Europe’s quantum startups, mapped | Sifted

Europe’s quantum startups, mapped | Sifted

The US and China have dominated the quantum sector — notably when it comes to quantum components — and significant corporations like IBM are nudging closer to achieving extra milestones, these types of as unveiling the first universal quantum computer with more than 1,000 qubits, expected some time this year.

But European startup underdogs could still leapfrog them. 

Very last thirty day period, French quantum computing startup PASQAL raised €100m after attaining a “world first” — functioning a calculation exactly where its quantum personal computer performed as well as a state-of-the-art classical personal computer.

Traders are eager to bolster Europe’s quantum sector. Previous yr, VC investment into quantum computing and processors much more than doubled — from $105m in 2021 to $257m in 2022. 

Europe even has a dedicated quantum fund from Paris-based VC firm Quantonation. And this February, Germany introduced a new €1bn fund for deeptech and weather tech advancement-phase businesses, which includes quantum.  

Which are the startups making quantum systems? Sifted drew on Dealroom’s data to map out 147 startups and scaleups, which are all non-public and Europe-headquartered. We’re aware that the checklist will not be entirely complete, so make sure you get in touch if you’re in quantum and are not highlighted.

Which place has the most quantum startups?

The United kingdom has the most startups doing the job on quantum technologies — 39  — followed by Germany with 18, and France and the Netherlands both equally with 15.

The market place

Of the 147 startups tracked by Dealroom that are working on quantum systems, 60 are specially wanting into quantum computing. 

Whilst classical personal computers use binary “bits” that exist both as or 1 to encode details, quantum pcs use infinitely more compact quantum bits (known as qubits) which can be both of those or 1 at the identical time. This means quantum computer systems can take into account additional combinations than classical pcs so can work out outcomes substantially more rapidly. For troubles so challenging that they could get traditional pcs years (or possibly permanently) to solve, quantum could unlock the responses. 

Today’s quantum personal computers can, nevertheless, only conduct calculations for a few seconds ahead of the qubits experience faults and break down. Some of the startups Sifted has mapped are seeking to produce quantum computer systems, processors and application which really do not experience these problems, by creating diverse qubits or improved methods to scale.

Some others are functioning on developments these kinds of as offering quantum-as-a-service for industries these as finance or on programs this kind of as biotech and pharma or technologies this sort of as lasers.  

The best funded quantum startups in Europe 

Here are the 8 European startups that have lifted the most dollars so much.

IQM Quantum Desktops

Past 12 months, Finnish quantum computing hardware service provider IQM lifted a hefty €128m round, led by local climate tech investor Earth Fund, cementing it as Europe’s best-funded quantum computing startup. Up in opposition to huge US providers like IBM and Google, the startup is centered on quantum computer system hardware. 

Though IQM’s cofounder and CEO Jan Goetz informed Sifted he does not feel quantum computing can clear up the weather disaster on its own, he does consider it can assist. 1 of the important prospective apps is acquiring a lot more productive batteries to swap the combustion engine, by more correctly simulating the way chemical processes do the job at an atomic degree.

McKinsey estimates that quantum computing could enable create technologies with the probable to abate 7 gigatonnes of CO2 a 12 months by 2035. 


Yet another chunky spherical was lifted this calendar year by French startup PASQAL. The corporation landed €100m in January to scale its quantum processing technological innovation. 

An image of the wiring of a PASQAL computer
A PASQAL laptop

The startup’s cofounder, Alain Element, won a Nobel prize for his get the job done on how lasers can great down atoms. This would make them steady sufficient to be helpful as containers of quantum facts (qubits). 

PASQAL is now making use of this investigation to build a quantum processor employing single atoms as the qubits, fairly than building them out of superconducting resources that will have to be manufactured. This could address a single of the most significant difficulties for quantum processors — scaling up the selection of qubits that can be utilized to resolve challenges. 

Terra Quantum

Although IQM and PASQAL are concentrating on building the components for quantum pcs, Swiss startup Terra Quantum delivers quantum-as-a-support. At the start off of very last yr, the business raised a $60m Sequence A to further more produce quantum algorithms that can optimise portfolios of collateral investments.

The startup’s CEO Markus Pflitsch suggests that in contrast to classical methods, Terra Quantum’s algorithm — which takes advantage of a hybrid tactic that brings together quantum and classical algorithms — was 10 instances faster. The startup is also operating on a pilot programme serving to a logistics company optimise the routes of fleets of vans, which could decrease CO2 emissions. 

Oxford Quantum Circuits

Yet another quantum-as-a-support startup is Oxford Quantum Circuits. The organization, whose quantum personal computers are commercially available by way of private cloud companies or Amazon Braket (Amazon’s quantum computing provider), lifted a £38m Collection A round last July. 

oxford quantum circuits

Lucy — Oxford Quantum Circuits’ eight-qubit quantum computer system, named soon after German quantum mechanics pioneer Lucy Mensing — debuted on Amazon Braket past February, generating it the very first European quantum firm working on Amazon World-wide-web Providers. Firms functioning in areas these as finance, pharma and logistics can accessibility Oxford Quantum Circuit’s personal computers.  

Alice & Bob 

Performing on the fault problem, French startup Alice & Bob lifted $30m final March to build a superconducting fault-tolerant “cat qubit” quantum laptop or computer. The startup named it just after the considered experiment Schrödinger’s Cat as it illustrates the paradox of quantum superposition — in which a quantum technique can be in multiple states at the exact same time. 

There are unique types of qubits staying created, with superconducting qubits the most superior so much. IBM and Google are also functioning on superconducting quantum technology. 

Peptone — The Protein Intelligence Company 

Whilst lots of applications of quantum are yet to be realised, Uk-based mostly biotech Peptone works by using artificial intelligence and quantum computing to ability drug discovery. Very last June, the corporation elevated a $40m Series A, which it suggests it will use to develop a study facility in Switzerland.   

Multiverse Computing 

A different quantum software corporation that statements to have a all set-built application is Multiverse Computing. The Spanish startup suggests it is producing quantum computer software for “extreme ideas” throughout verticals such as finance, energy, aerospace and chemistry. In December 2021, Multiverse Computing was awarded €12.5m in funding from European Innovation Council. 

Oxford Ionics 

Uk-primarily based Oxford Ionics is yet another startup trying to help manufacture quantum personal computers at scale. It elevated a £30m Collection A round this January to make quantum processors employing typical semiconductor chips. 

Oxford Ionics will work with trapped ion technological innovation — which consists of “trapping” single atoms in position making use of an electromagnetic industry. Though developers of trapped ion quantum personal computers generally count on high-priced and sophisticated laser techniques to regulate the trapped ions, Oxford Ionics employs an digital qubit manage technological know-how that can be integrated into a standard silicon chip. This makes it possible for the startup to manufacture its quantum processors at scale utilizing existing producing technology.

Steph Bailey is Sifted’s head of content and coproduces Sifted’s flagship podcast. She tweets from @steph_hbailey