Quantum machine learning startup gets backing to expand team

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What do you get if you couple artificial intelligence with quantum computing — and throw in some big business challenges-slash-opportunities, like creating new drugs and making ground-breaking advances in materials science?

You get about £1.3 million in seed funding, according to Business Cloud. Rahko, a London-based quantum machine learning company, received the million-pound-plus seed funding from Balderton Capital, AI Seed and leading angel investors.

Company founders Wossnig, Edward Grant, Miriam Cha and Ian Horobin, said the firm wants to use quantum machine learning capabilities for chemical simulation, which could help investigate innovations in batteries, chemicals, advanced materials and drugs.

“Most people find quantum computers mysterious and wonder if they are going to save or break the world as we know it,” said Leo Wossnig, CEO of Rahko. “In reality, quantum computing is going to unlock radical advances in areas of research and technology in which we have found ourselves stuck for some time now. Our team is excited to get together every day to work on problems that would have been impossible to solve only a couple of years ago. We are delighted to welcome on board this unique group of investors who truly share our excitement.”

The team hopes to use the funding to grow their team of quantum experts.

Rahko is building the tools necessary to make quantum computers accessible and commercially usable at an accelerated pace, often through the use of hybrid approaches with classical computers, according to investors Balderton.

Lars Fjeldsoe-Nielsen, general partner at Balderton Capital, told TechCrunch: “Rahko is one of the top teams in the world working on a complex space at the very edge of science and computing. The application of discoveries within quantum has already been profound and impacted our fundamental understanding of the world around us. The pace and rate of change in this field over the past few years has been astonishing, and we feel incredibly lucky to be supporting this exceptional team as they continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible.”

Rahko is one of several startups originating from UCL’s Computer Science programme, supported by Conception X, a venture builder for deep tech start-ups.

Rahko’s angel investors include Charles Songhurst (former Microsoft Head of Corporate Strategy), Tom McInerney (Founder, TGM Ventures), John Spindler (CEO, Capital Enterprise) and James Field (CEO, LabGenius).