Singapore quantum start-up founded by Dr Joe Fitzsimons raises $18.1m

31 Mar 2023

From left: Dr Si-Hui Tan and Dr Joe Fitzsimons. Image: Horizon Quantum Computing

Founded in 2018, Horizon Quantum Computing is also planning to open its first European office in Ireland with a new engineering centre to expand global operations.

Horizon Quantum Computing, a Singapore-based start-up founded by Irish scientist Dr Joe Fitzsimons, has announced today (31 March) that it has raised $18.1m in Series A investment.

On a mission to “unlock the power of future quantum computers” according to Fitzsimons, Horizon equips software developers with tools to take advantage of quantum technology through “abstraction and automated algorithm synthesis”.

Essentially, the company is building a system for quantum software development that enables developers to bridge the gap between classical code and quantum-accelerated applications.

Founded in 2018, Horizon demoed its integrated development environment at Q2B in Silicon Valley a few months ago and announced that it will launch an early-access programme this year.

“Quantum computing has the potential to completely change how we think about computing,” said Fitzsimons, who has nearly two decades’ experience in quantum computing and holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford.

“While getting to large scale quantum computing is a daunting challenge, it is undeniable that progress towards that goal is being made. The new investment will support our effort to break through the barriers to useful quantum computation.”

The latest funding, led by previous backers Sequoia Capital India and SGInnovate, comes at a time when Horizon is set to open its first European offices in Ireland, where it is building out a new engineering centre and recruiting software engineers in Dublin to expand global operations.

Other backers of the round include Tencent, Pappas Capital and Expeditions Fund.

Pieter Kemps, who is a partner at Surge, Sequoia’s early-stage focused investments effort, said that unlocking quantum computing for millions of developers is “no small feat”.

“Wouldn’t it be amazing if any developer could develop quantum algorithms with little to no prior quantum experience? This is the future that Horizon is enabling,” Kemps said.

“We believe in Joe’s product vision around abstracting the underlying quantum physics to enable developers to create quantum software with ease, and we have been hugely impressed by the technological breakthroughs that the team has achieved in a short period of time.”

Fitzsimons co-leads Horizon with chief science officer Dr Si-Hui Tan, who holds a PhD in physics from MIT and has also been involved in quantum research for nearly two decades.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic