Rigetti Computing, the quantum computing startup that is challenging industry heavyweights like IBM, Microsoft and D-Wave, today announced that it has closed a $79 million Series C funding round. The round was led by Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation from Franklin Templeton, Alumni Ventures Group, DCVC, EDBI, Morpheus Ventures and Northgate Capital.
Bessemer’s Tomer Diari and Veritas Software’s former CEO Mark Leslie will join the company’s board of directors.
Earlier this year, TechCrunch reported that Rigetti was looking to raise about $71 million in what — at least at the time — looked to be a down round. A Rigetti spokesperson declined to share any details about the company’s valuation in this round.
“This round of financing brings us one step closer to delivering quantum advantage to the market,” said Rigetti founder and CEO Chad Rigetti. “The company is dually focused on building scalable, error-corrected quantum computers and supporting high-performance access to current systems over the cloud. Rigetti offers a distinctive hybrid computing access model designed for practical applications.”
Rigetti currently offers its own cloud-based service for access to its machines, as well as through AWS’ Braket service, which is currently in preview. The company also recently won an $8.6 million DARPA award to build a quantum computer that outperforms classical computers.
“It’s hard to find an area where quantum computing won’t be tremendously valuable once quantum advantage is achieved,” said Jonathan Curtis, vice president and portfolio manager at Franklin Equity Group. “We believe that Rigetti is one of a select few leaders in this important emerging market with a strong combination of leading technology, an accomplished and focused team, and important commercial, government and go-to-market relationships.”
While quantum computing has long held a lot of promise, it’s actually starting to make real strides in the last few years, with various companies building working systems that aren’t quite powerful enough for most real-world use cases yet, but that show a lot of promise. Rigetti, maybe more so than others, has focused on these real-world use cases.
“Quantum computing will drive a paradigm shift in high-performance computers as we continue pushing the boundaries of science deeper into the realms of science fiction,” said Diari. “Quantum technology has the potential to unlock significant advancements in biology, chemistry, logistics and material science, and we believe that Rigetti provides the most immediate and clear path to a production-grade system in the market.”