Quantum computing startup to join SPAC craze

February 24, 2021 // By Rich Pell
Quantum computing startup to join SPAC craze
Quantum computing hardware and software company IonQ is reported to be in advanced talks to go public via a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) DMY Technology Group Inc. III.

IonQ, which uses a "trapped-ion" approach to quantum computing that traps individual atoms in 3D space and then use lasers to do everything from initial preparation to final readout, was founded in 2015. If the deal goes through, this would create one of the first public pure-play quantum computing companies.

DMY Technology Group Inc. III (NYSE:DMYI) made its public offering in November 2020 with a valuation of $275 million. It announced at the time that it intended to focus on companies "within the broader consumer technology ecosystem that are either consumer-facing or support the infrastructure of consumer applications," although also adding that its search "may span consumer software segments worldwide and may pursue a target outside its expected range."

"The Company intends to specifically focus on companies that have created, or enabled the creation of, compelling mobile app experiences with significant growth in segments such as gaming, entertainment, work productivity, e-commerce, dating, financial technology, and health and wellness," said the company in its press release. "Companies developing disruptive and key enablement technologies for consumer-facing apps in these segments, such as artificial intelligence (“AI”), machine learning (“ML”), cloud infrastructures and quantum computing are also within the scope of this search."

According to reports, the SPAC is expected to raise an additional $300 million through a private investment in public equity (PIPE) sale. Silver Lake, MSD Partners, Bill Gates' Breakthrough Energy and an affiliate of Hyundai Motor are said to be in talks to be part of the PIPE deal.

For its part, IonQ just announced in October 2020 what it claimed was the world's most powerful quantum computer. The computer features 32 perfect qubits with low gate errors, giving it an expected quantum volume greater than 4,000,000 - well above other current quantum computing systems using this metric, says the company.

Following the merger, it is speculated that the combined entity might have a valuation of $2 billion, implying a valuation of the IonQ portion at over $1 billion. According to the reports, a deal could be announced in the coming weeks.

IonQ

Related articles:
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Honeywell to release 'world's most powerful' quantum computer
IBM on 'quantum supremacy'
Infineon to build quantum processor


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