June 8, 2021

CQC and Honeywell create joint quantum computing company and may take it public

The joint company plans to raise further funding this year and is considering options for a public listing.

Maija Palmer

2 min read

Cambridge Quantum Computing and Honeywell on Tuesday announced the formation of a new joint venture, combining the UK-based quantum software company with the US conglomerate’s quantum computing unit

The new company will raise further funding, and is considering options for a public listing, said Ilyas Khan, the CEO of CQC, who will now become CEO of the new company.

Honeywell will invest up to $300m and will own 54% of the new company, which will be named later. The rest will be held by CQC, whose investors, in turn, include IBM and JSR Corporation. Honeywell has been an investor in CQC since 2019.


“Since we first announced Honeywell’s quantum business in 2018, we have heard from many investors who have been eager to invest directly in our leading technologies at the forefront of this exciting and dynamic industry – now, they will be able to do so,” said Darius Adamczyk, Honeywell’s chairman and CEO.

Honeywell’s investment together with a further fundraise would give the new business enough a buffer to survive the next few years when the development of quantum computing will require deep pockets even if commercial revenues are not yet coming in. Many large companies say quantum computing will not be commercially relevant for them for another decade. (Sifted members can read more here.)

“This will give us scale,” Khan told Sifted. “It is no longer about five or ten or even 50 millions of dollars. The $300m from Honeywell will mean we are solid and can look forward to the next few years in confidence.”

Quantum computing startups raised a record €635m in funding last year, according to Dealroom, and IonQ, a quantum startup also using trapped ion technology recently announced plans to go public via a SPAC.

Khan told Sifted that no decision on this had yet been made, but that the company was considering all options for going public. A decision is likely to be made by the end of the year, he said.

Honeywell has been developing quantum computing hardware for a decade, using trapped ion technology that uses charged atoms to hold quantum information. Cambridge Quantum Computing, meanwhile, has focused on software, trying to bridge the commercialisation gap by creating software products, such as quantum cryptography keys and random number generator services, that businesses could already start to use. It is also developing a quantum operating system.

The business will have a long-term agreement with Honeywell to manufacture the ion traps needed for the quantum processors. But Khan said that on the software side, the joint business would remain hardware-agnostic and continue to work with IBM and other quantum hardware companies.