The Series A round of $24 million was led by Andreessen Horowitz. Vijay Pande, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, has been appointed to Rigetti’s Board of Directors, joining Rigetti CEO Chad Rigetti and angel investor Charlie Songhurst. The $40 million Series B was led by Vy Capital and included Andreessen Horowitz.
Investors in both rounds include Y Combinator’s Continuity Fund, Data Collective, FF Science, AME Cloud Ventures, Morado Ventures, and WTI. Institutional investors in Series A include Sutter Hill Ventures, Susa Ventures, Streamlined Ventures, Lux Capital, and Bloomberg Beta.
CEO Rigetti said the company would use the money to expand engineering teams and invest in infrastructure to manufacture and deploy quantum integrated circuits. Prior to founding Rigetti Quantum Computing Chad Regetti spent nearly three years as research staff member in IBM’s quantum computing group.
The company’s business model is to build a cloud quantum computer and provide access to it for artificial intelligence applications and computational chemistry through an application programming interface (API) called Forest. Forest emphasizes a quantum-classical hybrid computing model, integrating directly with existing cloud infrastructure and treating the quantum computer as an accelerator. The Forest API is available in beta form.
Rigetti employs about 35 engineers with diverse backgrounds in computer science, engineering, physics, and chemistry.
“Rigetti has assembled an impressive team of scientists and engineers building the combination of hardware and software that has the potential to finally unlock quantum computing for computational chemistry, machine learning and much more,” said Vijay Pande, Andreessen Horowitz general partner and Rigetti board member, in a statement.