Chevron participates in funding round for quantum computing provider

Chevron Innovation Investments, a segment of Chevron Corporation, has participated in the $100 million Series B financing round of quantum computing provider OQC.

OQC’s technology offers “numerous potential revolutionary opportunities for the energy industry”, including the enhancement and streamlining of catalysts and the effectiveness of transportation and distribution networks, the United Kingdom (UK)-based firm mentioned in a press release on Tuesday.

“OQC’s creation of the quantum computer holds the potential to transform the information processing landscape by combining the boundaries of engineering and physics,” stated Jim Gable, Chevron Vice President for Creativity and Chief of Technology Ventures. “This represents the most recent investment from our Fundamental Energy Fund, which concentrates on cutting-edge, high-growth startups and innovative technologies that could enhance Chevron’s central oil and gas business performance while also generating new avenues for expansion.”

“Chevron’s investment signifies a momentous achievement in leveraging quantum computing for the energy sector,” said OQC CEO Ilana Wisby. “We’re enthusiastic about promoting innovation and efficiency in exploration and renewable energy and pioneering enterprise-ready quantum solutions in the energy domain.”

OQC predicted that quantum computing in the energy market is set to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37.9 percent, noting that it is “predicted to hasten the energy sector’s discovery and creation of new materials through the simulation of complex molecules for the production of lower-carbon goods.”

In November 2023, OQC introduced OQC Toshiko, an expandable 32-qubit platform and what it claims to be the world’s first enterprise-ready quantum computing platform. The company disclosed its intention to provide hybrid computing, combining quantum and high-performance computing for the market. Previously, quantum computers were solely accessible in laboratories, the company mentioned.

The ongoing funding round represents the UK’s largest ever Series B in quantum computing and is spearheaded by SBI Investment, Japan’s foremost venture capital fund, as outlined by OQC. Founding investors Oxford Science Enterprises (OSE), The University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners (UTEC), Lansdowne Partners, and OTIF, managed by Oxford Investment Consultants (OIC), are also participating in the round. Previously, OQC raised $52 million, including the largest Series A funding in quantum in the UK at that time.

Yoshitaka Kitao, Representative Director, Chairman, President, and CEO of SBI Holdings, remarked in a prior statement, “Quantum computing serves as a transformative force for financial services and various other sectors, unlocking unparalleled power, speed, and precision that will redefine the industrial terrain.”

Wisby further commented, “In order to tackle the most pressing global challenges – from climate change to accelerated drug discovery – we must place quantum computers in the hands of humanity and within reach of our most brilliant intellects. We take pride in pioneering enterprise-ready quantum solutions with our clients, partners, and investors.”

Chevron Innovation Investments said it identifies and finances externally developed technologies and fresh business solutions “with the potential to enhance the manner in which Chevron generates and delivers cost-effective, dependable, and increasingly cleaner energy.” The company boasts over two decades of serving as the primary entry point for external innovation into Chevron.

OQC depicts itself as a worldwide front-runner in quantum computing-as-a-service, laying the groundwork for a brighter future by offering enterprise-ready quantum solutions that seamlessly integrate into digital infrastructures and customer workflows.

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