€2m investment fund for 100 quantum startups

July 16, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
€2m investment fund for 100 quantum startups
Quantum Delta NL has launched a €2m fund to boost the number of early stage quantum startups in the Netherlands to 100.

The LightSpeed Fund 1 is part of Quantum Delta NL’s strategic roadmap to increase the number of successful quantum startups in the Netherlands. Currently, there are seven quantum startups in the Netherlands, and Quantum Delta NL is on a mission to see this number increase to 100 by 2027. 

The Delft-based QuantWare is the first startup to receive funding as it starts shipping the industry’s first commercial quantum processor

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Last month Quantum Delta NL launched an initiative called LightSpeed to connect Dutch quantum startups in all phases. Specifically for the initiative, efforts were made to approach and bring in European and US funds to support startups.

Quantum Delta NL is the public-private partnership of global tech companies, government agencies and all major quantum research centres in the Netherlands. 

The fund is managed by LightSpeed and awards pre-seed tickets amounting to 50,000 euros each to early-stage startups in the field of quantum technology. This uses a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) note to give startups the maximum flexibility needed in the earliest stages, particularly in the quantum technology space as development timelines and road to profitability extend far beyond that of classic startups. The investment does not have to be repaid, as with a traditional  convertible loan or note, if a startup fails to advance.

“The Netherlands has a top position globally if we look at the number of quantum technology startups. This is unfortunately not the case on the capital side as there is virtually no professional venture capital available for early stage quantum startups. Our goal with Lightspeed is to enable founders to get the best possible start of their company,” said Ton van ‘t Noordende, Quantum Delta NL’s Investor in Residence (above, left)

The fund intends to award 5 to 15 tickets in fiscal year 2021/2022 and 35 to 40 tickets over the total period. The budget will be increased once Phase 1 of the National Growth Fund Program is underway.

“We want the knowledge from the scientific labs to lead to new businesses in the Netherlands and Europe. With LightSpeed and this fund, promising initiatives will get an unprecedented acceleration to scale up their idea to a startup or scale-up,” said Freeke Heijman, director Quantum Delta NL.       

“We see the micro fund as a logical extension of LightSpeed. Promising and early stage initiatives only need a small injection of capital to hit the ground running. This is proven by QuantWare which, relying on our investment and on Lightspeed’s guidance, has raised immediate market capital even before launching their company,” said van ‘t Noordende.

“The support from this fund and LightSpeed will allow us to bring our quantum processors to market. In doing so, we are making quantum accessible to more parties. In this way, we can make a crucial contribution that allows the Dutch quantum ecosystem to build on its current lead,” said Alessandro Bruno, Director of Engineering at QuantWare.

Other quantum articles 

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Picture: 
From left: Ton van ‘t Noordende (Investor in Residence, Quantum Delta NL), Matthijs Rijlaarsdam (QuantWare). Alessandro Bruno (QuantWare), Freeke Heijman (director Quantum Delta NL). Photo by Rebekka Mell in the DiCarlo Lab (QuTech).

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