Quantum Motion breaks UK quantum investment record
Quantum Motion, a UK-based quantum computing scale-up founded by Professor John Morton, UCL, and Professor Simon Benjamin, Oxford University, has raised over £42 million in equity funding from some of the world’s leading quantum and technology investors. The oversubscribed round is led by Bosch Ventures (RBVC) and joined by Porsche Automobil Holding SE (Porsche SE) and British Patient Capital. All existing investors from earlier rounds (Oxford Science Enterprises, Inkef, Parkwalk Advisors, Octopus Ventures, IP Group and NSSIF) are again participating. This is one of the most significant raises in UK quantum computing and allows Quantum Motion to accelerate its development of silicon quantum processors by developing deeper ties with its manufacturing partners and trebling the size of its central London headquarters.
Quantum computers offer an opportunity for transformative computing power with the potential to disrupt sectors ranging from energy and pharmaceuticals to finance and logistics. Quantum Motion’s vision is to develop scalable quantum computers by harnessing highly advanced silicon transistor manufacturing processes. Over the last two years the company has made a series of peer-reviewed and record-breaking achievements that underline how silicon could be the fastest, most cost-effective and scalable way of producing the millions of qubits that are needed to create fully-functional, fault tolerant quantum computers[i].
Quantum Motion’s latest funding round brings the total raised to £62 million. The company has previously raised over £20m in equity and grant funding from the UK and EU and existing investors which have supported the company through its early-stage work and growth, enabling it to hit a sequence of milestones that demonstrate a clear path towards building quantum computers. It has designed and validated integrated circuits capable of generating, routing and processing signals at deep cryogenic temperatures, operating down to a few tenths of a degree above absolute zero. Recent demonstrations such as the mass characterisation of thousands of multiplexed quantum dots fabricated in a tier one foundry have further underlined the company’s advantage.
The company is renowned for it's strategy of building quantum processes on traditional silicon, which is potentially easier to scale than rival "trapped ion" structures. In an interview last year for intellectual property firm Mewburn Ellis, founder John Morton said: “There are all kinds of approaches to building a quantum chip. Some are based on exotic materials like superconducting qubits and majorana fermions. We are trying to make devices similar to silicon transistors, and use single electrons trapped within those silicon transistors as the qubit.”
“If you really want to scale this technology you will need to scale to millions of qubits. There are very few technologies that make millions of anything, with the exception of the silicon transistor. Our view is, if you can make qubits out of silicon, why would you do it any other way?”
Reactions to the investment round are as follows:
James Palles-Dimmock, CEO of Quantum Motion, said, “The support of leading technology investors enables us to realise our vision of a quantum computer built using standard foundry processes. This support, along with the continuing UK national quantum programme and European initiatives, provides a step-change in our capabilities. We have assembled a world leading team and with the funding and support in place, we are ready to scale and deliver on our vision.”
Ingo Ramesohl, Managing Director, Bosch Ventures, said, “CMOS based quantum computing leverages on today’s sophisticated chip manufacturing processes and fabs. Quantum Motion has demonstrated that it can take quantum theory out of a lab into the real world to create a scalable path to a quantum future. We’re excited to join the company and break new ground in the years to come.”
Lutz Meschke, board member at Porsche SE, said, “The approach of Quantum Motion has tremendous potential with respect to the cost-effective scalability and wide-spread deployment of quantum computing in many industries. We are looking forward to supporting one of the world’s leading teams in the development and industrialisation of this technology.”
Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO of British Patient Capital, said: “Quantum Motion blends sector expertise with a unique offering that is pushing the boundaries of quantum computing. Quantum computers will play an essential role in solving challenges that are far beyond the computational capabilities of today’s super computers. We are delighted to be investing in this UK deeptech leader via Future Fund: Breakthrough as the business continues to develop cutting-edge technologies.”
Chairman of the board Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli said, “Building a quantum computer using conventional silicon fabrication is a powerful advantage for Quantum Motion and one that has attracted interest from a collection of high-quality investors which will help us deliver our vision. I continue to back the company strongly both in my position as Chair and as an investor in the company and look forward to guiding Quantum Motion as we start the next phase in our growth.”