Samsung Elec backs U.S. quantum computing startup IonQ

2019.10.23 15:20:37

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Samsung Catalyst Fund, the venture capital fund run by South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co., invested an undisclosed amount in U.S. quantum computing startup IonQ.

The Maryland-based startup said Tuesday it raised $55 million in a funding round led by Samsung and Mubadala Capital, a sovereign wealth fund backed by the United Arab Emirates.

Samsung Electronics has been stepping up investment in quantum computing as part of efforts to seek new growth engines beyond its mainstay chip business. Earlier this month, Samsung NEXT Ventures, its investment arm, together with Flybridge Capital Partners and Crosslink Ventures invested $2.7 million in the seed round of Alsiro Technologies, a U.S. quantum computing startup.

IonQ said its total funds now reach $77 million with backing from investors including Amazon, Hewlett Packard Pathfinder, Airbus Ventures, ACME Capital and A&E Investment. It plans to use the funds to make quantum computing technology more accessible for corporations and lower the entry barrier for developers. It is seeking to make the quantum computers available via the cloud and create advanced programming systems to help commercialize the costly new technology.

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“This investment round marks a key milestone in our effort to make quantum computing commercially viable,” said Peter Chapman, chief executive of IonQ. “We are building a future where IonQ’s quantum computers will be available to developers in fields from finance to manufacturing to pharmaceuticals.”

“Foundational and revolutionary technologies — like the transistor, the laser, or the mobile phone — take years to evolve into innovations that transform the way we live,” said Young Sohn, chief strategy officer for Samsung Electronics. “Though it’s still the early days, we see a similar revolution taking place with quantum computing, which is why we’re excited to work alongside the IonQ team.”

Quantum computers are incredibly powerful machines that are millions times faster than today’s most advanced supercomputers. They are hailed as the next big breakthrough in data processing that could possibly open new opportunities in drug discovery, artificial intelligence, finance and many other areas that have a profound impact on daily life.

By Pulse

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