CBA, Telstra back $50 million Series A in Silicon Quantum Computing after it set out to raise $130m

- July 25, 2023 2 MIN READ
Silicon Quantum Computing founder Michelle Simmons
Silicon Quantum Computing founder Michelle Simmons
Silicon Quantum Computing (SQC) has trimmed its sails in an increasingly austere venture funding environment after setting out to raise $130 million, instead banking $50.4 million in a raise backed by existing investors the Australian government, Telstra, the Commonwealth Bank and University of NSW.

Despite a dearth of capital, investors nonetheless saw opportunity in the Series A, with its valuation more than doubling from $82.8m a year ago to $195.3 million post-raise. The deal took 13 months from when it was first announced.

SQC launched in May 2017, and operates out of laboratories at UNSW. Six years ago it raised $83 million in a Seed round from UNSW, Telstra, CBA, and Australian and NSW governments. The federal government has around a one-third stake , having now invested around $40 million, including $25 million in 2017.

The quantum startup was founded by physicist Michelle Simmons and 12 months ago announced it had developed the world’s first integrated circuit manufactured at the atomic scale. The circuit, which operates as an analogue quantum processor, gives SQC the ability construct quantum models for a range of new materials, including pharmaceuticals, materials for batteries, and catalysts.

SQC is also developing a ‘full stack’ quantum computer.

The Series A funding will allow SQC to continue developing its proprietary technology to meet its second watershed technical milestone – a 100-qubit quantum device – and had hoped to build a capital runway to 2028.

SQC Chairman, Stephen Menzies said last year as computing startup went on the hunt for funds that they are on track to deliver useful commercial quantum computing by 2028.

Last month SQC published the paper  “A solid-state quantum microscope for wavefunction control of an atom-based quantum dot device in silicon” in Nature Electronics.

The startup has now merged three different atomic-scale assets simultaneously in a breakthrough that creates a distinctive solid-state quantum microscope to map qubit wave functions, enabling them to realise optimal device designs to create programmable quantum processors.