Quantum computing and networking startup Photonic raised a $100 million round that included an investment from Microsoft.

The deal includes a strategic collaboration that will pair the Vancouver-based startup’s scalable and unified quantum computing and networking with the tech giant’s Azure cloud platform.

“Photonic’s game-changing approach to deliver on the decades-old promises of quantum computing continues to be fueled by our committed investors and best-in-class employees,” CEO Paul Terry said in a release. “The support of such knowledgeable investors who believe in our work is a testament to our team, our technology, and the direction we’re headed in.”

Along with Microsoft, the round included investment from British Columbia Investment Management Corp., the U.K. government’s National Security Strategic Investment Fund, Inovia Capital and Amadeus Capital Partners.

The new round brings the company’s total funding raised to date to $140 million since being founded in 2016.

Quantum cash

Investors have started to see the potential of quantum technology and computing — a level of computation much faster and at a level superior to modern computers in that it can perform many calculations at the same time.

Funding to quantum computing startups already has hit more than $1 billion this year, per Crunchbase data. That number dwarfs the $814 million raised in 2021 and the $788 million announced last year.

The largest round of the year occurred back in February, when SandboxAQ — after spinning off of tech giant Alphabet — announced a $500 million round from investors including Breyer Capital, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Thomas Tull, First Light Capital Group, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Guggenheim Investments and others.

SandboxAQ is examining the related effects of both AI and quantum to develop commercial products for telecom, financial services, health care, security and other computationally intensive sectors.

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