Quantum Machines adds Qualcomm Ventures to investor list

Nissim Ofek, Itamar Sivan, and Yonatan Cohen
Quantum Machines founders (left to right) Nissim Ofek, vice president of R&D; CEO Itamar Sivan, and CTO Yonatan Cohen. (Ilya Melnikov, Haaretz)

Less than two months after announcing a $50 million Series B funding round, Israel-based Quantum Machines revealed Tuesday that Qualcomm Ventures has come on board as an investor through an extension of the Series B round.

The exact amount of the investment was not disclosed, but comes as the start-up has big expansion plans as it looks to raise the profile of its cloud-based, full-stack quantum computing orchestration platform and universal programming language. 

The investment also represents the first funding foray by Qualcomm Ventures, the financing arm of the leading wireless industry innovator, in the quantum computing space. Along with Samsung Next as another Series B investor, Quantum Machines now has affiliations with two of the most significant players in the 5G evolution.

It’s still hard to envision when and how quantum computing and 5G will converge in the future, but Quantum Machines CEO Itamar Sivan told Fierce Electronics, “Ten to fifteen years ago, we were all speculating which industry AI/ML would impact most, and today it’s clear that there isn’t a single industry that has not been enhanced through AI/ML applications. I believe that quantum computing will have the same potential to improve every sector across the board.”

In addition to its traditional wireless interests, Qualcomm Ventures also has invested in companies focused on AI, automotive, IoT, consumer and enterprise and cloud. 

“When we look towards the future, we believe quantum computing will be an important technology that redefines many industries such as AI, Cybersecurity and Cloud,” said Boaz Peer, senior investment director, Qualcomm Ventures, Europe and Israel, at Qualcomm Israel Ltd.

Pitchbook noted last month that funding for quantum computing companies has soared this year, with more than 30 different deals putting close to $1 billion into the sector in 2021. More quantum computing companies also are making plans to go public through mergers with special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) and other models. IonQ recently made its debut on the NYSE, and Rigetti & Co. earlier this month made a deal with SPAC Supernova Partners to go public in the near future.

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