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Quandela to offer cloud photonic quantum computing; raises €50m funding


Credit: Quandela

Quandela, a European start-up specialising in photonic quantum computing, has announced fundraising from the French government and a new strategic partnership with Exaion, a subsidiary of the EDF Group, aimed at democratising the use of quantum computing. 

The company has also announced the delivery and installation of a quantum computer at OVHcloud datacenter, Quandela’s first industrial customer - demonstrating the use cases for industrial quantum computing systems.

Quandela secured more than €50 million from investors, the French government through the France 2030 Plan, and banking partners. New investors, Serena, Credit Mutuel Innovation, and the European Innovation Council Fund, has joined existing historical investors, Bpifrance.

Paul-François Fournier, Senior Executive Vice-President of innovation at Bpifrance, stated: “We're very proud to continue to support the growth of Quandela, which successfully opened Europe's first quantum computer production plant a few months ago. This support is a perfect illustration of the ambitions of Bpifrance's Deeptech plan: to encourage the rise of French champions driving breakthrough innovations in the coming decades." 

Quandela and Exaion recently announced a major partnership aimed at accelerating the democratisation of quantum computing. As part of this industry-focused collaboration, Quandela plans to produce three scalable quantum computers for Exaion to offer an extended cloud service. This service aims to deploy concrete use cases offering tangible value for user companies, such as the numerical simulation of the evolution of faults in industrial infrastructures, the simulation of combustion in thermal engines, or the optimisation of vehicle fleet trajectories.

For more information on Quandela and its use of single photon sources for quantum computing, take a look at this piece from last year’s P100 featuring Pascale Senellart, co-founder and scientific advisor at Quandela.

Industry collaboration

In March, OVHcloud announced its acquisition of a Quandela system, with delivery scheduled for the fall of 2023. Leveraging photonic technology developed by Quandela, the quantum computer installed at OVHcloud datacenter is modular and scalable. Equipped with a reconfigurable quantum processor, it is possible to upgrade the system by adding new modules to increase its computational capabilities. 

Three additional machines are currently in production at Quandela factory, with deliveries planned for 2024. Quandela is committed to increasing the number of industrial partners that harness their technology to develop algorithms for real-world use cases.

Jean Senellart, Chief Product Officer at Quandela, added: “We are grateful for the trust placed in us by the OVHcloud teams, and we are particularly proud that the first computer produced in our factory is destined for them. Our teams have successfully ensured a timely delivery and will closely oversee the integration process into business applications.”

Exaion also plans to recruit quantum and Artificial Intelligence experts as part of this partnership. In addition, Exaion's engineers, developers, and technicians could be trained by Quandela's teams to fully exploit the potential of quantum computing. 

Valérian Giesz, COO and Co-Founder of Quandela stated: "Quandela is delighted with this collaboration with Exaion, which will guarantee an increasing number of industries in Europe and North America access to quantum computing. We are convinced that this innovative offering, focused on the hybridisation between HPC and quantum, will allow the resolution of increasingly complex industrial use cases."

Exaion and Quandela aim to choose locations in innovation zones in Europe and North America, such as Sherbrooke and Shawinigan in Quebec, Canada, and Val-de-Reuil in Normandy, France, to deploy the three quantum computers.

François-Philippe Champagne, Canadian Federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and Member of Parliament for Saint–Maurice–Champlain, added: "This strategic union paves the way for the era of quantum computing and cloud technology in the Mauricie region, establishing a new pinnacle for economic development. Through cutting-edge solutions, Shawinigan becomes a playground for visionary industries, enhancing our competitiveness and propelling innovation."

Democratising access to quantum technology

While already established in Germany, Quandela now aims to solidify its position in North American and Asian markets. To meet these new challenges, the company plans
to increase its workforce in the coming months. The latest fundraising round represents a significant milestone for Quandela, enabling the acceleration of its growth and support for its international expansion. Quandela aims to strengthen its global presence with the objective of supporting an increasing number of industrial clients in utilising quantum computing to address ever more complex use cases.

Svetoslava Georgieva, Chair of the EIC Fund Board, Comments: “Quandela, as a major European player in photonic quantum computing, embodies the innovation and disruptive potential actively supported by the EIC. This investment reflects our trust in their capacity to bring about significant change and drive innovation in the global technological landscape.” 

Floriane de Maupeou, Senior Associate, Serena added: “The choice of photonics, combined with a full-stack quantum architecture, is the most promising approach we've seen to date. Quandela recently reached a new milestone by becoming the first player to have made qubits available in the cloud and to have sold the first machine to an industrial company. We are proud to support this world-renowned team in this phase of internationalisation and industrialisation.”

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