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Phasecraft raises £13m to become the first to reach practical quantum advantage

Albion Capital has joined the latest funding round by Phasecraft along with existing investors including the UCL Technology Fund, which is managed by Albion in collaboration with UCL Business. 

Phasecraft, a startup led by leading academics from UCL and the University of Bristol, will use this funding to further develop its algorithms to the point of practical quantum advantage – when quantum computers outperform classical computers for useful real-world applications, accelerating the development of this technology from decades away to mere years.

Quantum computing promises to revolutionise the way humanity tackles its most complex problems. However, the noisy and unstable quantum computers of today are incapable of running the algorithms that currently exist to solve these problems. Based on the best quantum algorithms known prior to Phasecraft’s founding, a useful calculation like simulating and discovering a new battery material would require billions of operations on a quantum computer – today’s best-performing hardware can perform at most thousands. Significant recent investment in such hardware has seen it soar in capacity, but the algorithms needed to harness these advances have remained largely theoretical.

Phasecraft is bridging this gap. Its record-breaking algorithms have significant superior computational efficiency compared to others in existence, whilst its partnerships with the three most advanced superconducting quantum hardware providers in the world (Google, IBM and Rigetti) help put these algorithms to work in the real world.

Phasecraft’s early focus is on applying these algorithmic improvements to the discovery of new materials important for the clean energy transition. Phasecraft has already developed a software pipeline which delivers an improvement of 1,000,000x or more in modelling real materials compared with the best previous quantum algorithms.

Ashley Montanaro, co-founder and CEO of Phasecraft, said:

For all the advances that have been made in quantum hardware, and for all quantum computing’s promise, such progress could end up being for nothing if we can’t build the applications needed to make the technology truly useful. With our record-breaking algorithms and groundbreaking techniques, we are pushing the boundaries of what is possible in this space. We think practical quantum advantage is achievable in years, not decades.

David Grimm, a partner at Albion Capital, comments:

We’re delighted to be supporting Phasecraft again. They have made great strides towards utilising the power of quantum computers and I’m excited to see them use this latest financing round to push them further towards quantum advantage.