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Quantum Machines raises $17.5M for its quantum orchestration platform



Quantum Machines, a Tel Aviv-based startup that is building both hardware and software to operate quantum computers, today announced that it has raised a $17.5 million Series A funding round. The round was led by Israeli tech entrepreneur Avigdor Willenz, who, among other companies, co-founded Habana Labs and Anapurna Labs and sold them to Intel and Amazon respectively. and Harel Insurance investments.

TLV Partners and Battery Ventures also participated in this round. TLV Partners also led the company’s $5.5 million seed round in 2018, in which Battery Partners also participated.

“The race to commercial quantum computers is one of the most exciting technological challenges of our generation,” said Willenz. “Our goal at [Quantum Machines] is to make this happen faster than anticipated and establish ourselves as a key player in this emerging industry.”

The company says it will use the new funding to accelerate the adoption of its Quantum Orchestration Platform. This platform went live earlier this year. What makes it unique is that it’s a combination of custom hardware, which the company designed itself, and software tools that can be used to control virtually any quantum processor. To control a quantum processor, you also need a powerful classical computer, but traditional computers are ill-suited for this task, Quantum Machines argues, and it’ll take specialized hardware for classical computing to harness the power of quantum computing and run complex algorithms on these machines.

“The classical layers of the quantum computer are the real unmet need. They are the bottleneck,” Quantum Machines co-founder Itamar Sivan told me when the platform launch. “We were really looking into what is holding the industry back. What are the things that we can do today to drive this industry forward, but that will also enable faster progress in the future. Since most of the focus in the last years has been devoted to quantum processors, it was only natural that you know we take on this challenge.”


Private Equity

Biotech continues strong PE, VC investment run in 2020



The biotech sector has continued its robust start to the year for private equity and venture capital dealmaking, despite


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Private Equity

More than 20 venture capital firms band together to provide founders with advice on coronavirus challenges



More than two dozen UK venture capital houses have banded together to provide free and confidential advice to startups looking for help on coping with challenges arising from the Covid-19 crisis.

Breega, Draper Esprit, Omers Ventures, MMC Ventures and Nauta Ventures are all among the slew of firms joining the scheme, which is based on a model set up by Breega’s Paris office at the beginning of last month.

The VC Hours scheme consists of one-to-one consultations that can be booked online, taking place either via video or over the phone, and are open to any startup founder wishing to discuss their business challenges with a VC.

Areas of advice will include helping founders adapt their business models, raising and pitching during the crisis, controlling cash flow and HR issues.

Breega founding partner Ben Marrel said, “In these difficult times, it is vital, more now than ever, that the different actors of our ecosystem come together to support each other, so as to limit, as much as possible, the devastating impact of the economic crisis.

“Startups are fragile because they’re young and yet they’re also indispensable as they are the ones shaping our future world and economy.”

Connect Ventures partner Rory Stirling added, “This is no doubt a lonely and difficult time for many startup founders.

“Whilst some founders have been able to turn to their existing investors for support, those that are yet to raise, find themselves with few places to turn for advice.

“That is one of the reasons we chose to get behind this initiative and our objective is to ensure that all the startups that need help during the Covid-19 crisis can find it.”

The full list of firms taking part in the VC Hours scheme are:

  • AlbionVC
  • Ananda Impact Ventures
  • Anthemis, Augmentum
  • BrightEye
  • Breega
  • C4 Ventures
  • Connect Ventures
  • DN capital
  • Draper Esprit
  • Eka
  • Episode 1
  • Felix
  • Gauss Ventures
  • 24Haymarket
  • KEEN Venture Partners
  • Kindred
  • Local Globe
  • MMC
  • Nauta
  • Notion
  • Omers
  • Outrun
  • Piton Capital
  • PROfounders
  • Samaipata
  • SOSV
  • SpeedInvest
  • Sweet Capital
  • 7percent Ventures

Copyright © 2020 AltAssets


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Funding from the crowd, VCs, or Angels



CB-Insights funding

Efi Pylarinou is the founder of Efi Pylarinou Advisory and a Fintech/Blockchain influencer – No.3 influencer in the finance sector by Refinitiv Global Social Media 2019.

Funding is on everybody`s mind, especially for early-stage companies with no significant customer base. Will this time be different than in other market downturns?

Crowdfunding limits in the US are increased

The SEC increased the amount that companies can raise through crowdfunding. SEC is has proposing to increase the limit from $1million to $5million for accredited investors and to revise the calculation of investment limits for non-accredited investors (allowing them to allocate a greater percentage of their net worth). Of course, it will take time to be able to tell the impact. When will the appetite kick in at the current lower valuations.

Rosenblatt Securities research from last Fall, shows the expected impact on Fintech valuations at various stages affecting heavily the unicorns. For earlier stage startups the average expected impact is expected to be around 20% (1/3 of the unicorn impact).

Screen Shot 2020-05-18 at 10.47.22

B2B Fintech offerings, mostly Saas, are the ones that are getting traction from the new Fintech funds are raised now. Over 50% of investors claimed (before the crisis) that they would be opportunistic in their approach especially in sectors whose valuations were overblown.

New funds looking for great Fintech deals

New VC funds with an exclusive or partial Fintech focus are being raised as we speak but shyly of course.

FIS one of the leading financial vendor providers, is salivating on the opportunities that can be found in these market conditions and launched in late April a new $150million fintech fund. They already made their first investment in Flutterwave, the Nigerian payments fintech who raised $35mil Series B. FIS was familiar with Flutterwave as they had a business partnership established in January.

What is noteworthy is the interest in Nigeria and Africa in general. The SEC has also allowed Nigerian enterprises of all sizes that are more than 2yrs old to access the US crowdfunding portals.

FINTOP Capital closed its second Fintech FINTOP Fund II which was oversubscribed and raised $126 million. The first fund was raised in 2016 ($50million) and brags for two exits: DealCloud sold to Intapp in 2018 (both in the institutional Saas sector of capital markets), and Solovis (a cloud-based multi-asset class portfolio management, analytics and reporting technology platform, for institutional investors) which was sold to Nasdaq this March of this year. This second fund already has holdings in Trovata (automating cash mgt), Vouchr (mobile UX in payments), myDigitalOffice (digital back office hospitality solutions), FinMkt (consumer financing), Decusoft (Saas compensation mgt).

RTP Global announced a fund to invest into early-stage technology companies in FinTech and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). The new fund is $650 million. Its previous fund was $200million (raised in 2017). See more here.

Angels slowdown and startup job marketplaces are one-sided

AngelList a platform that has innovated in the angel investing space through its syndicates and recently announced layoffs without sharing specific details.

It is already 10yrs old and has roughly $1.8 billion assets under management and several funds. Five years ago it also launched a job business with an app. Right now it lists over 130k tech jobs for 100k companies. Fintechs like Stripe and Affirm have been part of the AngelList job talent ecosystem. Of course, now it will be a one-sided market similar to the challenges faced in the lending market, where demand for loans far exceeds supply.

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