Phasecraft – a startup led by top academics developing world-leading quantum algorithms – has raised a £13 million Series A funding round led by Silicon Valley deeptech VC, Playground Global. 

AlbionVC also joined the round along with participation from existing investors Episode1, Parkwalk Advisors, LCIF, and UCL Technology Fund. 

Founded in 2019 as a spinout from UCL and the University of Bristol by Professors Ashley Montanaro (CEO), Toby Cubitt (CTO and Chief Science Officer) and John Morton, Phasecraft will use this funding to further develop its quantum algorithms to the point of practical quantum advantage – when quantum computers outperform classical computers for useful real-world applications like developing new materials.

Quantum computing promises to revolutionise the way humanity tackles its most complex problems. However, the noisy and unstable quantum computers of today aren’t capable of running the algorithms that currently exist to solve them.

Based on the best quantum algorithms known prior to Phasecraft’s founding, a useful calculation like simulating and discovering a new battery material would require billions of operations on a quantum computer – today’s best-performing hardware can perform at most thousands. 

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Phasecraft aims to bridge this gap by radically reimagining how such quantum algorithms are designed. Its algorithms are based on novel insights from theoretical physics and computer science, coupled with knowledge gained from extensive numerical simulations and a deep understanding of quantum hardware. 

It has partnerships with the three most advanced superconducting quantum hardware providers in the world – Google, IBM and Rigetti – and has published 17 scientific papers to date.

Phasecraft’s early focus is on applying these algorithmic improvements to the discovery of new materials important for the clean energy transition.

“For all the advances that have been made in quantum hardware, and for all quantum computing’s promise, such progress could end up being for nothing if we can’t build the applications needed to make the technology truly useful,” said Montanaro. 

“With our record-breaking algorithms and ground-breaking techniques, we are pushing the boundaries of what is possible in this space. With support from such a renowned deep-tech visionary as Playground, we think practical quantum advantage is achievable in years, not decades.”

Peter Barrett, general partner, Playground Global, added: “Phasecraft’s team of world-class quantum scientists and engineers bring an unmatched expertise and a fresh perspective to one of the biggest challenges facing our quantum future – bridging the gap between quantum hardware capacity and real-world applications. 

“At Playground, we’ve always believed that unlocking quantum’s potential requires a very special, dedicated and experienced team and we believe Phasecraft is uniquely positioned to help deliver our quantum future.”

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