Quantum Engineering Firm Riverlane Finalizes £15M Series B to Support Useful Quantum Computing

Quantum engineering company Riverlane announced it has raised £15 million in a Series B funding.

The investment round was “led by Molten Ventures and included participation from simulation, high-performance computing (HPC), and artificial intelligence leader Altair and returning investors Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC), Amadeus Capital Partners and the National Security Strategic Investment Fund (NSSIF). Altair’s CEO and founder, James R. Scapa, will sit on the Riverlane board.”

The new investment substantially “increases Riverlane’s enterprise valuation and is expected to see the company through to cash flow break-even.”

The additional capital will be used “to accelerate the development of Riverlane’s operating system for error-corrected quantum computing, Deltaflow.OS.”

Error correction is “the defining technical challenge for quantum computing to achieve the scale and reliability to deliver its transformative potential.”

Riverlane claims it is already partnering “with many of the world’s leading quantum hardware companies, university labs and government agencies to build and implement Deltaflow.OS with various qubit types.”

The quantum computing industry is “forecast to create up to $850 billion in economic value in the next 15-30 years [Aug 2022, Boston Consulting Group].”

To deliver transformational new applications in fields “such as drug design, material science, aerospace and climate change, quantum computers will need to reliably perform a trillion high-speed operations without disruption.”

However, today’s quantum computers can still only “perform a maximum of a few hundred quantum operations before failure.” This is “due to the high error rate caused by the delicate nature of all types of qubits.”

For quantum computers “to become useful, it is critical to find a way to detect, diagnose, and correct quantum errors as they occur, so they can be scaled from a few hundred error-free quantum operations (QuOps) today to a trillion (TeraQuOps).”

This is “the number of operations required to execute most known quantum algorithms.”

To address the TeraQuOp challenge, Riverlane is “designing the qubit ‘Control’ and error ‘Decoding’ hardware and software. ‘Control’ and ‘Decode’ are the key components of Riverlane’s quantum operating system, Deltaflow.OS.”

In November 2022, Riverlane “demonstrated the world’s fastest Decode solution that allows Deltaflow.OS to support far larger numbers of qubits than previously possible.”

By the end of 2025, Riverlane will “develop its Decode solution into a chip-based ‘TeraQuOp’ decoder that can process up to 100TB of data per second – the equivalent of processing as much data as Netflix streams globally.”

To solve this problem, we must “design and engineer the dedicated chips that every quantum computer will need.” The UK “has a unique position in the world as a centre of excellence for quantum error correction and chip design and is the reason Riverlane is headquartered in Cambridge,UK.”

Riverlane founder and CEO Steve Brierley:

“Solving quantum error correction – one of the defining scientific challenges of our times – will enable quantum computers to accurately simulate the true complexity of nature. Armed with useful quantum computers, humans will enter the Quantum Age, where we go from slow trial and error to solve complex problems to an era of rapid design using quantum computers. We haven’t even begun to imagine the many ways such technology will positively transform our world.”

To tackle these challenges, Riverlane is partnering “with some of the world’s leading academic labs including the University of Wisconsin, Duke University, University of Oxford and University of Innsbruck, and over a third of the world’s quantum hardware companies, such as Infleqtion (formerly Cold Quanta), Qolab, Quera, Seec, Rigetti and Universal Quantum.”

To gain a better understanding of the transformative industry applications using error-corrected quantum computers Riverlane also partners “with enterprise leaders like AstraZeneca, Merck, Astex, Rolls Royce and Johnson Matthey.”

With offices in Cambridge, UK, Boston and San Francisco, the Riverlane team “has more than doubled over the past year to 100 engineers and scientists.”

A British Business Bank spokesperson said:

“The National Security Strategic Investment Fund (NSSIF) is a joint initiative with HM Government and is the Government’s corporate venturing arm for dual-use advanced technologies. NSSIF supports long-term equity investment to accelerate the adoption of HMG’s future national security and defense capabilities and the development of the UK’s dual-use technology ecosystem. The investment in Riverlane recognizes the company’s role as part of the UK’s world-leading quantum technology sector.”

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