Rahko raises £1.3m seed round to expand expert team and break new ground in ‘quantum discovery’
- Quantum machine learning company Rahko closes £1.3m seed funding
- CEO is Google Fellow in Quantum Computing (2019)
- Focus is on quantum machine learning for chemistry
- Seed round led by Balderton Capital and joined by leading angel investors
London, 11 October 2019 – Quantum machine learning company Rahko today announces that it has raised a £1.3m (USD1.6) seed round led by Balderton Capital, Europe’s leading Series A tech investor. Balderton usually invests at Series A but makes rare seed investments when it discovers exceptional teams like that at Rahko. Balderton is joined in the funding round by venture firm AI Seed and angel investors Charles Songhurst (former Microsoft Head of Corporate Strategy), Tom McInerney (Founder, TGM Ventures), John Spindler (CEO, Capital Enterprise) and James Field (CEO, LabGenius).
Founded last year by Leonard Wossnig, Edward Grant, Miriam Cha and Ian Horobin, Rahko is building ‘quantum discovery’ capabilities for chemical simulation, which could enable groundbreaking advances in batteries, chemicals, advanced materials and drugs.
Chemical simulation is a vital capability that has not advanced significantly in recent years due to the limited computational power of classical computers – even the world’s largest supercomputers. With the Rahko quantum machine learning software platform and joint research with some of the world’s largest companies, Rahko is building an arsenal of tools that may make quantum computers accessible and commercially usable at an accelerated pace, often through the use of hybrid approaches with classical computers.
“Most people find quantum computers mysterious and wonder if they are going to save or break the world as we know it. In reality, quantum computing is going to unlock radical advances in areas of research and technology in which we have found ourselves stuck for some time now. Our team is excited to get together every day to work on problems that would have been impossible to solve only a couple of years ago. We are delighted to welcome on board this unique group of investors who truly share our excitement.” Leo Wossnig, CEO, Rahko, said. Earlier this year, Wossnig was the recipient of the prestigious 2019 Google Fellowship in Quantum Computing, for his exemplary achievement in computer science.
Lars Fjeldsoe-Nielsen, General Partner at Balderton Capital, said: “Rahko is one of the top teams in the world working on a complex space at the very edge of science and computing. The application of discoveries within quantum has already been profound and impacted our fundamental understanding of the world around us. The pace and rate of change in this field over the past few years has been astonishing, and we feel incredibly lucky to be supporting this exceptional team as they continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible.”
Rahko is one of several startups originating from UCL’s Computer Science programme, supported by Conception X, a venture builder for deep tech startups. It works in partnership with several of the world’s largest quantum hardware manufacturers, leading academic teams and national laboratories. The company works closely with customers to ground its research in real-life, commercially valuable problems.
Rahko will use its seed funding to grow its team of experts in order to take on bigger and more ambitious work. It expects to recruit from across the globe, since quantum machine learning is an emerging discipline with few practitioners.
About Balderton – Balderton Capital is a London-based venture firm focused exclusively on backing the best European-founded technology companies. In the two decades since our founding, we have worked with hundreds of extraordinary European founders, and have raised seven funds totalling more than $2.7bn. Previous investments include Betfair (FTSE: BET), Magic Pony (Twitter), NaturalMotion (Zynga), Sunrise (Microsoft), Talend (NASDAQ: TLND) and Yoox Net-a-Porter (BIT: YNAP). Among Balderton’s current portfolio of 85 companies are Aircall, Carwow, Citymapper, Contentful, Frontier Car Group, GoCardless, Hiya, The Hut Group, Kobalt Music, Labster, Nutmeg, Prodigy Finance, Recorded Future, Revolut, ROLI, SOPHiA Genetics, Vestiaire Collective, Vivino and Voi.
About AI Seed – AI Seed provides investment and support to the UK’s AI and machine learning startups. Each year it invests £100,000 each in up to 20 early-stage startups using the latest in artificial intelligence and machine learning to build products and services to solve real world problems.