French Start-Up Quandela Raised €15 Million to Create The First Photonic Quantum Computer
In November 2021, the French leader in quantum photonics Quandela has raised €15 million from the deeptech investment fund Omnes, the Defence Innovation Fund managed by Bpifrance, and quantum technology dedicated fund Quantonation. With this operation, Quandela hopes to bring the first photonic quantum computer online in 2022.
€15 million raised after only 4 years of existence. Founded in 2017 by Research Director at the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (the CNRS and University of Paris-Saclay laboratory) Pascale Senellart, Dr. Valerian Giesz and Dr. Niccolo Somaschi, Quandela’s technology is a major technological breakthrough. While an ordinary computer handles bits language, a quantum computer uses qubits. The technology developed by the start-up, based on a single photon source of unparalleled quality and efficiency, allows this quantum computer to increase faster in power, without enduring inherent brakes of other technologies (ions, superconducting).
This is the type of computer Quandela hopes to make available this year. “This fundraising will enable us to accelerate the structuring of the team and the investment in new equipment to achieve our objectives with a first step: the availability in the cloud of the first complete optical quantum computer in 2022” said Quandela cofounder Valérian Giesz.
Quandela, a global player in photonic quantum computing
The French start-up, as one of the global leaders in photonic quantum, has already developed Prometheus, the first photonic qubit generator in the world. “In just a few years Quandela has established itself as a key player in the development of photonic quantum computing” comments Valérian Giesz. Quandela now sells products to companies and research centers throughout the world: in Italy, in Australia, in Austria, in the Netherlands, … Through this fundraising, the deeptech investment fund Omnes, the quantum technology dedicated fund Quantonation, and also the Defence Innovation Fund managed by Bpifrance, bring altogether their support to the company’s growth for photonic quantum computer development. The last fund of the list, the Defence Innovation Fund, further demonstrates Bpifrance and the government’s ambitions to finance and to participate in the development French deeptech innovations.
The Defence Innovation Funds intends to guide the growth of innovative firms
Created in 2020 by the French Ministry of Armed Forces and managed by Bpifrance, the Defence Innovation Funds aims to foster the development of innovative companies whose dual technologies are relevant for the defence sector, through investments in equity and quasi-equity. The fund therefore contributes to the emergence of new important actors on a national and European scale. This investment in Quandela “shows the collective ambition to participate in the rise of quantum technologies, to make France one the major actor of this industry of the future”, said Nicolas Berdou, investor at Bpifrance. French President Emmanuel Macron indeed wants to place France on the world podium in this field. Through the Quantum plan, announced in January 2020, the French government has granted a budget of €1.8 billion over five years in the sector. “On quantum technologies, France has a unique worldwide ecosystem. Choosing not to invest in it would have been a huge, missed opportunity” concludes Quandela cofounder Valérian Giesz.