Quantum computing is one of the most interesting and groundbreaking technologies recently developed, and now a Canadian company will have even more resources to crack its code.
1QBit has announced a $45 million Series B round led by Fujitsu Limited with involvement from Allianz, The Royal Bank of Scotland and CME Ventures. The round also had involvement from Accenture in the form of a strategic partnership.
The Vancouver-based 1QBit develops solutions for massive companies facing computationally-intensive problems that only quantum computing methods would be able to solve.
Global services behemoth Accenture—through their Accenture Ventures firm—made their minority investment in 1QBit to help integrate the cutting-edge tech into their systems. The investment is designed to help Accenture improve its quantum computing analytics, allowing the firm to dissect business intelligence in a fraction of how long it currently takes. Terms of the overall investment as part of the Series B were not disclosed.
The strategic alliance between the two companies will result in Accenture serving as 1QBit’s preferred systems integrator. Accenture can also use 1QBit’s platform for demonstration, training and the development of new tools. The new tech that quantum computing can offer will allow Accenture to pilot and scale platforms through their Labs programs.
“Quantum computing is a turbocharger for analytics and the creation of new intelligence,” said Narendra Mulani, CAO of Accenture Analytics. “We see massive potential for using the 1QBit platform on behalf of our clients to pursue quantum-inspired analytics, which will help us unlock even more value trapped in their data and find new opportunities to transform their businesses.”
Through the alliance, Accenture has the chance to become a first-mover in the space and use breakthrough innovation to aid companies in the financial, life science and energy industries.
Quantum computing is different than traditional computing as it is much faster, but it has yet to really be harnessed to its full potential. Current computers operate on strings of “bits” which encode as either a zero or one. A quantum computer uses “qubits,” which are bits engaged in superposition or entanglement. Essentially these qubits can act as both a zero and a one, resulting in extremely optimized computing processing.
“Establishing a strategic relationship with Accenture enables us to tap their vast capabilities, and bring 1QBit’s expertise in quantum computing to a much broader base of clients,” said Andrew Fursman, 1QBit’s CEO and co-founder. “We are incredibly excited about the opportunities that our new relationship provides to help organizations take advantage of the benefits created by quantum-inspired analytics.”
Accenture and 1QBit have worked together before, as earlier this year they collaborated with Biogen to create a quantum-enabled molecular comparison application that could possibly speed up the discovery of new drugs to treat complex diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Accenture has already begun to file quantum computing-related patents, including a method to improve transportation systems like those used in drones.
It’s smart for almost any kind of company that dives through a lot of data and processing to partner with or invest in a quantum computing firm. It is a technology that will only see more investments and breakthroughs, and businesses are smart to begin integrating it now.