The billion-dollar quantum gold rush

What is Quantum computing?

The fundamental unit of quantum computing is qubit or quantum bit, the smallest unit of data which uses the theory of superposition from quantum physics. Superposition allows an entity to simultaneously be in multiple states. Present-day computers operate on the principle of binary bits of 0 and 1, i.e., the smallest unit of data can be represented only in these two states. On the other hand, a qubit can be a superposition of both 0 and 1, which means that the data can be represented in multiple states, increasing the computing ability of a machine.

Ref: Google Research

Market size: US$88.1 billion in 2019 growing at a CAGR of 29.1% during the forecast period of 2019 – 2026.

Private investors had funded at least 52 quantum-technology companies globally since 2012, many of them are from university departments.

The billion-dollar quantum gold rush 1The billion-dollar quantum gold rush 1


  • IBM, at its Think 2019 Summit held at Taipei, indicated that commercial quantum computers will be available in the next 3-5 years.
  • In January 2019, IBM unveiled the first commercial quantum computer, called Q System One, which allows the usage of high processing power on the cloud.


  • In October 2019, Google claimed quantum supremacy by unveiling its quantum computer, Sycamore, which optimizes the processing time of computer programmes.


  • IQM Finland Oy (IQM), a European startup that makes hardware for quantum computers, has raised over €32M from EIC Accelerator, Business Finland government agency and others.


  • National Quantum Initiative Act, passed in December 2018, describes itself as “An Act to provide for a coordinated Federal program to accelerate quantum research and development for the economic and national security of the United States.”
  • The Act infused $1.2 billion into the U.S. federal government’s existing quantum programmes to accelerate research in quantum tech.


  • Damo Academy, Alibaba’s R&D wing, is already working on quantum processors and quantum algorithms, presumably to build a quantum computer.


  • Indian Institute of Science’s Initiative on Quantum Technology (IQT@IISc), have quantum programmes funded by MeitY via CoE in Quantum Technology and Institute of Excellence funds.
  • In 2017, a programme called Quantum-Enabled Science & Technology (Qu-EST) was started by the Department of Science and Technology to facilitate research in the field of quantum computing.
  • Budget 2020 announces Rs 8000 cr on National Mission on Quantum Technologies & Applications


  • Investments of more than $1 billion in the past decade.


  • Quantonation fund (for Quantum tech) aims to raise a total of €40 million to support start-ups.


  • Government announced £153 million investment into efforts dedicated to commercializing quantum computing.
  • UK’s National Quantum Technologies Programme passed £1 billion in investments since its inception in 2014.

South Korea

  • Announced to invest US$40 million in quantum computing

Below is a list of companies along with its VC investors: