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Welinq Closes €5 Million Pre-Seed Round

Welinq

Insider Brief

  • Paris-based Welinq closed a €5 Million financing round, which was led by Quantonation.
  • Welinq is developing quantum interconnects based on neutral-atom technology and has a goal to to deploy the world’s most efficient quantum memories.
  • Runa Capital also participated in the round.The Paris Region, the French National Quantum Initiative, the French Banque Publique d’Investissement (BPI) and the European Commission supported the round.
  • Critical Quote: “Quantum memories have been identified today as the key missing hardware for the scale-up of quantum technologies. Not only must these devices be deployed on the market at the earliest, but they also need to show extremely high performance and robustness if we want them to truly impact industry and society.” — Tom Darras, CEO and co-founder of Welinq.

PRESS RELEASE — Welinq, a Paris-based start-up developing quantum interconnects based on neutral-atom technology, has closed a €5 Million financing round to deploy the world’s most efficient quantum memories at industrial standard in quantum computing and quantum communication infrastructures.

This pre-seed round was led by Quantonation, the first VC fund dedicated to quantum technologies, with the participation of Luxembourg-based Runa Capital, and support from the Paris Region, the French National Quantum Initiative, the French Banque Publique d’Investissement (BPI) and the European Commission. This funding establishes Welinq as the world leader in quantum memory technology to scale up quantum computing and enable quantum internet deployment.

Tom Darras, Julien Laurat, Eleni Diamanti and Jean Lautier-Gaud – who had previously partnered in their academic careers – decided to join their forces and created Welinq to provide solutions to the scale-up of quantum computing. It rapidly came clear to their minds that interconnects are a privileged way to scale up quantum computing beyond the thousands of qubits range, the regime required to enable its full potential, while also being the core element of long-distance quantum information networks.

The quantum memories developed by Welinq enable the storage and on-demand release of quantum information without altering its properties. By leveraging laser-cooled neutral-atom technology, the team has demonstrated with 90% the world record in storage-and-retrieval efficiency – a parameter indicating how much of the information is retained through the process without being lost on the way – with a qubit fidelity above 99%. The team is now developing its first product of highly-efficient quantum memory, which will be integrated, transportable and deployable in quantum computing and quantum communication infrastructures.

“Quantum memories have been identified today as the key missing hardware for the scale-up of quantum technologies. Not only must these devices be deployed on the market at the earliest, but they also need to show extremely high performance and robustness if we want them to truly impact industry and society. We are happy to be joined in this project by investors with strong expertise in quantum technologies and who are sharing our ambitions for the future of quantum technologies,” says Tom Darras, CEO and co-founder of Welinq.

The technologies developed by Welinq originate from two prestigious French laboratories in quantum technologies: the Laboratoire Kastler Brossel (LKB), a leading actor in fundamental physics of quantum systems, with a history of three Nobel Prizes and five CNRS Gold Medals; and the Laboratoire d’Informatique de Sorbonne Université (LIP6), a synergetic, multidisciplinary research center and France’s largest laboratory in computer science.

In this project, Welinq has gathered four public academic research institutions: Sorbonne Université; CNRS; PSL-University; and the Collège de France. Welinq’s team is now located in the Paris center, on the campus of Sorbonne Université which is hosting the R&D activities of the company. Welinq is in parallel incubated at Agoranov.

In less than a year, the team has managed to transform a technological achievement into a long-standing start-up project. In this path, the founders have been accompanied by Deeptech Founders, the CNRS Innovation RISE program and the Creative Destruction Lab. The project has been awarded the Grand Prix of the prestigious i-Lab French Innovation contest, won the French Tech Tour Invest 2022, and was selected as a Finalist of the Hello Tomorrow Global Challenge 2023.

“At Quantonation, we believe that the development of efficient quantum interconnects is a pillar for the whole quantum infrastructure and a path to accelerate real-world applications. The founding team has a groundbreaking expertise and a clear path to be impactful. We are excited to start this journey with Welinq,” says Christophe Jurczak, partner at Quantonation

Dmitry Galperin, a Berlin-based General Partner at Runa Capital adds: “When I first met Welinq’s team I was very impressed by their unique technology and the major impact that it can have on quantum computing scale-up. We are happy to stand with this founding team that gathers diverse backgrounds and a common strong ambition for the future of quantum interconnects.”

 

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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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