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A quantum startup using synthetic diamonds to accelerate computing has raised $13 million in seed funding

- August 26, 2021 2 MIN READ
Quantum Brilliance co-founders
Quantum Brilliance co-founders Dr Andrew Horsley, Dr Marcus Doherty and Mark Luo.
Canberra-based computing science startup Quantum Brilliance has raised US$10 million (A$13m) in seed funding.

The investment into the Australian-German full-stack quantum accelerator startup, which emerged from The ANU’s research group in diamond quantum science in 2019, was co-led by the QxBranch founders’ and the CSIRO’s VC fund, Main Sequence, with other backers including CP Ventures, Investible, Jelix Ventures, MA Financial (formerly Moelis Australia) Growth Ventures Fund, R3I Ventures, and Ultratech Capital Partners.

The QxBranch founders’ consortium is a group of serial entrepreneurs and former Macquarie Bankers investing in advancing Australia’s sovereign capabilities including quantum computing, space and defence innovations and critical minerals. Shaun Wilson founded QxBranch, Australia’s first quantum computing applications company, as a spin out from his systems engineering company Shoal Group, before it was acquired by Rigetti Computing in 2019.

Quantum Brilliance uses synthetic diamonds to build quantum accelerators that do not require near absolute zero temperature or complex laser systems to operate like mainframe quantum computers. It is one of the few companies in the world to have solved a key challenge to the science and is already delivering quantum computing systems for customers to operate on-site today.

The startup is aiming to provide quantum accelerators the size of a lunchbox with over 50 qubits by 2025 to accelerate the adoption of useful quantum applications. Quantum accelerators can be deployed wherever classical computers are used ,such as satellites, vehicles, hospitals, and robotic systems.

The startup was CEO Dr Andrew Horsley, Chief Scientific Officer Dr Marcus Doherty and COO Mark Luo.

The trio invented novel fabrication techniques and processor architectures and have worked closely with innovative early adopters making their software products accessible for co-development.

Quantum Brilliance’s international partnerships extend into North America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific, working with governments, supercomputing centres, research organisations and industry leaders.

“We are tremendously appreciative of the trust our investors have in our capabilities to deliver on our R&D and go-to-market plans,” they said following the seed round.

ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt said he was delighted to see VCs backing breakthrough research commercialisation spin-outs from the university.

“If the University’s goal to create a billion-dollar company in the next five years is to happen, it will be through these joint efforts,” he said.

Shaun Wilson said they had experience with companies developing technology quietly until their breakout and then reaching significant valuations on the global stage.

“We are quietly confident Quantum Brilliance has all the foundations in place to be a globally significant company and to reshape the quantum computing industry,” he said.

The startup is now hiring for 20 roles including VP of Engineering and scientists, physicists, software engineers and control engineers to support the research, development, engineering, and production of the company’s quantum computing technology.