C12 Secures €18 Million to Innovate Quantum Computing with Carbon Nanotubes

By Business OutstandersPUBLISHED: June 20, 20:54
C12 Team
C12 Team

Paris-based quantum computing startup C12 has announced an €18 million funding round (equivalent to $19.4 million) to advance its innovative quantum computing technology based on carbon nanotubes. Founded in 2020 as a spin-off from the École Normale Supérieure’s Physics Laboratory, C12 is spearheading a novel approach to creating scalable quantum computers.

Quantum computing, while not a new concept, remains an evolving field with numerous scientific teams exploring various methods. The ultimate goal is to develop a quantum computer capable of performing complex calculations with minimal errors, surpassing the limitations of traditional computers.

Current computer architecture, dependent on electronic transistors, has advanced rapidly but is approaching its physical limits. Some computational problems are unsolvable with conventional systems, and the future of Moore’s law is uncertain. Quantum computers, however, hold the potential to tackle these challenges.

Pierre Desjardins, C12’s co-founder and CEO, highlighted the practical applications of quantum computing, such as simulating chemical reactions for drug development and solving complex optimization problems in industries like transport and logistics. These tasks are beyond the reach of traditional computers due to the immense number of variables involved.

C12’s CTO, Matthieu Desjardins, a quantum physics PhD, is a key figure in the company’s technological advancements. The company's unique process involves integrating carbon nanotubes—10,000 times thinner than a human hair—onto silicon chips, a technique they believe sets them apart from competitors using superconducting materials.

C12’s production facility near the Pantheon in Paris is currently capable of producing one chip per week, focusing on validating fundamental elements with one or two qubits. They are also developing an emulator, Callisto, to enable developers to prepare quantum code on classical computers, ready for future quantum hardware.

The new funding, led by Varsity Capital, EIC Fund, and Verve Ventures, with existing investors like 360 Capital and Bpifrance also participating, will help C12 expand industrial partnerships and achieve a key research milestone: performing quantum operations between distant qubits, crucial for scaling their technology. 

With a diverse team of 45 people from 18 nationalities, including 22 PhDs, C12 is poised to make significant strides in the quantum computing landscape.