Sequoia India leads seed funding round in quantum computing startup Horizon

By Narinder Kapur

  • 24 Jun 2020
Credit: Thinkstock

Horizon Quantum Computing, which is focussed on developing programming tools for quantum computers, has raised funding in an extension of its seed round, with the exercise being led by Sequoia Capital India.

The investment is the latest bet on a startup in the Southeast Asia region for Sequoia’s India-based arm, which also operates an accelerator programme, Surge.

Existing backers including SGInnovate, Abies Ventures, DCVC, Qubit Protocol, Summer Capital and Posa CV also participated in the round, Horizon Quantum said in a statement.

This takes the total capital raised by Horizon Quantum during the overall seed funding exercise to SGD 4.5 million (approximately $3.24 million or Rs 24.52 crore at current exchange rates).

The Singapore-based company will use the funds for accelerating the development of its technology and engage with early adopters and customers to strengthen its team.

The development of the larger quantum computing field is expected to allow for leaps in bounds in the development of applications such as artificial intelligence, molecular modelling, particle physics and cryptography.

“As hardware development continues to advance, learning to harness the power of quantum processors for business applications will become the main barrier to adoption,” Joe Fitzsimmons, CEO at Horizon Quantum, said.

Horizon Quantum Computing was set up in 2018 by Fitzsimmons, an Oxford alumnus who has 15 years of experience in the quantum computing space. The company’s leadership also includes chief science officer Si-Hui Tan, an alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has worked extensively in the field of quantum research.

The company says its approach is hardware agnostic, and that its tools allow developers to build their software in conventional programming languages, which will be converted to quantum mechanics through its platform.

Sequoia Capital India

The VC firm has invested in several companies in Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia since 2012. These include Indonesia’s Go-Jek, Tokopedia and point-of-sale software provider Moka, Singapore-based data analytics startup Nugit and health-tech startup Biofourmis Singapore Pte. Ltd.

This year,  Sequoia India invested in Indonesia logistics startup Kargo in April and Indonesian beverage retailer Kopi Kenangan in May. Earlier this month, it led a $21 million (around Rs 160 crore) Series A funding round in the Philippines-based neo-bank Tonik along with the United States-based Point72 Ventures.

Some of Sequoia India’s domestic portfolio companies include Awfis, 1mg, education-technology firm Byju’s, DailyHunt, Meesho and Razorpay.

In recent months, its bets through accelerator Surge have increased. In March, Surge led a $4 million (around Rs 29.24 crore) pre-Series A funding round in Trell Experiences Pvt. Ltd, which runs a lifestyle community commerce platform.

In February, video production and editing platform InVideo raised $2.5 million (approximately Rs 17.90 crore) in a round led by Surge, with participation from angel investors Anand Chandrasekaran and Gokul Rajaram.

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