C12 Raises 18 Million Euros to Accelerate Its Unique Approach to Quantum Computing Development

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Insider Brief

  • C12 announces the closing of its second financing round of €18 million.
  • The company is a French spin-off of the Physics Laboratory of the École Normale Supérieure in Paris and a pioneer in the development of a carbon nanotube-based universal quantum computer.
  • The round includes lead investors Varsity Capital, EIC Fund and Verve Ventures and historical investors including 360 Capital, Bpifrance through its Digital Venture fund and BNP Paribas Développement.

PRESS RELEASE — C12, a French spin-off of the Physics Laboratory of the École Normale Supérieure in Paris and a pioneer in the development of a carbon nanotube-based universal quantum computer, announces the closing of its second financing round of €18 million. This marks a new step in C12’s development to accelerate the design of quantum processors. It brings together leading investors, Varsity Capital, EIC Fund, and Verve Ventures, as well as historical investors including 360 Capital, Bpifrance through its Digital Venture fund, and BNP Paribas Développement.

Didier Valet, Founding Partner at Varsity: “We are proud at Varsity to lead the new C12 round with a clear objective to build a large-scale, fault-tolerant quantum computer and to strengthen France’s position as a leading force in quantum space”.

Pierre Desjardins, CEO and co-founder at C12: “I am very happy to have prestigious investors on board to speed up our development. I am proud that C12 can count on an extraordinary team. Our ambition is the same as on day one: to become one of the quantum computing leaders of tomorrow.”

After raising $10 million in 2021, the startup has achieved a breakthrough in materials for building large-scale quantum computers. It has demonstrated both theoretically and empirically that its architecture – the closest realization of a single spin in a vacuum – reduces all sources of noise that affect the quality of the qubit. At the end of October 2023, the company inaugurated a unique first production line for quantum processors in the heart of Paris: the Quantum Fab. Equipped with several production workshops, including a cleanroom for semiconductor chips, this pilot line will enable C12 to produce its first quantum products.

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“Much like silicon laid the foundation for modern digital computing in the 1950s, we believe carbon holds the key to unleashing the extraordinary potential of quantum computing. We are immensely proud of C12’s pioneering achievements to date and are committed to supporting their efforts to turn quantum computing into a tangible reality,” said Nader Sabbaghian, Partner at 360 Capital.

“We are delighted to renew our support for C12, a company whose potential we are convinced of. Since we first invested in 2021, this startup has continuously enhanced its value proposition, unveiling last October their Quantum Fab, the first production line for quantum processors in central Paris. This round of new investors will enable it to accelerate its development,” stated Clémentine Cazenave, Senior Investor at Bpifrance.

C12 has also been selected for the Proqcima program, launched in March 2024 by the French Ministry of the Armed Forces with the French Secretary General for Investment. It aims to have two French-designed prototypes of universal quantum computers by 2032.

These achievements enable C12 to pursue its mission to design and build a large-scale, fault-tolerant quantum computer. Thanks to a unique approach focused on the very high quality of its qubits, the company intends to play a leading role in the emergence of quantum computing as a new technological frontier. With this in mind, this new round of financing will allow C12 to accelerate its R&D work to achieve a world-first that enables scalability: the first high-fidelity quantum operation on two distant spin qubits connected by a communication bus.

Matthieu Desjardins, CTO and co-founder of C12: “Our goal is to demonstrate long-distance entanglement between 2 qubits. This entanglement is at the heart of the quantum leap that will one day allow us to compute in a few seconds what today takes several years. This long-distance 2Q gate is therefore a major step forward in quantum technology.”

One of C12’s other main objectives is to accelerate industrial co-development partnerships, following initial agreements with French chemical and optimization companies.

Svetoslava Georgieva, Chair of the EIC Fund Board, said: “The EIC Fund is committed to identifying and supporting high-impact scale-ups that can create technological breakthroughs, while also driving job creation and economic advancement. We are very happy to participate in this financing round for C12, and to partner with its ambition to become, with its unique approach, the world leader in quantum computing”.

“C12 has a unique approach that has the potential to solve the major challenge of quantum computing at the core by changing the material of the qubit and leveraging its unique properties to develop a truly scalable hardware architecture,” said Xavier Mesnier, Principal at Verve Ventures.

Launched in 2020 by the Desjardins brothers, C12 is a pioneer in the development of quantum computers capable of tackling immensely complex computational tasks beyond the reach of today’s most powerful supercomputers. Using carbon nanotubes as the building blocks of its quantum processor, C12 introduces an ultra-pure material that minimizes errors and dramatically improves qubit quality. Today, C12 employs 45 people, including 22 PhDs and 18 nationalities, all driven by the same ambition: to make C12 a leader in quantum computing.

Alexis Lê-Quôc, Co-founder & CTO of Datadog: “I’m constantly amazed by C12’s innovations and their unique approach to building a quantum computer. Matthieu, Pierre, and their team are doing a fantastic job, and I am delighted to support them”.

Luc Vincent, CPTO @ Hayden AI & Formerly VP of AI @ Meta: “Quantum computing will drive a wave of innovation and new applications, from chemical simulation to artificial intelligence. I am confident that C12 will be at the forefront of this emerging field”.

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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