Bleximo, a startup that aims to build “quantum accelerators” — basically quantum-based, application-specific integrated circuits — today announced it has raised a $1.5 million seed round led by Eniac Ventures. Other investors in this round include Boost VC, Creative Ventures, KEC Ventures and Gyan Kapur.
Instead of building a general-purpose quantum computer like IBM, Rigetti and others, Bleximo, which was founded by Cyclotron Road fellow and quantum physicist Alexei Marchenkov, wants to focus on building quantum processors that focus on very specific applications. Before founding Bleximo, Marchenkov worked at Rigetti Computing, where we worked on developing that company’s technology for general-purpose quantum computers.
“At Eniac, we believe general quantum computing is still far away, but Bleximo’s approach of building vertical quantum computing architecture will bring this nascent technology to the mainstream in a more practical way — much like vertical AI is here today before general AI,” said Vic Singh, founding general partner at Eniac Ventures. “We are excited to support founder Alexei Marchenkov, a recognized expert in quantum computing, and the Bleximo team to help build this reality.”
Right now, Bleximo is mostly looking at speeding up simulations of new materials and molecules for drug development. Quantum computing lends itself to solving these kinds of problems, though the company argues that its technology is just as applicable to solving problems in energy, finance, manufacturing and security.
Not everybody seems to agree that general quantum computing is all that far away, though, so it remains to be seen whether a real market for this kind of specialized quantum co-processors (Bleximo calls it a “qASIC”) will really develop, especially given that a quantum computer will also be some form of hybrid machine that combines classical and quantum computing. If it does, though, Bleximo seems well-positioned to capitalize on it, especially given that its technology will be a bit simpler (as far as one can say that about anything quantum computing) and won’t need the large amount of qubits with long coherence times that a general-purpose quantum computer would need.