July 8, 2024

Quantum Computing startup planqc raises €50 million

  • European Family Office CATRON Holding, DeepTech & Climate Fund, UVC Partners, and Bayern Kapital provide Series A equity financing.
  • planqc is on track to delivering a cutting-edge 'Made in Germany' quantum computer, leveraging Max-Planck-Institute's decades of pioneering research.
  • The funds will be used to expand the production of a cloud-connected quantum computer system and to develop software to support applications in various industrial sectors.

Munich, July 8, 2024 planqc, the European leader in digital atom-based quantum computing, proudly announces the securement of €50 million in financing. This substantial Series A investment is led by the European Family Office CATRON Holding and the DeepTech & Climate Fonds (DTCF). Additional financial support is provided by Bayern Kapital, the Max-Planck Foundation, further private investors, existing investors UVC Partners, and Speedinvest, and it includes a non-dilutive grant from Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Alexander Glätzle, CEO and co-founder of planqc, stated, "This latest investment round is a strong endorsement of our technology as a leading platform for quantum applications. The substantial backing places us in a perfect position to take on global competitors with our 'Made in Germany' quantum computers, targeting an emerging market valued at billions of euros."

planqc's unique technology, built on award-winning research at the Max-Planck-Institute for Quantum Optics (MPQ), aims for rapid advancement in the development of industry-relevant quantum computers. The new financing will be utilized to establish a quantum computing cloud service and to develop quantum software for applications in industries such as chemistry, healthcare, climate-tech, automotive, and finance. Today, planqc is already using quantum machine learning to work on climate simulations or more efficient batteries for electric vehicles.

Dr. Sebastian Blatt, CTO of planqc, explained the core of planqc’s technology: "Unlike most other companies, including Big Tech, we use individual atoms – confined in crystals of light – as qubits. This approach is the fast track to scaling the number of qubits and improving their quality, the prerequisites for being the first to deliver fault-tolerant quantum computers."  

Founded in 2022 by scientists from MPQ and Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich (LMU), planqc is located at the heart of Munich's Quantum Valley (MQV). Recently, the company has been commissioned to deploy a 1,000-qubit quantum computer at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre—one of the nation's premier supercomputing facilities—by the German Government. Moreover, planqc has secured a European tender to develop a quantum computer for the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

Dr. Torsten Löffler, Investment Director at DTCF, on the occasion, "We are thrilled to invest in a startup that not only leads in high-impact technology but also enables further breakthroughs in most pressing global computational challenges across various industries by offering access to the technology in form of a quantum cloud computing service. planqc’s impressive track record in securing contracts – in particular the DLR Tender – and public grants within just 18 months of operations underscores the company's role as a frontrunner in the quantum computing sector both in Europe and globally."

Prof. Immanuel Bloch, director at MPQ, added, "At MPQ, we have a strong tradition of supporting spin-offs from our institute and translating fundamental science to industry. planqc is the latest example and is based on our expertise in trapping, cooling, and manipulating cold atoms and molecules. In the future, we look forward to extending this collaboration."

The MPQ, in collaboration with planqc, already showcased the scaling of the number of neutral atoms utilized as qubits to 1,200. Reaching this industry milestone in qubit numbers paves the way for fault-tolerant – and therefore practical useful - quantum computers. Further scaling to 10.000 or even 100000 qubits is expected in the next couple of years. These systems will then be capable of tackling previously unsolvable problems.    

The computational power of quantum computers is poised to revolutionize the discovery of new materials and pharmaceuticals, address optimization challenges in fields like climate research, industry, and transportation planning, and usher in a new era of cryptography. Quantum machine learning will unlock unprecedented applications for artificial intelligence, while providing the scientific community with a wholly new understanding of the world.

Dr. Anna Christmann, Coordinator of the Federal Government for German Aerospace and Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Start-ups at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action: "The success story of planqc demonstrates that innovative research today can become the forward-looking companies of tomorrow, strengthening our long-term competitiveness. We are proud that our ongoing commitment to innovation-friendly frameworks and easier access to venture capital is bearing fruit, and we continue to work every day to improve the start-up ecosystem in Germany and Europe."

"Neutral atoms are currently on the fast track to achieving fault-tolerant quantum computing,” adds Hermann Hauser, representing the APEX Amadeus Technology fund, one of planqc's seed investors. “I am deeply impressed by planqc's rapid progress in this area. Securing over 50 million euros in contracts within 18 months and achieving Europe’s first 1200-atomic qubit array are remarkable milestones for planqc and Europe's tech sovereignty. I eagerly anticipate our continued collaboration in this pioneering field."

