Salesforce makes first quantum investment, backing Q-CTRL

Global quantum software provider Q-CTRL has announced Series B-1 funding of $27.4m, with participation from Salesforce Ventures

According to data from private capital market tracker Pitchbook, the new investment in Q-CTRL brings the total Series B raise to over $52m — the largest round secured yet by a quantum software company.

Along with Salesforce Ventures, other new investors include Alumni Ventures, ICM Allectus, Mindrock Capital, former General Dynamics partner Bill Lightfoot, and ex-international rugby player and Australian business leader John Eales.

Existing investors include Airbus Ventures, Data Collective, Horizons, Main Sequence Ventures, and Ridgeline Partners.

Via its expanded funding, Q-CTRL aims to double down on its global tech and product engineering, as well as investing in sales and marketing capacity.

Additionally, the quantum software company plans to scale its team from 80 to around 120 in 2023, across offices in Sydney, Los Angeles and Berlin.

Q-CTRL, founded in Sydney in 2017, currently caters for over 8,000 users across its product portfolio and achieved over $15m in bookings between its quantum computing and quantum sensing divisions in 2022.

“Our technical and product achievements are exceptional, and it’s thrilling to see such broad adoption of our products from some of the largest and most important technical and enterprise customers,” said Michael J. Biercuk, CEO and founder of Q-CTRL.

“With the world’s largest team of experts in quantum control and error suppression, we’ve established ourselves as the leading provider of some of the most important technology in this sector. Today’s additional validation from the investor community — especially while capital raises have been difficult to assemble — is a huge boost for our mission and ambition to truly make quantum technology useful.”

Robert Keith, managing director at Salesforce Ventures, commented: “Q-CTRL’s technology stands head-and-shoulders above the rest of the industry in tackling the most foundational challenge in quantum computing.

“Q-CTRL’s products are essential for enterprise adoption of quantum computing, and their use of AI is delivering critical insights across hardware platforms that no one else can match.

“With their additional leadership in pioneering quantum sensors, we came to see Q-CTRL as one of the most consequential businesses in the sector for their ability to deliver value through quantum technology.”

Value-add for enterprises

Global research bodies McKinsey and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) have identified outsized impacts from enterprise adoption of quantum computing and sensing, with estimates approaching $850bn in projected value creation.

McKinsey cites over $3bn in venture capital investment in quantum computing as of June 2022, and has found that quantum technology is the second largest sector for tech investment into Australia.

Heather West, research manager at IDC, commented: “Hiring teams of specialists can be risky and expensive. Q-CTRL’s frictionless quantum infrastructure software has a shallow learning curve and allows CIOs and CTOs to become quantum ready today reducing enterprise risk.

“Q-CTRL anticipates that with its software, enterprises will be able to leverage the skills of their current IT developers to easily develop, optimise, and execute quantum algorithms, and obtain high levels of performance on any given hardware at a low net cost.”

>Read more on IDC’s findings around quantum computing, here.


Oxford Ionics secures £30m in funding towards UK quantum innovationOxford University-based start-up Oxford Ionics has secured £30m from investors including Arm founder Herman Hauser, to boost further quantum innovation in the UK.

How quantum computing is helping businesses to meet objectivesJohannes Oberreuter, data scientist at Reply, spoke to Information Age about how quantum computing is helping businesses to meet objectives.

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.