Investors sharply cut value of holdings in quantum computer maker D-Wave

D-Wave has fallen short of financial targets and only had a handful of buyers for its expensive, shed-sized computers.


One of Canada’s most heavily funded early stage technology companies, quantum computer developer D-Wave Systems, undertook a costly refinancing this year that wiped out most of the value of some long-time investors, including the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s venture capital arm, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and fund giant Fidelity Investments, according to public filings and three sources.

The US$40-million financing, including US$10-million from new investor NEC Corp., came as part of a capital restructuring that cut D-Wave’s valuation to less than US$170-million before the receipt of funds, down from about US$450-million, the sources familiar with the company said. The Globe and Mail is not disclosing their identities as they are not authorized to speak on the matter.

Existing investors who participated – including Montreal-based Public Sector Pension Investment Board

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Toshiba targets $3 billion revenue in quantum cryptography by 2030

The logo of Toshiba Corp is seen behind cherry blossoms at the company’s headquarters in Tokyo, Japan April 11, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

TOKYO (Reuters) – Toshiba Corp said on Monday it aims to generate $3 billion in revenue from its advanced cryptographic technology for data protection by 2030, as the Japanese sprawling conglomerate scrambles to find future growth drivers.

The cyber security technology, called quantum key distribution (QKD), leverages the nature of quantum physics to provide two remote parties with cryptographic keys that are immune to cyberattacks driven by quantum computers.

Toshiba expects the global QKD market to grow to $12 billion in 10 years with the advance of quantum computers, whose massive computational power could easily decipher conventional math-based cryptographic keys commonly used in finance, defence and health care.

The company is hoping to tap global demand for advanced cryptographic technologies as cyber security has come to the forefront

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D-Wave’s New Quantum Computer Is Inscrutable and Open for Business

D-Wave’s Advantage chip

D-Wave’s Advantage chip
Photo: D-Wave

In theory, quantum computers should be faster at solving many problems compared to classical computers. But because their components are extremely delicate, existing quantum computers are still rudimentary and error-prone, and academic and industry researchers have yet to demonstrate a profitable use for them. In pursuit of commercial applications, companies have built incrementally more complex quantum devices. Today, Canada-based company D-Wave announced the latest in this lineage of machines: Its fifth-generation quantum computer, named Advantage, which is accessible to customers via the cloud.

D-Wave tailored this upgrade based on recommendations from its users, which include companies such as Volkswagen, drug design company Menten AI, and Canadian grocery chain Save-On-Foods. “We’ve gotten about 10 years of user and customer feedback on what works and what doesn’t,” said Mark Johnson, vice president of quantum products at D-Wave and a physicist by training.

Through these partnerships, D-Wave

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