Investible's Jake Booker details why we backed Quantum Brilliance in their mission to make quantum computing accessible.
We’re pleased to announce our investment in one of Australia’s most visionary technology companies, Quantum Brilliance, as they seek to bring quantum computing into our everyday lives and unlock a new trajectory of quantum applications.
This is the very first investment from Investible’s Early-Stage Fund 2. With a new fund comes new opportunity – and through these investment notes, we aim to share insight into our investment thesis, rationale, and views on the opportunities in which we invest.
This AUD$13 million seed funding round was co-led by Main Sequence Ventures and the founders of QxBranch, Australia's first quantum computing applications company. The round also includes a strategic consortium of industry experts and investors, who will support the startup in achieving its ambitious targets and unlocking an incredible amount of potential for the future of computing.
A long-evolving relationship
We have been following the team’s traction for close to two years prior to our investment. While the vision to change the way the world engages with quantum computing has remained consistent, we witnessed the company evolve from R&D to making their first sale to a domestic supercomputing centre. This milestone placed Quantum Brilliance as one of few quantum companies globally to ever commercialise a product.Commercial milestones do not happen overnight, particularly when the product hurdles required involve legitimate invention rather than the typical innovation seen in the early-stage sector. As investors, understanding the sum of parts that contributed to this milestone is as important as the milestone itself. We look to identify whether the ‘recipe’ is replicable, and that the foundations for further growth are solid.In the current world of early-stage, speed is viewed as paramount. Speed however, is a function of distance, and time. While the potentially world-changing technologies Quantum Brilliance is building are exciting, the decision to invest cannot be made off potential and vision alone.Since we are not physicists, time was a material asset in our investment. As we witnessed the incremental evolution of the product, the team, and advisors – our conviction increased. Seeing the hustle, resilience, and operational capabilities of the team first hand as they executed formed our eventual decision to invest.
A vision to make quantum computing accessible
Quantum computing is projected to be one of the foundational technologies that will drive and contribute to the next stage of global innovation.
The first questions posed by those with knowledge of the sector however, are around whether a company might compete with the likes of Google, IBM, and the other computational power-houses working toward quantum supremacy: the mission of developing a quantum computer capable of solving problems no classical computer ever could.
These players, however, are seeking to displace the modern supercomputer. This is where the clear distinction in Quantum Brilliance becomes visible. Instead of entering this immensely competitive fray, they intend to centre themselves, primarily, on accelerating the capacity of classical computers. Their technologies are poised to compliment existing hardware stacks on the edge.
The team is focused on driving significant and accessible value to a much broader array of technologies, making the application relevant to the broader market. The kind of things that our everyday computers—laptops, satellites, vehicles, hospitals, and robotic systems—could leverage immediately.
Today’s quantum computing technology hosts a myriad of technological and scientific hurdles that must be overcome.
Existing quantum solutions are bound by both cryogenic infrastructure—in which the systems are necessarily housed—and complex laser systems. These two essential factors require size, significant infrastructure, and many people to maintain.
The temperature constraint is the first true hurdle that Quantum Brilliance have overcome, with their diamond-based technologies completely alleviating the requirements for any temperature adjustment, being able to operate at room temperature, and removing the need for these sizable laser systems.
This piece is foundational to the product, opening the door for miniaturisation of which will see the company’s Quantum Accelerators eventually sit at a size comparable to a small external hard-drive or graphics card.
Conceptually, what is involved in bringing a quantum computer to the scale required to be able to complement existing hardware is inconceivable to those not intimately familiar with the science and engineering involved. This is what Quantum Brilliance is working toward.
An elite founding team
The above synopsis does not do the complex nature of this problem justice. Two of the few that truly understand it are Quantum Brilliance Co-founders Dr Marcus Doherty and Dr Andrew Horsley.
Both are globally recognised experts in their fields and hold complimentary doctorates specifically addressing the software and hardware components of building diamond-based quantum systems. They are the true inventors of the technologies driving the company, and their collaboration uniquely positions the business to execute on their model.
The founding team is rounded out by Chief Operating Officer Mark Luo, who has been foundational in driving the commercialisation and applications of the product.
Complementing the core founding team sits an extensive strategic advisory board and team of globally reputable staff to which is growing materially, including with the recent addition of former IBM executive Mark Mattingley-Scott. With the round to finance the expansion of the team, deliver on the broader product roadmap, and expedite commercial efforts globally.
It is exciting to have a team and company the calibre of Quantum Brilliance as our flagship investment in our Fund 2. For Investible, it holds at its core all qualities we view as essential to an investment: an extraordinary founding team and vision, defensible technologies, and a goal to drive real impact globally.
See the open roles on the Quantum Brilliance team .
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