Quantum computing: the French start-up Pasqal merges with Qu & Co to create a European leader

Pasqal is looking to develop a 1000 qubit quantum computer. The merger with the Dutch company Qu & Co should help it achieve this.

While the great world powers do not want to miss the quantum computing revolution, the start-ups that make up this nascent ecosystem are stepping up to become champions of the sector. This is the case, in particular, of the young growth Pasqal, spearhead of quantum computing in France, which has just announced its merger with Qu & Co, a Dutch company specializing in the development of quantum algorithms and software. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The new entity will retain the Pasqal name as well as its head office in France. Georges-Olivier Reymond, the current boss of the French start-up, will remain at the helm of the group, while Benno Broer, CEO of Qu & Co and vice-president of the European Quantum Industry Consortium (QuiC), will be appointed director. commercial. “Leveraging the services offered by our two companies will further strengthen Pasqal’s integrated value chain solution, resulting in short-term business benefits”, estimated Georges-Olivier Reymond.

A 1000-qubit quantum computer in 2023

Launched in March 2019 by Christophe Jurczak and Charles Beigbeder, also founders of Quantonation, a seed fund intended to boost European start-ups specializing in quantum technologies, as well as by Georges-Olivier Reymond, the company Pasqal, spin- off at the Palaiseau Optical Institute, is looking to develop a 1000 qubit quantum computer. On the occasion of their merger, Pasqal and Qu & Co have also set this deadline for 2023. To achieve this, the new group relies on the technology of neutral atoms, manipulated by lasers at room temperature to perform calculations .

Thanks to this merger, Pasqal, which had raised 40 million euros in April 2021, is acquiring additional resources, both technologically and commercially, to become a European champion in quantum computing. With Qu & Co in its fold, the start-up notably gains access to a portfolio of prestigious clients, such as Airbus, LG, BMW, and even Johnson & Johnson.

The merger between Pasqal and Qu & Co comes a week after the announcement of the launch of a national quantum computing platform in France. This aims to couple quantum machines to a classic supercomputer, so as to create hybrid systems capable of increasing performance tenfold to perform complex calculations. The first coupling of its kind is scheduled for 2023. The emergence of this platform is part of the national investment plan of 1.8 billion euros spanning five years that the president of the République, Emmanuel Macron, presented a year ago to make France a world leader in quantum computing.

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