Breakthrough Victoria has invested $8 million in local startup Quantum Brilliance, marking the state government-backed venture capital fund’s second investment in the quantum sector.
Led by existing investors, the Australian National University spin-out has raised US$18 million (AU$25.8 million) which will be used to expand its presence in Victoria and other international opportunities beyond Germany.
Other investors in this round include Main Sequence Ventures, Investible, Ultratech Capital Partners, MA Growth Ventures, Jelix Ventures, Rampersand and CM Equity Partners.
The funding will create nine additional positions at the Research Hub for Diamond Quantum Materials in Melbourne across Quantum Brilliance and its partners, La Trobe University and RMIT University. It will also go towards further developing the firm’s manufacturing and fabrication techniques.
Quantum Brilliance chief scientific officer Dr Marcus Doherty said the funding will support further work on developing “atom-scale fabrication techniques for qubits both important to the creation of quantum computers by Quantum Brilliance, but also high-performance quantum sensors being developed by others in Victoria”.
“[This funding] will create the nucleus of what could be a quantum diamond foundry in Victoria, which could then capture a core part of the global supply chain for global quantum technologies,” he said.
“Australia is a fantastic place to launch a global company in quantum computing due to the supportive and quantum-aware local capital market and access to talent and capabilities.”
Victoria’s Minister for Industry and Innovation Ben Carroll said “quantum technologies have the potential to revolutionise industries that rely on computing power to solve complex problems and we’re investing to ensure world-leading research and advanced manufacturing happens right here”.
Further work to boost the performance of the firm’s room-temperature quantum computers, as well as development on software and applications offerings, will also be undertaken.
Breakthrough Victoria is an independent organisation overseeing technology innovation investments from a $2 billion investment fund on behalf of the state government.
Its investment in Quantum Brilliance follows a $29 million investment in October 2022 to help US quantum firm ColdQuanta expand to Australia and establish a new technology centre at Swinburne University.
Office of Australia’s Chief Scientist — which was developing a national quantum strategy at the time — was not informed prior to the ColdQuanta announcement, while the federal Industry department was given only a few days’ notice.
Breakthrough Victoria chief executive Grant Dooley said the organisation is committed to supporting the development of the quantum sector in the state.
“We are actively investing in quantum technologies to establish Australia, and the state of Victoria, as a global player in this rapidly evolving sector,” Mr Dooley said.
“Quantum Brilliance’s vision of mass producible, room temperature, small form factor quantum computers aligns closely with our mandate to fund ideas and technology in Victoria that will help solve globally significant problems, and we see them as a true innovator in the quantum computing industry.”
Quantum Brilliance technology was installed at the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, Western Australia last June as the world’s first demonstration and test of a hybrid model of quantum and classical computing.
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