ORCA Computing completes $15 million Series A funding round

ORCA Computing has today announced the closing of a key funding round of $15 million.

The Series A investment will be used to roll out its near-term photonic quantum computing systems and software enabling organisations, including the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), to develop future data processing capabilities such as machine learning. The investment will also help ORCA continue developing its full-stack fault-tolerant solutions as well as accelerate the development of its proprietary quantum memory-powered photonic quantum computing systems.

“Light has a huge part to play in the future of quantum computing as an effective, scalable resource. Our mission is to put photonic systems in the hands of users today so that we deliver value in the short as well as long term,” said Richard Murray, co-founder and CEO of ORCA Computing.

“We’re incredibly happy to be joined on our journey by some of Europe’s most knowledgeable quantum and deep tech investors. Their support will allow us to accelerate development of ORCA’s short term and long term quantum systems.”
The funding was led by a syndicate of top European deep technology investors including Octopus Ventures, Oxford Science Enterprises, Quantonation, and Verve Ventures. In addition to the investment round, the company has also secured significant project-based funding from Innovate UK.

ORCA Computing uses unique technology that doesn’t require bulky and expensive refrigeration or vacuum. Instead, it puts the power and potential of quantum computing into a compact, plug-and-play rack-mounted system built with easily available components, such as standard telecoms switches and optical fibre.

The funding is another major milestone for the two-year-old company, who was recently selected to lead a key Innovate UK project to develop ‘the quantum data centre of the future’ valued at £11.6 million ($14.5 million) in total. ORCA leads a 15-strong consortium that includes BP, Airbus, Riverlane, KETS, BT, and five leading UK universities.

“We’ve long believed in the potential of ORCA’s unique photon-memory quantum computing platform. This investment is a fantastic opportunity to address the engineering challenges involved in scaling the platform, grow our world-leading team and get a functioning quantum computer into the hands of those who can use it to improve their business,” said Professor Ian Walmsley, co-founder and Chair of ORCA Computing. “It demonstrates continual successes of the UK national quantum technology programme and research from university laboratories delivering real impact.”

“Quantum computing holds the potential to transform trillion-dollar industries, from drug discovery to autonomous vehicles, but scaling a system to the qubits needed to execute significant quantum algorithms is an immense undertaking,” said Zoë Reich, Fund Manager at Octopus Ventures. “We believe the ORCA team is delivering on that challenge. They have a uniquely experienced and expert team, a pioneering component focused approach, and have already achieved significant milestones on the road to a quantum memory-powered photonic quantum computing system. They are in a unique position to spark the next wave in computing.”