By Jane Lanhee Lee
OAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) – U.S. quantum communications startup Qunnect said on Wednesday it has raised $8 million in a funding round led by Airbus Ventures and launched a test project in New York.
The funds will be used to boost manufacturing and develop a research and development platform, the company said in a statement.
Quantum communications is a field of technology that has the potential to make data transmission faster and more secure and one in which governments in the United States, Europe and China have been investing heavily.
Mehdi Namazi, co-founder of Qunnect, said the company’s technology works in ambient temperatures with existing telecommunications network infrastructure and does not require the very cold temperatures typically used in other quantum systems.
He said while network security is currently one of the technology’s main applications, it could eventually “have many different entanglement sources and make them talk to each other to increase the distance beyond what would be possible otherwise.”
The project in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where Qunnect is headquartered, connects the company’s quantum communications hardware to two ends of existing telecommunications fiber optic cables to test the technology, said Qunnect CEO Noel Goddard.
The technology will eventually become available for testing by customers, including in financial services.
Goddard said the U.S. Chips Act has also allocated funds to build a quantum network across the United States.
Qunnect said the first generation product is expected to be completed mid-next year.
(This story has been corrected to fix the CEO’s last name to Goddard in paragraph 6)
(Reported By Jane Lanhee Lee; Editing by Sam Holmes)