5 Startups Making Quantum Strides

Catch up on quantum computing startups

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Quantum computing is fast becoming a part of the mainstream conversation because its applications are for everyday, real-world problems: Which route should the cargo take? How can we better navigate traffic? How can we assign beds to high-priority patients? How can I build a financial risk model with n variables? 

Sounds very simple, but the complex combinations—problems that existing supercomputers cannot tackle or would need over ten thousand years to figure out (and that’s not a hyperbole)—can be solved at incredible speeds by quantum computers. 

Imagine all the possible use cases of a quantum computer? You probably can’t, but a quantum computer can.


Though it sounds sci-fi, quantum computers leverage a particle’s superposition state, which means quantum bits, or qubits, which can be in multiple places at the same time. Unlike traditional computers using ones and zeroes, a qubit in a quantum state can use both simultaneously. This allows for many variables to be solved in parallel.

Quantum computing faces major technological and engineering hurdles alongside fierce competition between startups and the largest companies and universities in the world. 

However, startups have managed to find a disruptive foothold in the industry by experimenting with different technical approaches, designs, and partnerships to solve some of the hardest data problems in the world including drug development, cybersecurity, and more.

While the world’s first fully-fledged quantum computer is not a reality yet, and in 2019, Google announced achieving quantum supremacy, a useful machine would need a million qubits, while the current count stands at 127.  Still, this nascent industry is turning into a heated race and some startups are poised for…Ready. Set. Growth!

Here are 5 startups in our SPEEDA Edge quantum computing coverage that we believe will be the most noteworthy


PsiQuantum develops general-purpose quantum computers based on the silicon photonic approach, a relatively new method that can use the existing silicon supply chain of conventional electronics and does not require complex cooling infrastructure or temperature requirements. This means, the company keeps production costs low and provides scalability, allowing PsiQuantum to focus on building a commercially viable quantum computer with one million qubits, the company’s primary development goal. 

Founded in 2016, the company has remained relatively quiet about its silicon photonic approach but gained wider attention after attracting the two largest funding rounds in industry history in 2019 and 2020. In July 2021, the company surpassed its own record with a Series D funding round of up to USD 450 million, making PsiQuantum the highest privately funded quantum startup. The proceeds were earmarked for building the 1 million-qubit computer and expanding its team of experts.

Special feature: Focuses on hardware processes, and it's unique because it builds large-scale quantum computers with more than one million error-corrected qubits with a photonic approach. If achieved, the one-million-qubit quantum computer by 2025 would be revolutionary. 


Quantinuum is the product of a merger between the quantum unit of Honeywell International— leveraging the hardware capabilities of Honeywell Quantum Solutions (HQS)—and Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC)— for its software expertise. As of November 2021, it is a full-stack quantum computing company.

Its focus is on building general-purpose quantum computers, Quantum applications (cyber security and encryption, drug discovery, finance, material science). In December 2021, it introduced “Quantum Origin,” a quantum-enhanced cryptographic key generation platform—reportedly the world’s first commercial product to be built by a quantum computer. The product was integrated into the Strangeworks ecosystem in January 2022, making it accessible to Strangeworks and its customers. 

Special feature:  It’s relatively the most advanced end-to-end player in the industry combining the expertise of an incumbent (Honeywell) and software player (CQC). Its products will be compatible with quantum technologies including trapped ions (H1 computers) and superconducting qubits (IBM). 


IonQ develops general-purpose quantum computers using trapped-ion technology. Although the company calls itself a full-stack player, its focus has been on developing hardware, though not exclusively.  IonQ’s latest hardware has 32 qubits, the highest in its category, but fewer than competitors that employ different methods. It has also shown some preliminary results for a 79-processing qubit computer. 

IonQ unveiled the industry’s first glass-based trapped ion computing chip called the Reconfigurable Multicore Quantum Architecture (RMQA) technology, in August 2021, which the company believes will significantly expand the longevity of qubits and enable at least triple-digit scalability. IonQ and the University of Maryland (UMD) demonstrated a breakthrough cost-effective, error correction approach in October 2021, which enables the building of a fault-tolerant practical trapped ion-based quantum computer. 

The company went public on the NYSE under the ticker “IONQ,” in October 2021 via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger. The IPO raised more than USD 650 million and made IonQ the first publicly traded pure-play quantum computing company. 

Special feature: Designs qubits that allow computers to operate at room temperature with lower error rates.


Another end-to-end provider of general-purpose quantum computers Rigetti’s approach to developing computers is based on superconducting qubit technology, similar to Google and IBM. It’s built four quantum computers and its most recent hardware has 80 qubits, which was more than any other startup, but fewer than IBM’s.

The company went public on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the ticker “RGTI,” in March 2022 via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger. The IPO raised USD 261.8 million and made Rigetti the second publicly traded pure-play quantum computing company, following IonQ. 

Among the startups, it has a strong product. However, the technology is the same as tech giants like Google, therefore they don't have too many advantages. It’s a strong company but faces competition from the giants.

Special feature: Rigetti has built the first multi-chip quantum processor and uses the third state of qubits called "qutrits".


A Canadian end-to-end provider of quantum solutions, Xanadu is the world’s first quantum computing company to prove the viability of the photonic approach.

Xanadu is aware of its potential uses and is getting its quantum tentacles into various spaces. The company partnered with various organizations recently, including Multiverse Computing (February 2022) and Agnostiq (November 2021) to build quantum finance solutions; GlobalFoundries (March 2022) and IMEC (August 2021) for photonic chip fabrication; and Quantum Algorithms Institute (March 2022) to build a quantum-ready workforce. It also teamed up with quantum biotech company Menten AI in January 2022 to design novel drug molecules.

Special feature: Built using this photonic approach, its quantum computers can operate at room temperature and are easier to scale because they use existing fiber-optic-based telecommunication infrastructure.


When Governments and Google are making sizeable investments in quantum computing, you don’t have to guess which way the wind is blowing. While big names have a strong foothold in the quantum computing climb, it’s clear that these five startups, among others, have serious potential. 

Though the startups we featured are concentrated around end-to-end development, we see that players at different levels of the ecosystem are either adapting or merging to contribute to the end goal. Understanding the ecosystem like “where to store…? How to sustain the right temperatures and surroundings..?” are current concerns and gaps to optimize as opportunities.

For the vast majority of future users, you don't have to know how it works to benefit from quantum leaps and incredible speeds. 

The present may be super, but the future is quantum!

We know that the particles of information are somewhat fragmented and hard to capture, but we’ve done just that: daily news updates, company profiles, competitive analyses, and an overview of the industry all in one place—the SPEEDA Edge platform.

Janine Manishka Gunasekara
Content Marketing Lead, SPEEDA Edge

Janine is a Content Marketing Lead for SPEEDA Edge, an emerging industry intelligence platform.