UCD quantum computing spin-out Equal1 receives major investment

5 Oct 2021

Equal1's quantum computer demonstrator, Alice. Image: Equal1

Just months after achieving a ‘major breakthrough’ in quantum computing, Equal1 has secured a multimillion-euro investment.

Equal1, a University College Dublin (UCD) spin-out, has received a multimillion-euro investment from Btov Industrial Technologies and Atlantic Bridge.

The latest funding injection brings the total capital raised by the silicon quantum computing company to more than €10m.

Atlantic Bridge is a long-time backer, while Btov has come on board as a new investor. The investment is also supported by current investors 808 Ventures and Enterprise Ireland.

With its latest funding boost, Equal1 said it will be able to focus on meeting the demand for affordable, compact and functional quantum computers. The company is targeting a first-generation production system within 24 months.

In May, the company said it was the first to demonstrate a fully integrated quantum processor unit (QPU) operating at 3.7 Kelvin, in what it described as a “major breakthrough” for the quantum computing industry. The QPU has been integrated into a quantum computer demonstrator called Alice, which has been operating continuously for 18 months at the company’s sites in Ireland and the US.

“The support of a new, extremely knowledgeable deep-tech investor in Btov, along with the continued support of Atlantic Bridge, will enable us to accelerate our development of a useful QPU and deliver on our vision of democratising quantum computing,” said Dirk Leipold, founder and CEO of Equal1.

Bringing tech to market

With this investment, Equal1 has appointed Btov partner Dr Christian Reitberger to its board of directors. “We are excited to be part of this journey with the impressive Equal1 team,” said Reitberger.

“Equal1 has a trajectory to create massively scalable quantum solutions for real applications without the need for an exotic new technology platform, leveraging existing semiconductor foundry processes to deliver quantum computing solutions that make artificial intelligence more efficient and sustainable.”

Gerry Maguire, Equal1 board member and general partner at Atlantic Bridge, added: “We have supported Equal1 from the very beginning and have been impressed and excited with what the team has achieved to date.”

“With this new round of funding, we are confident that the team can deliver on its exciting goals of bringing the technology to market,” he added.

Equal1 has research and development teams at NovaUCD in Dublin and in Silicon Valley.

The company, founded by Leipold along with Mike Asker and Prof R Bogdan Staszewski, is a spin-out from the UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. It was awarded NovaUCD’s spin-out of the year in March.

Equal1 has also recently appointed a scientific advisory board and added experienced tech entrepreneur Declan O’Mahoney as non-executive chair of its board of directors.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.