"Quantum computers are one of the technologies that can offer unforeseeable added value by facilitating or even enabling the discovery, research, and development of other future technologies. Examples include new medicines, sustainable battery technology, and climate simulations. Plancq's technologically promising approach coupled with the existing technological maturity convinced us," says Monika Steger, Managing Director of Bayern Kapital.

Benjamin Erhart, General Partner at UVC Partners, concludes, “The rapid progress of planqc since our initial investment is rooted both in planqcs scientific excellence as well as its capability to attract world-class talent. In line with our strategy of building sustainable category leaders, it was a clear decision to double down on planqc significantily.”

[Explanation picture: Light preparation and generation of 1000 single atom traps; Copyright: Axel Griesch]


About planqc

planqc builds quantum computers that store information in individual atoms – nature's best qubits. Quantum information is processed by arranging these qubits in highly scalable arrays and manipulating them with precisely controlled laser pulses. planqc’s unique combination of quantum technologies is the fastest way to scale to thousands of qubits, a prerequisite for an industry-relevant quantum advantage. planqc was founded in 2022 by Alexander Glätzle, Sebastian Blatt, Johannes Zeiher, Lukas Reichsöllner, together with Ann-Kristin Achleitner and Markus Wagner. planqc is based in Garching near Munich, Germany.

Learn more at www.planqc.eu

About DeepTech& Climate Fonds

The DeepTech & Climate Fonds (DTCF)invests up to € 1bn in the growth of transformative tech companies in the coming years. As an anchor investor and partner of long-term European investors, the DTCF helps to expand the technology ecosystem and to develop new technology-based SMEs. It is financed by the German Future Fund as well as the ERP Special Fund.

Learn more at www.dtcf.de 

About UVC Partners

UVC Partners is a leading Munich- and Berlin-based early-stage venture capital firm that invests in European B2B tech start-ups from pre-seed to series A. With about€400 million in assets under management, UVC Partners typically invests between€500,000 and €10 million initially and up to €30 million per company. The portfolio includes category leaders in deep tech, climate tech, hard- and software, and mobility with various technologies and business models. As an independent partner of UnternehmerTUM, Europe's most extensive innovation and startup center, UVC Partners has access to proprietary deal flow, an industrial network of more than 1,000 corporates, and access to talent from the leading European technical university. The investments include Flix, Vimcar, planqc, Tanso, Isar Aerospace, TWAICE, DeepDrive, STABL, and many more. They all benefit from the team's extensive investment and exit experience, their ability to build sustainable category leaders with a competitive advantage, and their passion for growing the game changers of tomorrow. 

Learn more at www.uvcpartners.com

About Speedinvest

Speedinvest is a leading early-stage venture capital firm with more than €1 billion AuM and 40+ investors based in Berlin, London, Munich, Paris, and Vienna. Our dedicated sector-focused teams are the first to fund Europe's most innovative technology startups and our in-house operational experts are on hand to offer founders ongoing support with growth, HR, market expansion, and more. Bitpanda, GoStudent, Wayflyer, Open, CoachHub, Schüttflix, TourRadar, Adverity, and TWAICE are among our portfolio of 300+ companies.

Learn more at www.speedinvest.com

About Bayern Kapital

Bayern Kapital GmbH, based in Landshut, is the venture/growth capital company of the Free State of Bavaria. It supports innovative high-tech and deep-tech companies in Bavaria through various growth phases, from seed to later stage, with equity capital of between EUR 0.25 and 25 million EUR. Bayern Kapital manages specialised investment funds with a volume of around EUR 700 million. Since it was founded in 1995, the wholly owned subsidiary of LfA Förderbank Bayern has invested over EUR 500 million of its own equity capital in more than 320start-ups and scale-ups from sectors such as life sciences, software & IT, materials & new materials, nanotechnology, and environmental technology. This has created over 10,000 permanent jobs in sustainable companies in Bavaria. The active portfolio currently comprises almost 100 companies.

Examples of numerous pioneering success stories that Bayern Kapital has supported from an early stage include Casavi, Catalym, commerce tools, e gym, EOS, Fazua, Immunic, Isar Aerospace, IQM, Parcellab, Proglove, Qbilon, Riskmethods, SimScale, Sirion, tado, Tubulis and among others.

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