Fundraising of 15 million euros for the first quantum computer from Quandela

On 16 November, Quandela, a leading French company in quantum photonics, raised 15 million euros from the investment fund Deeptech Omnes Capital, the Defense Innovation Fund managed by Bpifrance and designed by the Agence de l ‘Defense Innovation (AID) and the quantum technology fund Quantonation. This boost should enable Quandela to make the first complete photonic quantum computer available and open its access to an online cloud platform from 2022.

Earlier this year, Emmanuel Macron unveiled the € 1.8 billion plan to make France the world leader in quantum medicine. He trusted the report “Quantum, the technological shift that France will not want to miss” by Deputy Paula Forteza.

The challenge is great for France against American and Chinese competitors who have taken the lead. Thanks to French research, France can place itself among the leaders. All the countries that have embarked on this quantum race are planning to create a quantum computer, but it is the French company Quandela that is announcing the availability of the first complete photonic quantum computer.

Quandela was created in 2017 by Pascale Senellart (research director at CNRS and the Paris-Saclay University Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies Center and 2014 CNRS silver medalist), Valérian Giesz (engineer and physician in quantum optics) and Niccolo Somaschi (PhD in nanotechnology). In 2020, the company developed Prometheus, the first photonic qubit generator with wide applications, including quantum cryptography, quantum computers or quantum sensors. On this topic, Valérian Giesz, CEO and co-founder of Quandela, said:

»What limits the possibility of performing quantum calculation with a photonic device is the optical losses – ie the lost photons – which mainly take place at emitter level. However, our single photon emission technology is very efficient. It is our strength that justifies our ambitions in the calculation. “

Quandela is one of the French leaders in quantum technology, which should make it possible to achieve an unprecedented computing power. In this technology, the basic building block is not based on bits, but on qubits (quantum bits).

Bits on a standard computer can only take 2 values: 0 or 1, qubits can be in several values ​​at the same time. With this superposition it is possible to perform several calculations simultaneously and thus arrive at algorithms that are capable of solving the most complex problems. Ultimately, the goal is to create the universal quantum computer that could process gigantic masses of data and perform operations far beyond our imagination.

A quantum computer for 2022

It took more than 20 years of research at the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology to develop this unique technology in the world. This made it possible to develop an entanglement system from a chain of single photons contained in an optical fiber loop. Quandela offers companies and research centers various components (eDelight, 6-DMX, QShaper, QFiber, etc.), the collection of which has enabled the creation of a quantum computer prototype based on a high flux of single photons, available on the cloud in 2022, to promote broad access for research and its computer resources.

Valerian Giesz explained:

In just a few years, Quandela has established itself as a key player in the development of the photonic quantum computer. We are collaborating with several European universities within the framework of the European project ‘Photonic quantum sampling machine (Phoqusing)’, which was launched in September 2020. We also sell our components to companies and research centers around the world: Italy, Australia, Austria, the Netherlands … This fundraising will allow us to accelerate the structuring of the team and the investment of new equipment to achieve our goal with a first step: delivery in the cloud of the first complete optical quantum computer in 2022. “

Quandela is therefore today well positioned in the quantum market thanks to its technology based on a single photon source of unsurpassed quality and efficiency, which enables its computer to grow in power faster, without suffering from the inherent brakes, other technologies ( ions, superconductivity).

Niccolo Somaschi, Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Quandela explains:

Given the recent technological advances in the development of solid-state quantum light emitters, it is time to explore the full potential of this technology for large scale quantum computing. Quandela is one of the international technology leaders, with all the means to accelerate further development and integrate the necessary blocks to build computer platforms in a modular way. “

The Omnes Foundation led this round of funding. To Fabien Collangettes, Member of the Board of Quandela:

“Whenela brings together a world-class team and offers a major technological breakthrough in photonic quantum computers. Our financial support will enable the company to meet major new technological challenges and position itself as a European leader in the race for quantum benefits. ”

For Charles Beigbeder, founder of the Quantonation Investment Fund, in Quandala’s capital since 2020:

Quandela is part of this very small club of European deeptech companies that can revolutionize our technological universe. Utilizing the properties of the elemental component of electromagnetism, the photon, Quandela wants to produce highly scalable and high-performance quantum processors. “

The Defense Innovation Fund, managed by Bpifrance, also provided support to Quandela. Nicolas Berdou, investor at Bpifrance, says:

“Having supported the early stages of Quandela’s development, through our innovation funding schemes, it is a real pride to support the company’s growth with the Innovation Défense Foundation. This investment marks the collective ambition to participate in the development of quantum technologies to make France a major player in this sector of the future. “

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