Samsung and Mubadala back US quantum computing firm

IonQ will use the capital to make the technology more commercially accessible

Quantum computing company IonQ has secured $55 million (Dh202m) in a funding round led by Samsung Catalyst Fund – the venture capital arm of South Korean consumer tech giant Samsung – and Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Capital.

US-headquartered IonQ will use the money to make quantum computing more accessible to businesses and developers, the company said on Tuesday.

“This investment round marks a key milestone in our effort to make quantum computing commercially viable,” said Peter Chapman, chief executive of IonQ.

Quantum computing can perform complex calculations in seconds and solve mathematical and technical problems that would take traditional computers tens of hundreds of years.

While still at a theoretical stage, Google recently stated its quantum computer model in development will be 100 million times faster than any conventional computer in its labs.

“We are building a future where quantum computers will be available to developers in fields from finance to manufacturing, to pharmaceuticals,” said Mr Chapman.

Recently, IonQ built the largest quantum computer to date,which sets performance benchmarks that no other computer of its kind has been able to match.

This latest round of funding brings the company’s total amount raised to $77m.

IonQ secured $22m in earlier funding rounds in 2015 and 2017 from US venture capital companies New Enterprise Associates, GV (founded as Google Ventures) and Amazon Web Services.

“While we are in the early innings of this industry, we believe that the ground-breaking work of the IonQ team will position the company as the leader in developing commercially viable quantum computers in the near-term and beyond,” said Alaa Halawa from Mubadala Capital.

Mubadala Capital is the financial investment arm of Abu Dhabi's strategic investment entity Mubadala Investment Company. On Monday, the company announced the launch of $250m worth of technology funds focused on the Middle East and North Africa.

Technologies such as the transistor, laser or mobile phone took years to evolve into innovations that have transformed the way we live, said Young Sohn, chief strategy officer at Samsung.

“Though it’s still early days, we see a similar revolution taking place with quantum computing, which is why we’re excited to work alongside the IonQ team,” he added.