Announcements, NewsBy Zander Farkas
One of my favorite parts of being a VC is the amount I get to learn from our entrepreneurs. For our latest investment, Quantum Circuits Inc. (QCI), I went back to school—six of them in fact. I spent time with leading scientists and researchers at Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Yale, Princeton and UCSB to conduct my diligence.
Quantum computing represents a phase change in computational power at a time when Moore’s Law has begun to break down. The applications of this type of computing power are myriad and bring the potential for major scientific breakthroughs. Quantum computing brings new tools to many fields, including materials science, biotechnology, and mathematics and economics, and we are confident there will be many uses of this technology that are not immediately apparent today, just as it would have been hard to imagine the iPhone when developing the first microprocessors.
In addition to the market potential of such a far-reaching field, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with Rob Schoelkopf and his team of researchers. Rob was previously the Director of the Yale Quantum Institute, where he ran the Schoelkopf Lab. Rob has been a professor of applied physics at Yale for more than 20 years and has published nearly 150 papers about quantum science. Our diligence made it clear that not only was the time right to invest in quantum computing, but also that we had found a singular leader in the space. The level of respect and admiration Rob’s peers, and even his rivals have for him is exceptional. One told us, “Rob is one of the great innovators in the space, and everyone who works with him is absolutely top-tier. With a team like that, magic coalesces and amazing things happen.” We don’t hear references like that often and, in this case, we heard it again and again.
In QCI, we found a great team, a tremendous market, strong progress towards the final product—everything a VC seeks out in an investment. The last piece of the puzzle was finding a partner on the capital side. We have a long history of investing with our friends at Canaan Partners, and Brendan Dickinson was excited to dig in. Through the process, we also got to know Bill Coughran and the team at Sequoia and, from there, a great investment syndicate was formed. In addition to our appreciation for both firms, I would also like to express my thanks to all those who took the time to help me learn more about the technologies that make quantum computing possible.
Congratulations to the QCI Team. We couldn’t be more excited to be involved with this next stage of your growth.
P.S. The New York Times ran an interesting article on the funding (missing a few key details!), which you can find here. Thanks to them for the photo in our header.
Full press release here.