Quantum technology comes to the public markets

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On closing a merger with a special purpose acquisition vehicle, IonQ is poised to be the first publicly traded pure-play quantum computing hardware and software company in the world.

Maryland-based quantum computing company, IonQ Inc will become the first company in its niche space of work to get publicly listed this year.

On Monday, IonQ announced that it has entered a merger agreement with the dMY Technology Group, Inc III, a New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)-listed special purpose acquisition vehicle.

The combined entity will receive approximately $300 million from dMY III’s trust account as well as $350 million in gross proceeds from a group of strategic and institutional investors via a private placement.

New investors Silver Lake, MSD Partners, LP and TIME Ventures, the investment fund for Marc Benioff join existing investors such as New Enterprise Associates, GV, and Mubadala Capital in making this fresh investment.

Already approved by the shareholders of both the companies, the transaction now will go through all the regulatory hoops.

Founded by two leading scientists, Chris Monroe and Jungsang Kim, who between them have over 50,000 citations for their research (much of it in quantum computing), IonQ plans to develop modular quantum computers small enough to be networked together by 2023.

The release quoted Niccolo de Masi, CEO of dMY III as saying, “IonQ’s quantum computers are uniquely positioned to capture a market opportunity of approximately $65 billion by 2030… and IonQ is poised to be the first company able to fully exploit this massive opportunity.” 

IonQ claims its quantum computer is the first and only such device available via the cloud on both Amazon Braket and Microsoft Azure.

IonQ was set up in 2015 with $2 million in seed funding from New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and key technology license support from the University of Maryland and Duke University.

The company raised an additional $20 million in the following three years from GV, Amazon Web Services and NEA while building ‘two of the most accurate quantum computers in the world’.

In 2019, it followed up with another quick fund raising of $55 million led by Samsung and Mubadala. IonQ also partnered with Microsoft and AWS to make quantum computers available on the cloud.

The planning public listing in the following two years “advances IonQ’s mission, to solve critical problems that impact nearly every aspect of society,” according to Peter Chapman, CEO & President of IonQ.

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