The First Venture Fund for Quantum Physics is Raising $100M

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by Anam Alpenia, Red Herring

The textbook chapter for quantum physics reads like a Philip K. Dick novel. Yet it is gradually evolving from beyond science fiction to actually providing practical industry applications. In short, trippy physics will soon be making a lot of people money. To that end, the Quantum Wave Fund, the first to specialize in companies developing quantum technologies, is raising $100 million for quantum businesses.

Aside from stretching the understanding of our cosmic world enough to make Einstein’s hair stand on end, quantum physics has become advanced enough to launch commercial applications. It was the winning topic for the 2012 Nobel Prize for Physics. An understanding of quantum physics is what made the semiconductor industry possible, and led to the development of lasers. Potential uses of quantum research include safe data transmission networks, new materials with superior properties, optical sub-micron transistors, high-frequency optical electronics, new systems for ultrasensitive imaging of the brain, and compact and accurate clocks for navigation systems. New innovations in quantum technology will drive the future of IT and security industries and enable the world of tomorrow.

So far, the QWave has invested in the fastest growing areas of quantum science, including quantum encryption security, new materials and quantum devices. Investing $2 million to $10 million, the firm typically chooses established startups with developed products, not just research companies.

The fund is spread its Boston headquarters, Boston and Moscow, but will invest in companies all over the globe. It has so far raised $30 million of its $100 million target.

One of the fund’s partners is Serguei Beloussov, a founder of Parallels, Acronis, Acumatica and a senior partner at technology-focused fund Runa Capital. He realized teams involved in quantum research typically lack the scale and have little idea how to make a business from their research.

“The mission of Qwave is to finance such teams and to help them improve processes of engineering, production, marketing and sales to supply new devices to the global market,” Beloussov said.

The fund marks an important step in preparing for the technological future, said Vladimir M. Shalaev, member of Scientific Advisory Board of Quantum Wave Fund.

“It’s indeed fantastically good that there is a venture fund, Qwave, which is focused on supporting and commercializing the quantum technology, which no doubt will be a basis for the next technology revolution comparable to what happened after personal computers and transistors became the every-day reality,” Shalaev said.