Why we invested in Phasecraft

We are delighted to be backing Phasecraft in the largest seed funding round for a UK quantum computing company as they announce a new quantum algorithm breakthrough.

I’ve spent long enough working with emerging technologies to know just how rare it is for internationally renowned scientists at the very top of their field to step back from their academic career and instead focus decisively on real-world application of their research.

It is a bold move. And one that we at Episode1 are excited to back. Here’s why:

We are bumping up against the ceiling of Moore’s law. As classical computing chips reach physical limits, the exponential increases in computational power that we have been enjoying for decades will soon be a thing of the past.

If we want to tackle the complex challenges of our time — like better battery storage, more efficient solar cells, even new drug discovery — we could really do with the help of more powerful machines. Today, we could fill hundreds of football fields with classical computers, running for hundreds of years, and still not accurately predict exactly how a new drug molecule will behave.

Quantum computing could be the answer. This technology is perfectly suited to complex simulation and modelling.

Deep pocketed tech companies have poured resources into building the hardware: quantum computers. And they have made great strides in the last few years. Quantum machines are emerging with ever more power and stability. The critics who claimed that quantum would never move out of the theoretical realm have largely been silenced. And while there are still major challenges ahead, we can now see a way forward.

This quantum hardware, however, will be practically useless unless and until a quantum algorithm layer is developed.

Phasecraft is developing algorithms and software that push today’s quantum hardware beyond experimental demonstrations and towards useful applications. Their work could accelerate the application of quantum computers by years, if not decades.

The UK has long been home to the very best scientists and continues to sit at the top of global rankings for high impact research. The Phasecraft founders, Toby, Ashley and John, are among the best of them and have spent decades leading quantum research teams at UCL and University of Bristol.

Having founded a deep tech company and invested in many, I see in this team the unique combination of grit, vision, technical brilliance and practical good sense needed to build a pioneering company.

We are proud to be backing Phasecraft, alongside LocalGlobe, UCL Technology Fund and Parkwalk Advisors, as they break new ground in quantum software.

More information on their recent breakthrough here: https://physics.aps.org/articles/v13/s159

Further coverage: https://fortune.com/2020/12/10/u-k-tech-startup-quantum-computers-exotic-materials/


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