April 10, 2024

11 quantum computing startups that VCs are watching in Europe

Sifted asked investors in the field who they think is the next big thing in quantum computing

European quantum startups are on the rise. Last year, while many VC-backed companies in the region were struggling to raise funds, Europe’s quantum startups actually saw investments grow by 3% to reach $781m — more than three times the amount raised in the sector in North America ($240m).

It also made Europe the only region to see funding for quantum startups increase, while investments in North America dropped by 80%, and by 17% in Asia-Pacific.

With strong support from governments — the UK has committed $4.3bn to quantum technologies, while Germany has pledged over $3.7bn — and burgeoning interest from VCs, Europe’s quantum scene is growing steadily. 


And although quantum technologies cover a number of applications, including high-quality sensors and secure communications, quantum computers often take the spotlight, especially as some made-in-Europe companies in the field start to make a name for themselves globally.

These are the quantum computing startups that investors are currently keeping an eye on, that aren’t featured in their portfolios.

Ekaterina Almasque - General partner at OpenOcean

A picture of Ekaterina Almasque

OpenOcean is a Finnish early-stage VC firm that focuses on deeptech startups across Europe, with a particular focus on data infrastructure technologies.

Multiverse Computing — Spain

Multiverse Computing is applying quantum computing to business use cases in sectors like finance and cybersecurity. It recently won a competition for a contract with the UK government to explore the use of quantum computing in the public sector. “What really stands out is its acquisition of a… contract outside their home geography in Spain,” says Almasque. “This underscores the practical, immediate utility of their quantum solutions and the crucial role that the government is taking to turbocharge this sector.”

Riverlane — UK

Riverlane builds the components and software needed to correct the errors made by quantum computers, which stem from the high instability of qubits and are currently holding back the performance of the devices. “Riverlane is in a great position to link cutting-edge research and commercial viability,” says Almasque.

Terra Quantum — Switzerland

Terra Quantum provides various quantum computing services to customers through the cloud. They include access to a library of hybrid algorithms — which blend quantum and classical computing approaches — as well as to the company’s computing capabilities, which simulate quantum processors. “I was impressed by its partnership with NVIDIA to develop hybrid quantum algorithms and assemble one of the world’s largest libraries of quantum algorithms,” says Almasque. “If we are to successfully commercialise quantum computing, we cannot neglect quantum software and libraries.”

Pasqal — France

Pasqal builds quantum computers based on neutral atoms. In 2022, the company merged with quantum software startup Qu&Co to expand the application of its hardware to specific use cases. “It is making significant strides towards achieving practical quantum advantage, focusing on solving real-world problems,” says Almasque. 

Dmitry Galperin — General partner at Runa Capital

A picture of Dmitry Galperin

Runa Capital is an early-stage VC firm based in Luxembourg that invests in deeptech, enterprise software and fintech infrastructure.

Arque Systems 

A spinout of RWTH Aachen University, Arque Systems builds and commercialises quantum computers based on silicon-spin qubits. “At the moment, the silicon platform is less mature than the others but is very promising due to compatibility with existing semiconductor fabrication technologies and its ability to scale to millions of qubits,” says Galperin. “The technology is developing at a canter and several startups worldwide are working hard to try and leverage it.”

Orange Quantum Systems — The Netherlands

Orange Quantum Systems is developing equipment that analyses the performance of superconducting chips for quantum computers — a slow and complex process that requires cooling to chips to temperatures lower than -150 degrees Celsius. “Testing quantum chips is unlikely to gather as many headlines as those startups that are building quantum computers, but this is nevertheless a very important part of the production process,” says Galperin. “Orange Quantum Systems is attempting to automate this process.”


Chiara Decaroli — Quantum fund investment manager at Redstone VC

Chiara Decaroli

Redstone is a multi-fund VC firm based in Germany, and its quantum fund focuses on investing worldwide in quantum technologies — computing, communication and sensing — as well as quantum-adjacent and enhanced AI technology, targeting pre-seed to series A stage companies.

Haiqu — Ukraine

“With a distributed team across the UK, Switzerland and Ukraine, Haiqu develops software to mitigate noise and errors,” says Decaroli. “Error mitigation is crucial in being able to extract as much value as possible out of today's and tomorrow's quantum computers, and to be able to reduce the resources needed to run quantum algorithms.” Haiqu also has strong presence in the US and Canada.

Alice&Bob — France

Alice&Bob is building a quantum computer based on cat qubits —  “a type of superconducting circuit that by design is more resilient to noise. Only a few players focus on this kind of architecture today, including AWS,” says Decaroli.

Pixel Photonics — Germany

Pixel Photonic builds single-photon detectors, which can be used to generate the photonic qubits that form the basis of some quantum computers. The technology also has applications outside of quantum computing, for imaging, light detection and in quantum communications.

Algorithmiq — Finland

Algorithmiq develops quantum algorithms for applications in the life sciences, such as molecular structure prediction, drug discovery and drug design. The company says that its algorithms are designed to work on near-term quantum computers. “They also focus on proprietary error mitigation techniques and believe quantum advantage is within reach thanks to their methods,” says Decaroli.

Planqc — Germany

One of the later joiners to the quantum computing hardware sector, planqc was founded in 2022 in Munich. The company, like Pasqal, builds quantum computers based on neutral atoms. It was recently awarded a €29m contract to deploy a quantum computer at the German Aerospace Centre. 

Daphné Leprince-Ringuet

Daphné Leprince-Ringuet is a reporter for Sifted based in Paris and covering French tech. You can find her on X and LinkedIn