in key areas such as pharmaceutical development, material science, finance, and many other areas, according to the statement. Building a QC is a tremendous challenge, which has not been met by any company or academic institution thus far.

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EeroQ’s design offers the following key advantages to help bring QC to market sooner:

  • The building blocks (“qubits”) of EeroQ’s computer allow for our large-scale computers to be the size of a thumbnail as opposed to competitors which are the size of datacenters at full scale. This is because we use single electrons, the smallest particle in nature.
  • Scaling from one to thousands of quality qubits is made easier by our use of today’s standard fabrication process, CMOS.
  • EeroQ’s single electron qubits also offer potential for excellence in all quality metrics of QC power: long coherence times, all-to-all connectivity, and the ability for mobile qubits.

Electrons Liquid Helium Readout Storage Microchannels MicrowavesLong-term success will value both quality and quantity of qubits. Recent reporting from BCG illustrates why such metrics are important for building a powerful QC.

“Since our founding in 2017, we were always thoughtful in how we grew EeroQ, and now was the right time to find a top tier institutional capital partner. We didn’t want to rush what we believed was a special and unique product,” Nick Farina, EeroQ CEO said in the statement. “The small size of our devices allows us to be competitive with all other efforts in a dramatically more capital efficient way. Our system has far fewer moving parts than other types of QC designs, and that gives us a huge advantage in capital efficiency and time to scale.”

Farina said that the ability for EeroQ to raise funds in the current uncertain economic environment may underscore the importance of quantum, economically and politically.

“Given the macroeconomic environment, it true that it’s generally becoming harder to raise capital,” said Farina. “However, in our experience, there is a small but quickly growing group of investors (both VC and corporations) who recognize that quantum computing itself is not going anywhere and that it needs rapid funding. This is to fulfill both corporate goals and the interests of national security. Therefore, while raising capital is always hard, we think it’s a good time to be in the quantum computing space. We certainly aren’t dependent on revenue multiples!”

B Capital led the funding round from its first dedicated early-stage fund Ascent Fund II. Ascent closed in July at $250 million and aims to help global entrepreneurs lead the next wave of innovation through technology and digital enhancements.

“B Capital’s Ascent Fund is very excited to be able to invest in EeroQ, which is building with a different approach to QC than we’ve seen elsewhere in the market. It offers far greater scalability than other technologies, which, if achieved, would dramatically hasten our ability to solve giant real-world problems and improve the lives of people around the world,” said Morgan.

EeroQ has also emerged as a leading voice in the quantum computing industry for the early adoption of ethical guidelines in the development of such a powerful future technology. This effort has been led by EeroQ Co-Founder Faye Wattleton, an internationally known leader in board governance and public policy. EeroQ has developed research on ethical frameworks for responsible use beginning in 2018, and will continue to advocate for early ethical considerations.

“In many other technologies, governance has been an afterthought,” says Wattleton. “But in this field, we have a chance to engage in multidisciplinary ethical thinking ahead of major impact.”

Both Wattleton and Farina offered their perspectives on quantum ethics in TQI’s Quantum Ethics|A Call to Action video.

The funding announcement is the latest milestone for EeroQ, which recently added Princeton Electrical & Computer Engineering Professor Steve Lyon as CTO, and completed its 9,600 square foot state of the art lab in Chicago.

After choosing Chicago as its HQ, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said earlier this year that “Chicago is primed to become a major hub for quantum technology thanks to a number of notable investments which will have long term benefits for our entire region. Thus, in choosing to operate on Chicago’s West Side, EeroQ will not only be well-positioned to capitalize on the many opportunities that quantum technology will drive, but also help to revitalize communities in need.”

About EeroQ
EeroQ was founded in 2017 to build a large scale QC using electrons on helium (eHe). This type of QC was conceived as an idea design in the late 1990s, but was not feasible to build at the time due to technical limitations. Now, EeroQ has the team and tools in place to bring eHe to the forefront of the QC race, and help create early ethical and policy guidelines to maximize the positive impact of QC. EeroQ’s co-founders are Prof. Johannes Pollanen, Nick Farina, Faye Wattleton, David Ferguson, and Dr. David Rees. EeroQ’s core technology is patented and developed in partnership with Michigan State University. For more information, see our introductory video here, and for photos of our prototype chip and team, click here.

About B Capital
B Capital is a multi-stage global investment firm that partners with extraordinary entrepreneurs to shape the future through technology. With $6.5 billion in assets under management across multiple funds, the firm focuses on seed to late-stage growth investments, primarily in the enterprise, financial technology and healthcare sectors. Founded in 2015, B Capital leverages an integrated team across eight locations in the US and Asia, as well as a strategic partnership with BCG, to provide the value-added support entrepreneurs need to scale fast and efficiently, expand into new markets and build exceptional companies.

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Matt Swayne

With a several-decades long background in journalism and communications, Matt Swayne has worked as a science communicator for an R1 university for more than 12 years, specializing in translating high tech and deep tech for the general audience. He has served as a writer, editor and analyst at The Quantum Insider since its inception. In addition to his service as a science communicator, Matt also develops courses to improve the media and communications skills of scientists and has taught courses. [email protected]

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