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Destination Startup: Quantum company Infleqtion inspires spinoffs with $110M raise

DENVER — If you’re a student or faculty member at a Colorado university lab looking to turn your research into a company, you could certainly find worse role models than a University of Colorado Boulder spinoff that recently closed a nine-figure fundraising round.

Infleqtion, a new trade name for Boulder-based quantum-technology company ColdQuanta Inc., served as an example of a successful CU spinoff Thursday during Destination Startup, a showcase of the area’s innovation ecosystem organized by Venture Partners at CU Boulder.

Late last year, Infleqtion raised $110 million in a Series B round led by LCP Quantum Partners and began emerging from its decade-and-a-half-long research and development effort with a suite of products it’s seeking to commercialize. 

“For everyone who’s in those first days of fundraising, this is a fantastic story of super-deep tech followed by a lot of investment,” CU Ventures director of venture development Stephen Miller said to a group of entrepreneurs, students, staffers and investors gathered in a Denver hotel conference room. 

According to Infleqtion vice president Max Perez, who delivered a keynote address at Destination Startup, the “foundational technology that we built and expanded upon that led to our success today” came out of CU labs.

“Quantum is not just quantum computing,” he said. “What we realized is that our company is at an inflection point — hence our name — in the quantum industry.”

The company’s Series B funding is helping to finance a go-to-market play for quantum devices such as sensors, timekeepers and information-transmission antennas with hopes of proving that there’s a market for applications that take advantage of this next-generation science. 

Infleqtion, which began its fundraising with a much more modest raise of about $6 million only a few years ago, has also developed Hibbert, what it claims is the first gate-based cold-atom quantum computer. Widespread commercialization of these ultra-powerful computers is likely still a few years away, which is why Infleqtion is focusing for now on more-mature technologies such as atomic clocks.

“We decided we needed to pivot to a broader view of what quantum is,” Perez said. 

As the company begins commercializing its suite of simpler quantum products, staffers are still spending about one-third of their efforts developing quantum computers, he said.

“Quantum computing is probably the most exciting technology” coming to market, but it’s some of the most difficult technology to develop and bring to market.

Destination Startup was launched nearly five years ago as a way to improve connections between companies spun off from Colorado universities and laboratories and the investors those spin-offs need to help them commercialize their work.

Since its inception more than 900 investors, business leaders and university-affiliated innovators have participated in the event, according to Venture Partners. Participants have launched more than 70 new startups, which have raised more than $400 million in funding.

Source: BizWest