PARIS, June 8, 2021 — Pasqal today announced it has raised €25M in Series A funding. The round was led by Quantonation and the Defense Innovation Fund, managed by Bpifrance on behalf of the Defense Innovation Agency (AID), with Runa Capital, Daphni and Eni Next participating and includes previously announced commitment by the European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund. The funding will be used to advance the development of Pasqal’s analog and digital quantum processors, strengthen its applications co-design approach, build its Quantum Computing as a Service hybrid cloud offer as well as initiate international expansion.
Building on the long-time excellence of the French academic research in the field of cold atoms physics, Pasqal is already strong of 25 quantum engineers and technicians at the forefront of the emerging quantum industry. In Pasqal’s processors, neutral atoms are manipulated with laser light with exquisite precision to realize quantum processors on-demand with high connectivity and at unprecedented scale, above 100 qubits and towards the 1000 qubits threshold. Pasqal has been developing the full computing stack, from atomic qubits to software tools for efficient operation and incorporation into major third-party programming environments. One quantum computer is already in operation and 2 more are in construction. Pasqal has established partnerships for application co-design with High Performance Computing communities in Italy (CINECA) and France (GENCI), as well as with partner startups and end-users such as utility EDF and financial institutions.
Florence Parly, French Minister of the Armed Forces, said : “The Ministry of the Armed Forces is pleased to support the development of Pasqal through the first investment of the new Defense Innovation Fund. This fund supports the growth of French technological champions with dual applications (civilian and military). With one of the world’s most renowned research teams, Pasqal will be among the leaders in Quantum Computing in the future. The applications of their technology in defense are multiple and some highly strategic.”
Dmitry Galperin, partner at Runa Capital, said: “Pasqal’s Quantum Processor is based on the arrays of neutral atoms interacting in a Rydberg state. This approach is different from the ones pursued by incumbent players like IBM or Google, but we believe it provides the fastest path for scaling to thousands of high fidelity qubits and achieving quantum advantage for a variety of practical applications.”
Pasqal is building quantum processors out of neutral atoms ordered in large 2D and 3D arrays, with the purpose of bringing practical quantum advantage to its customers, in particular in the fields of quantum simulation and optimization. Pasqal has been founded in 2019 by Georges-Olivier Reymond, Christophe Jurczak as well as Prof. Alain Aspect, the father of the 2nd quantum revolution, Dr. Antoine Browaeys (recently awarded the silver medal of CNRS in France) and Dr. Thierry Lahaye from Institut d’Optique / CNRS. It is based in Palaiseau and Massy in the South of Paris, France.
Quantonation is the first venture capital fund dedicated to quantum technologies and innovative physics. Areas such as material design, high-performance computing, cybersecurity or ultra-precise detection are now driven by innovation based on these disruptive technologies. Quantonation aims to support their transition to marketable products for the industry. Quantonation is headquartered in Paris, France, and has invested in 13 quantum startups worldwide.
Bpifrance finances companies – at each stage of their development – with credit, guarantees and equity. Bpifrance supports them in their innovation projects and internationally. Bpifrance also ensures their export activity through a wide range of products. Consulting, university, networking and an acceleration program for startups, SMEs and mid-cap companies are also part of the offer for entrepreneurs. Thanks to Bpifrance and its 50 regional offices, entrepreneurs benefit from a close, unique and efficient interlocutor to support them and face their challenges.
About the Defense Innovation Agency (AID)
Created on September 1, 2018, the Agency was born of the strong desire of the Minister of the Armed Forces to place innovation at the core of the Ministry’s transformation. The Agency, in close collaboration with the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA), federates all the actors of the Ministry of the Armed Forces and all the actions contributing to defense innovation. It implements the Ministry’s innovation policy, guides strategies, coordinates and lead the work performed by the staff, directorates and services. The AID manages innovation support systems and cooperates with public and private partners on an international scale.