UPDATED 01:00 EDT / JANUARY 23 2023


Quantum computing infrastructure startup Welinq raises €5M pre-seed funding

Welinq SAS, a French startup that’s building quantum interconnects based on neutral atom technology, said today it has raised €5 million ($5.4 million) in a pre-seed round of funding.

The round was led by Quantonation, the first venture capital fund that’s dedicated to quantum technology startups, and saw participation from Runa Capital, the Paris Region, the French National Quantum Initiative, the French Banque Publique d’Investissement and the European Commission.

The startup is working to help scale up quantum computing through the use of its advanced “quantum memory technology,” which it says will serve as a kind of quantum communication infrastructure that will enable “quantum internet deployment.”

Welinq’s quantum memory-based interconnects are designed to entangle physically separated quantum processing units to interact with each other. They rely on photons synchronized with quantum memories to share quantum information and create entanglement between QPUs, which are the basis of all quantum computers. In this way, Welinq says, it provides the infrastructure necessary to increase the number of qubits that can be integrated with one another, enabling the development of more powerful QPUs than is currently possible.

The quantum memory interconnects facilitate the storage and on-demand release of quantum information. They work by leveraging laser-cooled neutral atom technology that has demonstrated 90% efficiency in storage-and-retrieval, a parameter that measures how much information is retained through the process. Welinq is now developing its first, highly efficient quantum interconnects that will be compatible and deployable with quantum communication infrastructures.

In addition to building more powerful QPUs, Welinq’s quantum interconnects will also enable the development of long-distance quantum information networks that can be used by geographically separated quantum computers to communicate with one another, the startup said.

Welinq co-founder and Chief Executive Tom Darras explained that quantum memories are the key missing piece of hardware that’s required to scale quantum technologies. “Not only must these devices be deployed on the market at the earliest, but they also need to show extremely high performance and robustness if we want them to truly impact industry and society,” he said.

Those sentiments were echoed by Quantonation Partner Christophe Jurczak, who said efficient quantum interconnects are a key pillar for the entire quantum infrastructure ecosystem that will accelerate the development of real-world applications. “The founding team has groundbreaking expertise and a clear path to be impactful,” he said.

Image: Pikisuperstar/Freepik

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