The dreams of quantum startups about the stock market are losing touch

7 months ago
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At the end of September, Righetti reported assets of $212 million and a net loss of $49 million for the year to date. The SPAC deal was originally expected to $458 million, pushing Rigetti’s valuation up to about $1.5 billion, but after some investors left, it raised slightly more than half the amount expected.

Quantum computing is a particularly volatile area of ​​investment. A technology designed to speed up computer processing by using quantum mechanics to solve complex problems is unlikely to be widely used for many years. Pricing and business practice standards have not yet been approved. Although companies like Volkswagen are experimenting with quantum computing, products and demand are not yet well established.

“In a way, SPACs are perfect for a company with huge potential but that will take some time to mature,” said D-Wave CEO Alan Baratz. fast company on its merger in August 2022. “With SPAC, you can leverage funding sources in public markets to accelerate your growth and do so based on future potential.” As of the end of September, D-Wave reported $39 million in assets and almost the same net loss in the first nine months of 2022, but the company has signed an agreement with a capital fund to provide an additional $150 million over three years. The company did not provide a comment for this story.

Companies stand in the way of the SPAC they have taken, and some have significant reserves. Peter Chapman, president and chief executive officer of IonQ, says the company has teamed up with SPAC to raise a “significant” amount of capital needed. Company It was reported that it had $556 million in cash and investments in September, and a loss of $30 million in the year to date.

“IonQ is making outstanding progress at a time when other companies in our field are slowing down,” Chapman told WIRED in an email. The company is still hiring dozens positions, has worked with Dell and GE, and has enough money to move forward, Chapman says. “Based on our achievements to date, we continue to believe that the money we raised last year will fund IonQ for the foreseeable future.”

Quantum computing projects at giants like Alphabet and IBM can profit from their established businesses. But the smaller businesses that go all out on quantum computing need other sources of cash to ensure their long-term survival. SPACs have been an attractive source of money, but some companies that have used them may face repercussions.

“Unfortunately, SPACs allowed companies to go public earlier than they should have,” says Charles Cain, professor of international finance and leadership at MIT. “All SPACs are not bad, but a lot of them were bad because they were never supposed to be public.”

Kane says that this could create problems not only for those who bought shares, but also for companies trying to develop expensive and labor-intensive technologies. “Their access to capital becomes more limited when they go public,” says Kane. “It will affect their ability to develop further.”

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