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Quantum computer: Quantagonia raises four million euros

Quantum computer: Quantagonia raises four million euros

Quantagonia makes ordinary code readable by quantum computers. The team consists of a professor of mathematics and former digital director of Deutsche Bahn. Now there is money.

First-class team: Philipp Hannemann, Sabina Jeske, Dirk Zeichel, and Sebastian Bokota (from left) all have years of experience in software research and development.

In January, we predicted Quantagonia would be one of ten startups we’ll hear a lot about this year. The startup from Bad Homburg has achieved the following: With the closing of the seed round. This brings the total investment in the quantum technology start-up at the initial stage to 4.3 million euros.

Funders in the current round include Voima Ventures, a Helsinki-based deeptech VC, and Tensor Ventures, a Prague-based deeptech investor. The old investors are gone, too. They are the Fraunhofer Technology Transfer Fund and Hessen Investment Management. When the company was founded at the end of 2021, the startup Al Qum had completed the pre-incorporation stage with them. The round amount is not released. When asked by the startup scene, the amount was around 750,000 euros, according to Quantagonia.

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Quantagonia translates the code into a language that quantum computers can understand

Quantagonia doesn’t build quantum computers, even if the name might suggest it, but it does make sure that customers’ existing software also runs on quantum computers. This saves customers money because software for quantum computers works and is written very differently. An expert in quantum computers is no longer necessary in related companies. In any case, only a few people have this experience.

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However, Quantagonia is not limited to quantum technology, it is just a building block for optimally calculating client code. Instead, the startup relies on a hybrid approach: that is, Quantagonia searches for the best computer system that fits a specific customer code department and then allows the code to compute on the appropriate hardware. Because: a quantum computer does not always provide the fastest solution to mathematical problems, even if the error is widespread. In most cases, the code continues to be computed on classic computers with a single CPU or GPU.

Quantagonia has access to quantum computers through a partnership with IBM, among other things. However, the startup does not have to be on site for this, the new computer is also connected to the Internet, as is typical with server farms.

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Basically, quantum computers do not work with qubits that can take a zero or a one, but with qubits that have several states at the same time. In theory, many arithmetic operations can be completed more quickly in this way. However, this is still a dream of the future, because it is expensive basic research that is now being funded by billions, including from the German state.

For example, startup Planqc is building an atom-neutral quantum computer for a DLR – and the name suggests: there are many ways to build a quantum-based computer. Not every approach will work in the future. Nor is it clear when various quantum computers will become part of everyday life. One thing that is clear is that they will find their way into the business world. And many companies are now taking appropriate precautions with solutions like Quantagonia’s.

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The founding team is top notch

Not only does it all sound technical, but it is. That is why the founding team in Quantagonia includes many people with a scientific technology background – and not just a CTO, as is usual with startups.

Quantagonia’s chief information officer is Sabina Jeschke. Previously, she was a member of the board of directors for digital affairs at Deutsche Bahn and taught as professor in various technologies, such as artificial intelligence and robotics, at TU Berlin and RWTH Aachen, among others. On the other hand, Sebastian Bokota, CTO, is a Professor of Mathematics. Among other things, he teaches Machine Learning (i.e. also AI) at TU Berlin. He is also Vice President of the Zuse Research Institute in Berlin. CEO Dirk Zechiel has a degree in computer science and has experience as founder and CEO. Among other things, he directed the German works of the Gurobi improvement programme. COO Philipp Hannemann is a trained business economist on the team and has already worked with Zechiel at his startup Ligalytics on optimization.