Quantum computing startup Diraq boosts Series A with an extra $23 million

- February 14, 2024 2 MIN READ
Prof Andrew Dzurak
Diraq founder and CEO Prof Andrew Dzurak. Photo Shaun Dougherty
Sydney quantum startup Diraq has raised US$15 million (A$23m) in Series A-2. 

The round was led by Paris-based Quantonation, the world’s first VC fund dedicated to quantum technologies. Also investing were John Higgins Family Investments and the University of New South Wales. The A-2 raise tops up US$20 million, led by Allectus Capital, when it was spun out of UNSW Sydney in 2022.

Diraq was founded by Andrew Dzurak, a professor in quantum engineering at UNSW. He led the team that built the first quantum logic gate in silicon in 2015 and the new mechanisms they’ve developed are the result of more than two decades of research. Diraq is a world leader in building quantum processors using silicon ‘quantum dot’ technology. The engineers found a new way of precisely controlling single electrons nestled in quantum dots that run logic gates.

Diraq plans to build a full-stack quantum computer that bypasses the current era of large, error-ridden systems and moves the industry directly to fault-tolerant computing.  The company’s spin-based technology in silicon has demonstrated qubit control with sufficient accuracy to allow for scalable error correction.

Professor Dzurak said the new funds will advance Diraq’s cutting-edge research and development initiatives.

“This new Series A-2 funding will be used to expand our team in Australia and launch in the U.S. as well as capitalise on our existing international partnerships,” he said.

“We are working closely with our foundry partners to drive qubit development based on tried and tested CMOS techniques coupled with our proprietary designs. We are focused on delivering energy-efficient processors with billions of qubits on one chip contained in one refrigerator, rather than thousands of chips and refrigerators requiring hundreds of square metres of space in a warehouse.”

Quantonation partner Will Zeng will join Diraq’s board, chaired by Diraq’s US-based William Jeffrey, former director of the US National Institute of Standards and Technology.

“The primary technical focus in the next 18 months will be on the development of a quantum chip through a standard semiconductor foundry,” Zeng said.

“This milestone will serve as a proof point, solidifying the viability of Diraq’s technology and propelling the company’s scale-up program aimed at constructing the most powerful quantum computers in the world.”

William Jeffrey said the raise shows international recognition of Diraq’s capabilities and potential impact.

“There is a key advantage to our technology which is based on modified transistors – the same components that are integral to our daily lives.,” he said.

“As one of the few global companies pursuing the goal of achieving millions of qubits on a single chip, we can leverage over 50 years and trillions of dollars of investment in the semiconductor industry.”

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