Are we ready for Venture Qapital?

From cnet and via Matt Liefer, comes news of a new venture capital firm, known as The Quantum Wave Fund. According to their website:

Quantum Wave Fund is a venture capital firm focused on seeking out early stage private companies with breakthrough quantum technology. Our mission is to help these companies capitalize on their opportunities and provide a platform for our investors to participate in the quantum technology wave.

The cnet article clarifies that “quantum technology” means “Security, new measurement devices, and new materials,” which seems about right for what we can expect to meaningfully commercialize in the near term. In fact, two companies (ID Quantique and
MagiQ) are already doing so. However, I think it is significant that ID Quantique’s first listed product uses AES-256 (but can be upgraded to use QKD) and MagiQ’s product list first describes technologies like waveform generation and single-photon detection before advertising their QKD technology at the bottom of the page.

It’ll be interesting to see where this goes. Already it has exposed several areas of my own ignorance. For example, from the internet, I learned that VCs want to get their money back in 10-12 years, which gives an estimate for how near-term the technologies are that we can expect investments in. Another area which I know little about, but is harder to google, is exactly what sort of commercial applications there are for the many technologies that are related to quantum information, such as precision measurement and timing. This question is, I think, going to be an increasingly important one for all of us.

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7 Responses to Are we ready for Venture Qapital?

  1. anon says:

    they definitely aren’t inspiring confidence with that website. they’ve misidentified their own advisory board; john doyle sure looks a lot like artur ekert.

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    • aram says:

      Yeah, it certainly doesn’t seem like what you’d want if your goal was to convince people to give you millions of dollars to invest based on speculative technology. But then we all said the same thing about D-Wave once.

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  2. rrtucci says:

    It’s also raining boson sampling papers. It’s all climate change.

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  3. John Sidles says:

    Classical computational simulation companies have been an enormously better investment.

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  4. I’d say the answer is yes :)

    An interesting fact I’d like to know is how many unsuccessful quantum technology companies have there been. D-wave has been successful at raising funds, but how many failed attempts to start a quantum computer company have there been. Anyone?

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    • Actually, I’d be very interested to know the answer to this too. I imagine there have been a few non-starters with people without QIP backgrounds thinking it was something they could do, but I’m not sure how many real attempts there will have been.

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