Singapore’s Horizon Quantum raises US$3.2M to make quantum computing accessible to every developer
Horizon Quantum Computing (HQC), a Singapore-based company developing programming tools for quantum computers, has raised a “seed-plus” round led by Sequoia India to increase its seed financing round to S$4.5 million (US$3.23 million).
Existing investors SGInnovate, Abies Ventures, DCVC, Qubit Protocol, Summer Capital and Posa CV also contributed.
The additional funding will allow the startup to accelerate the speed at which it can bring its innovative technology to market, further engage with customers and early adopters, and continue strengthening its team.
Founded in 2018 by Dr Joe Fitzsimons, HQC aims to bridge the gap between quantum computers and conventional software development.
By removing the need for prior quantum computing experience, Horizon’s tools aims to democratise the development of quantum-enhanced applications, making the power of quantum computing accessible to every developer.
However, gaining a performance increase from these systems requires deep expertise. Quantum mechanics defies human intuition, making it difficult to construct non-trivial quantum algorithms.
The pool of specialists capable of developing new quantum applications is estimated at fewer than one thousand people worldwide. While there are tens of millions of conventional software developers, with 46 million users registered on GitHub alone, their expertise does not carry across to programming quantum computers.
The mission of Horizon Quantum Computing is to unlock the power of quantum computing for them, said the company in a statement.
“Quantum computing represents a fundamentally new model of computation, holding great promise as a new approach to tackling hard computational problems. As hardware development continues to advance, learning to harness the power of quantum processors for business applications will become the main barrier to adoption. At HQC, we are tackling this problem head-on, by developing methods to automatically accelerate conventional computer programs using quantum techniques,” said CEO Fitzsimons.
HQC is developing tools to automatically accelerate programmes written for conventional computers, adapting them for quantum processors.
“The conventional approach to developing quantum applications is to explicitly specify the individual steps of a quantum algorithm, or to use a library where such explicit steps are specified. What makes our approach unique is that we construct quantum algorithms directly from conventional source code, automatically identifying places where it can be sped up,” explained Dr Si-Hui Tan, Chief Science Officer at HQC.
While Horizon’s approach is hardware agnostic, the company has worked closely with hardware manufacturer Rigetti Computing.
Today, the known applications that will benefit from the quantum calculation capacity include logistics, finance, chemistry and pharma.
“Our tools will greatly increase the applicability of quantum computing to industry-relevant problems, opening up new use cases and enabling easier adoption of the technology,” said Fitzsimons.