Best Tech Startups to Watch in 2023

Phasecraft has now secured a total of €20 mln in venture capital as well as an additional €4.4 mln in grant funding from organizations like Innovate UK and European Research Council.

Best Tech Startups to Watch in 2023

A €15 million Series A fundraising round was led by Silicon Valley deeptech VC Playground Global for Phasecraft, a British startup founded by prominent academics and creating industry-leading quantum algorithms. Along with current investors Episode1, Parkwalk Advisors, LCIF, and UCL Technology Fund, AlbionVC also contributed to the round.

Phasecraft, a startup founded in 2019 as a spinoff from UCL and the University of Bristol by Professors Ashley Montanaro (CEO), Toby Cubitt (CTO and Chief Science Officer), and John Morton, each of whom has spent the last 20 years at the forefront of quantum computing research, will use this funding to advance the development of its quantum algorithms to the point of practical quantum advantage, which is when quantum computers outperform classical computers for practical real-world applications.

With the additional funding, Phasecraft has now secured a total of €20 million in venture capital as well as an additional €4.4 million in grant funding from organizations like Innovate UK and the European Research Council. These funds will be used to continue hiring top quantum scientists, researchers, and engineers and to further establish Phasecraft as the industry leader in quantum algorithms.

The co-founder and CEO of Phasecraft, Ashley Montanaro, stated: “Despite all the progress achieved in quantum hardware and the promise of quantum computing, such effort might ultimately be for nothing if we can’t develop the applications required to make the technology genuinely effective.

We are pushing the limits of what is practical in this field with our world-beating algorithms and innovative methods. We believe that actual quantum advantage may be attained in years, not decades, especially with backing from such a well-known deep-tech visionary as Playground.

The application of quantum computing might fundamentally alter how mankind approaches its most difficult issues. However, the algorithms that are now available to solve them cannot be executed on the noisy and unreliable quantum computers of today (known as Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum, or NISQ, devices).

A worthwhile computation like modeling and discovering a new battery material would take billions of operations on a quantum computer, yet the greatest hardware available today can only execute at most thousands, according to the best quantum algorithms known prior to the development of Phasecraft.

Such hardware has recently undergone significant investment, increasing its capacity, but the algorithms required to take advantage of these advancements have remained mostly theoretical. As of yet, no algorithms have been tested on a quantum computer to address a true practical issue.

“Phasecraft’s team of world-class quantum scientists and engineers bring unmatched expertise and a fresh perspective to one of the biggest challenges facing our quantum future – bridging the gap between quantum hardware capacity and real-world applications,” said Peter Barrett, general partner of Playground Global.

Playground has long held the view that a highly exceptional, committed, and skilled team is necessary to fully realize the potential of quantum, and we feel Phasecraft startup is well situated to assist in realizing our quantum vision.

Phasecraft startup is overcoming this gap by totally reimagining how such quantum algorithms are produced. Its methods are based on cutting-edge discoveries in theoretical physics and computer science, as well as information gleaned from large numerical simulations and an in-depth knowledge of quantum hardware.

As a result, they are able to create algorithms that break records and have significantly higher computational efficiency than any others currently in use. Additionally, their collaborations with the three most cutting-edge manufacturers of superconducting quantum hardware—Google, IBM, and Rigetti—help them put these algorithms to use in practical applications.

To date, the company has released 17 scientific papers, with results that include a 400,000x reduction in simulation complexity of the time evolution of a quantum materials system, a 10x increase in the size of a materials system simulation run on real hardware, and the first-ever demonstration of the superior performance of quantum optimisation algorithms.