Quantum computing software developer Riverlane secures £3.25m funding
13 Jun 2019

Cambridge, UK – Riverlane, Europe’s most advanced quantum computing software developer, has raised £3.25m in seed funding, led by venture capital investors Cambridge Innovation Capital and Amadeus Capital Partners, with the participation of Cambridge Enterprise.

Riverlane is building a simulation engine for microscopic systems to replace expensive laboratory tests with computer simulation. Riverlane’s software leverages the capabilities of the quantum computer, which operates using the principles of quantum mechanics. In the same way that graphics processing units (GPUs) accelerate machine learning workloads, Riverlane uses quantum computers to accelerate the simulation of quantum systems.

The company is working with leading academics and companies on critical early use cases for its software, such as developing new battery materials and drug treatments. Riverlane will use its seed funding to demonstrate its technology across a range of quantum computing hardware platforms, focused on early adopters in materials design and drug discovery. It will also expand its team of quantum software researchers and computational physicists.

Riverlane was founded by Dr Steve Brierley, Senior Research Fellow in Applied Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. Steve has over a decade of research experience in quantum information and computation, investigating the theory of quantum systems, architectures for quantum computers and quantum algorithms.

Steve Brierley, CEO of Riverlane, said: “This seed funding allows us to accelerate our work at a critical time in the development of quantum computers. Computers are central to the design of many new products, but when we try to model systems at the level of individual atoms, the rules that govern their behaviour are fundamentally different. Even huge supercomputers are limited to approximations. As a result the design of new drugs and materials remains primarily a laboratory, rather than a computational, exercise. Riverlane’s software aims to unleash the huge potential of quantum computers.”

Andrew Williamson, Managing Partner at CIC added, “Riverlane is changing the way we think about computation at the most fundamental level. Steve and his team are developing state-of-the-art algorithms that can run on a range of quantum computing hardware platforms. These algorithms can be applied to a number of applications such as drug–protein interactions, biomolecule folding and materials science at a molecular level. This is the sort of cutting-edge technology at which Cambridge excels and at CIC we are delighted to be involved with such an exciting company from the outset.”

Amelia Armour, Principal, Amadeus Capital Partners, said: “Amadeus has a long history of supporting deep tech businesses in Cambridge and we’ve been impressed by Riverlane’s progress. Steve has brought together an impressive team of experts in maths, computer science, chemistry, physics and materials science who share a passion for driving innovation in quantum computing. We’re pleased to support the company as it seeks to demonstrate the commercial value of its unique software.”

About Riverlane

Riverlane, Europe’s leading quantum software company, is taking quantum computing from theory into practice. By developing pioneering quantum software, Riverlane is on a mission to use quantum computers as a platform for innovation. Creating accurate digital twins of materials or protein-drug interactions so that new materials and pharmaceuticals can be designed instead of discovered. For more information visit riverlane.io

About Cambridge Innovation Capital PLC

Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) is a venture capital investor focused on intellectual property rich technology and life science businesses in the Cambridge ecosystem. CIC is committed to building leading businesses from brilliant technologies. It combines a unique relationship with the University of Cambridge with deep financial and industry links to support these businesses as they seek to fulfil their potential to change the world of tomorrow.

For more information please visit www.cicplc.co.uk or follow them on Twitter at @CambsInnovation

About Amadeus Capital Partners

Amadeus Capital Partners is a global technology investor. Since 1997, the firm has raised over $1bn for investment and used it to back more than 130 companies. With vast experience and a great network, Amadeus’ team of investors and entrepreneurs share a passion for the transformative power of technology. We invest in consumer services, financial technology, artificial intelligence, cyber security, medical technology, digital healthcare and digital media.

Early stage investments we’ve made include rare disease treatment discovery platform Healx, massively parallel simulation platform Improbable; Graphcore, innovators in intelligent microprocessors, and speech recognition company VocalIQ (acquired by Apple).

To learn more visit www.amadeuscapital.com and follow us on Twitter @AmadeusCapital.

About Cambridge Enterprise

A wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Cambridge, Cambridge Enterprise Limited is responsible for the commercialisation of University intellectual property. It provides access to early stage capital through the Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds, University of Cambridge Enterprise Funds and Cambridge Enterprise Venture Partners, and offers business planning, mentoring and related programmes. Activities include management and licensing of intellectual property and patents, proof of concept funding and support for University staff and research groups wishing to provide expert advice or facilities to public and private sector organisations. For more information, please visit: www.enterprise.cam.ac.uk