Classiq raises additional funding for its quantum algorithm design tools –

Located in Tel Aviv ClassicA startup looking to make it easier for developers to build quantum algorithms and applications today announced it has raised additional funding for its service by adding HSBC, NTT Finance and Intesa Sanpaolo as new investors to its Series B round of $33 million, bringing the round to $36 million and the company’s total funding to $51 million.

While this isn’t a massive round of expansion, it’s worth a closer look as it shows how these new strategic financial services investors are investing early in quantum computing and Classiq’s ability to make building quantum software easier.

“In this round, it was important for us to get strategic funding – money is important, funding is important and this is our way of scaling up – but strategic partners are important in this market too. The common thing for all these strategic investors is that they see quantum computing as an important part of their IT strategy,” Classiq CEO Nir Minerbi told me.

The company now has about 40 employees and plans to scale that up to 80 soon. With both the quantum market in Europe and Japan growing rapidly, Classiq is now focusing its efforts on these geographic areas, in addition to the United States.

“We mainly sell our platform to companies and academia, but mainly to companies. So what we’re concerned with is where are the key markets for companies that are going to use quantum computing. If I had to name two, it would be Japan and Germany. You see a lot of Japanese companies like Toshiba, NTT, Hitachi and Mizuho – and so many others – opening quantum computer teams,” explains Minerbi.

Image Credits: Classic

Another point of attention for Classiq is scaling up the total talent pool. Earlier this week, the company launched its Classiq coding contest, which, for example, rewards those developers who can create the most efficient quantum circuits using the tools. Minerbi also noted that the Classiq platform is now being used at a number of universities, including Carnegie Mellon, to train the next generation of computer scientists.

It’s clearly still (very) early for quantum computing, but as Minerbi noted, many enterprises are now starting to think about how they can eventually integrate quantum into their overall IT strategy. While vertical markets such as finance, pharma, and automotive have long been interested in quantum, a number of cybersecurity firms are now also starting to explore how they could potentially leverage quantum computing (beyond the obvious focus on breaking existing encryption schemes

“Quantum computing has the potential to reshape the way we operate within the bank, such as options pricing and risk analysis, which would lead to greater efficiency and improvements to customer service,” said Steve Suarez, global head of innovation, global functions at HSBC. “We look forward to working with Classiq to further explore this technology.”