D-Wave Quantum systems gets $20 million more in funding and talks to Softbank about hundreds of millions

D-Wave Systems, the leader in quantum computing systems and software, announced that it has met the key conditions to lock in new funding of $20 million. In April 2017, D-Wave closed on the first $30 million tranche of convertible notes and received a conditional commitment from Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) for an additional $20 million. D-Wave has now satisfied all the key conditions to lock in the second tranche, which include fabrication and testing of a working prototype processor, and the installation of a D-Wave 2000Q system for a customer. The prototype processor uses an advanced new architecture that will be the basis for D-Wave’s next-generation quantum processor. The D-Wave 2000Q system, the fourth generation of commercial products delivered by D-Wave, was installed at the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab run by Google, NASA, and Universities Space Research Association.

D-Wave is talking with banks and big investors about raising hundreds of millions of dollars later this year as the company prepares to move into the public cloud.

D-Wave talked with SoftBank’s massive Vision Fund. Softbank is the type of investor that D-Wave would like to see participate. D-Wave’s Bo Ewald, President of International Business, had an interview with Nextbigfuture in November of 2017. D-Wave has been working on a 5000 qubit system now and will likely install it with a customer by the end of 2019. D-Wave has modifications to their architecture which COULD convert their annealing system into a general purpose quantum computing system. It will require more control over the qubits. It would still be annealing. It would be programmable and allow for multiple quantum programs at the same time and allow for repeatable answer runs. The general purpose annealing machine project would require several tens of millions in funding. If Softbank was involved with D-Wave then creating a general purpose quantum computing system would be affordable.

In 2017, D-Wave started selling the $15 million 2000Q, which has 2,000 qubits, twice as many as the prior version. By getting into the public cloud, D-Wave can start letting developers experiment with its technology in much more cost-effective ways. In a January report, Homeland Security Research predicted quantum computing will grow 25 percent a year through 2024, when it will reach $8.45 billion in products and services and $2.25 billion on government-funded research.

“The D-Wave 2000Q system is by far the most advanced quantum computer available today, and the only commercially available quantum device, on which customers can develop practical applications. The next generation processor will extend D-Wave’s considerable leadership in the development and manufacturing of quantum computing systems. The new prototype demonstrates our new architecture, with more densely-connected qubits that can represent more complex problems more efficiently. The design and fabrication of this prototype represent major advances in our capability to build the world’s most complex superconducting circuits, and we did it ahead of schedule,” said D-Wave CEO Vern Brownell. “We will use this funding to continue to deliver systems and software that provide real-world quantum computing today, and to push our technology forward.”

The achievement of this working prototype marks a critical breakthrough in the development of commercial quantum processors. D-Wave demonstrated functionality of all devices in the processor, providing key validation for all new features of the architecture including control circuitry, performance of the new qubit connectivity, and qubit properties. These results depended on significant advances in processor fabrication, none of which have ever before been available in superconductor fabrication at production scale.

The new capital will bring D-Wave’s total funding to approximately USD220 million, and enable D-Wave to bring its next-generation quantum computing system to market.