Check out the pitch deck that persuaded Tencent to back quantum computing startup IQM's $46 million fundraise

  • Finnish quantum computing startup IQM has raised a $46 million Series A funding round led by MIG Fonds and backed by Chinese tech giant Tencent.
  • IQM is planning to launch a commercial quantum computer in 2021. 
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Investors are piling into quantum computing, as the futuristic technology edges closer to reality.

Finnish quantum computing startup IQM has raised a €39 million ($46 million) in Series A funding. The company is seeking to continue Europe's impressive record in the space and is planning to launch a commercial quantum computer in 2021.

IQM is aiming to deliver on-premises quantum computers for research laboratories and supercomputing centers.

The promise of quantum computing is that it could be considerably more powerful than traditional computing, enabling humanity to solve major challenges around climate change, drug discovery, and other fields. As yet, the technology is comparatively nascent, because it is difficult to scale.

For industrial customers, the Espoo-based startup uses a co-design strategy to deliver quantum advantage based on application-specific processors, using novel chip architectures and ultrafast quantum operations. In short, a computer which can quantify vastly unpredictable datasets at speeds never previously thought possible.

MIG Fonds led IQM's funding round, with participation from all existing investors including Tesi, OpenOcean, Maki.vc, Vito Ventures, Matadero QED.

New investors Vsquared, Salvia, Santo Venture Capital, and Tencent, also joined the round.

European quantum leadership is a key priority, according to IQM's CEO and cofounder Dr Jan Goetz.

"This is extremely important for Europe and also for the rest of the world, that Europe takes a leadership position in quantum technologies," he told Business Insider. "This means technology and also thought leadership. Not many know that Europe is home to some of the best quantum talent in the world and we have invested decades of research in this area." 

Germany is investing significant resources into quantum computing while Finland plans to buy one of Europe's first commercially available quantum computers. The UK government is contributing a smaller amount into its own quantum research. 

According to PitchBook data analyzed by Business Insider, investors have backed 53 quantum computing firms globally in 2020 so far, with about 22 based in Europe. The total raised by quantum computing startups so far this year is estimated at around $550 million.

IQM's funding was completed remotely for the most part with some in-person meetings. IQM arranged video calls with investors to see the company's offices and labs in Finland as well as a live stream into its quantum computing data center in Espoo. 

"We believe that our unique co-design approach is one of the efficient ways to solve real-world problems using a quantum computer," Goetz added. "A significant part of the funding will also be used to attract and retain the best global talent in quantum computing, and to establish sales and business development teams."

Check out IQM's pitch deck below:

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