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The $25 million quantum sensor fundraising round for Q-Ctrl is led by Airbus Ventures

Q-Ctrl, an Australian business, has acquired $25 million in a funding round sponsored by Airbus Ventures, which is the venture capital wing of the European aerospace and defense conglomerate Airbus. According to Q-Ctrl CEO and founder Michael Biercuk, proceeds from the Series B financing will be used to expedite the development of quantum technologies in order to achieve new data-as-a-service marketplaces from low Earth orbit to the moon and beyond.

“We’re developing completely new technology to assess gravity and magnetic fields,” Biercuk told SpaceNews via email. “It’s our distinctive focus on constructing new data-as-a-service marketplaces through the use of quantum sensing from air, sea, land, and space which pledges enormous value capture.” According to Biercuk, Q-Ctrl plans to use Airbus Ventures’ experience with Earth observation missions while it builds infrastructure software to enhance quantum sensing solutions.

“We have big preparations to alter technology from computing to climate monitoring and defense surveillance,” he said, adding that Airbus Ventures has big plans as well. Ridgeline Partners, which is an early-stage investor, joined current investors:

  1. Main Sequence Ventures,
  2. Horizons Ventures,
  3. SquarePeg Capital,
  4. Sierra Ventures,
  5. DCVC,
  6. Sequoia Capital China
  7. In-Q-Tel;

as new investors in Q-Ctrl through a Series B.

According to Biercuk, the Series B was “totally opportunistic” and brings total Q-Ctrl’s funding to over $42 million. When the startup began casually meeting potential investors, he said it still had 75 percent of the Series A round, valued at $15 million, that was closed in 2019 available. “We spoke to a number of investors, however, once we encountered Airbus Ventures and learned about their technical vision, we were ecstatic at the potential of collaborating,” he said.

New quantum markets

According to Lewis Pinault, who is an Airbus Ventures partner, sophisticated applications and solutions such as “geospatial intelligence, lunar development, and Earth observation, all growingly critical in the worldwide attempt to address the speeding up planetary system disasters we now face,” are of particular interest.

Because space-centered quantum sensors could be used to improve ocean current, underground water, and ice cap measurements, Q-Ctrl’s work in the Earth observation with the quantum sensors is perfectly linked with Airbus Ventures’ search for the latest technologies to fight climate change, according to Biercuk.

“The parent business, Airbus,” he continued, “also has direct experience in the space-centered gravimetry, the core capability we’re strengthening with quantum sensors, resulting in tremendous strategic and technical mission alignment.”

According to Q-Ctrl, its fundamental technology can boost the effectiveness of quantum algorithms operating on established quantum computers by over 2500 percent. According to Biercuk, the startup’s development is supported by the Australian Space Agency’s Moon to Mars Program as well as the Australian Department of Defence.

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