Briefing

Toronto-based Xanadu raises $32 million to build quantum technology

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Xanadu, which is trying to build a quantum computer using light particles to perform fast computations, had its round led by the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System. It’s also backed by Georgian Partners, Radical Ventures, Real Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank and Tim Draper, a billionaire who made early investments in Twitter and Skype. Xanadu is using the funding to commercialize its quantum technology. and from proof-of-concept projects with customers like the Bank of Montreal. It’s also offering software that allows customers to test quantum technology. (BetaKit)

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Talking point: Xanadu’s approach to building quantum technology separates it from competition; while many quantum computers require chambers for specialized chips to be cooled to just above -273.15 C to be usable, Xanadu—which uses a method at room temperature—is the only company to achieve light-based quantum effects on a chip. Seth Lloyd, an MIT professor who advises the company, said the firm still has some way to go before it can commercialize, including improving how much light it can “squeeze” from firing lasers. It’s doing so as tech giants like Google, Microsoft, Intel and IBM race to achieve “quantum supremacy” with their machines, which could solve problems that classical computers cannot.