Quantum computing: French start-up Pasqal merges with Qu&Co to create European leader

Pasqal seeks to develop a 1,000-qubit quantum computer. The merger with Dutch company Qu&Co should help it achieve this.

While the major world powers do not want to miss out on the quantum computing revolution, the startups that make up this nascent ecosystem are stepping up their efforts to become champions of the sector. This is especially the case for startup Pasqal, spearhead of quantum computing in France, which has just announced its merger with Qu&Co, a Dutch company specializing in the development of quantum algorithms and software. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The new entity will retain the Pasqal name as well as its head office in France. Georges-Olivier Reymond, the current head of the tricolor start-up, will remain at the head of the group, while Benno Broer, CEO of Qu&Co and vice-president of the European Quantum Industry Consortium (QuiC), will be named director. commercial. “Leveraging the services offered by our two companies will further strengthen Pasqal’s integrated solution across the entire value chain, resulting in near-term business benefits”said Georges-Olivier Reymond.

A 1,000-qubit quantum computer in 2023

Launched in March 2019 by Christophe Jurczak and Charles Beigbeder, also founders of Quantonation, a seed fund intended to get European start-ups specialized in quantum technologies off the ground, and by Georges-Olivier Reymond, the company Pasqal, spin-off from the Palaiseau Optics Institute , is seeking to develop a 1,000-qubit quantum computer. On the occasion of their merger, Pasqal and Qu&Co also set this deadline to 2023. To achieve this, the new group relies on the technology of neutral atoms, manipulated by lasers at room temperature, to perform calculations.

Thanks to this merger, Pasqal, which had raised 40 million euros in April 2021, gets additional means, both technological and commercial, to become a European champion in quantum computing. With Qu&Co in its fold, the startup in particular has access to a portfolio of prestigious clients, such as Airbus, LG, BMW and even Johnson & Johnson.

The merger between Pasqal and Qu&Co comes a week after the announcement of the launch of a national quantum computing platform in France. This aims to couple quantum machines to a conventional supercomputer to create hybrid systems capable of increasing performance tenfold to perform complex calculations. The first coupling of its kind is planned for 2023. The emergence of this platform is part of the national investment plan of 1.8 billion euros spread over five years, which the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, presented a year ago to make France to a world leader in quantum computing.

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