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The New Age Arms Race

The New Age Arms Race
August 28 2020

The US government announces $1B in new funding for multidisciplinary AI and quantum computing research hubs. A total of 12 hubs will be funded, each embedded within different agencies of the federal government. Their work will span a diverse range of topics, from using machine learning for atmospheric and ocean science, to speeding up high-energy physics simulations with quantum systems.

The investment is part of a push from the White House to fund emerging technologies. Many policy advisors worry that America is falling behind in AI and quantum research compared to rivals like China, and warn that these technologies are instrumental not only for economic development but also for national security.

Quantum information science represents the next leap forward for computing, opening the door to powerful machines that can help provide answers to some of our most pressing questions.

Quantum computers won't replace classical ones wholesale — in part because the process of manipulating quantum particles is still highly tricky — but as they develop, they'll open up new frontiers in computing.

While the underlying science behind quantum computing is decades old, quantum computers are only just now beginning to be used commercially. Quantum computers tend to be more error-prone than their classical ancestors because of a process called decoherence.

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Quantum Computing Companies:

IonQ is a quantum computing hardware and software company based in College Park, Maryland. They are developing a general-purpose trapped ion quantum computer and software to generate, optimize, and execute quantum circuits.

Aliro Technologies, a spin-out of Harvard's Quantum Information Sciences Lab, makes software that facilitates accessibility to present-day quantum computers. It offers a hardware-independent platform for developers to write quantum software and helps optimize it according to the specific details of the device, or, conversely, selects the device that maximizes a program's performance. Aliro's software lowers the barrier to entry for businesses that are ready to discover the amazing potential that quantum computing offers. 

Rigetti Computing is a privately-held company that operates in the commercial products & office supplies industry. It builds quantum computers and the superconducting quantum processors that power them. It also develops Quantum Cloud Services (QCS), a platform that enables the company's machines to be integrated into a public, private or hybrid cloud. Rigetti Computing was founded in 2013 by Chad Rigetti. Rigetti Computing headquarters are located in Berkeley, California.

Amazon expands beyond Whole Foods
The 35,000-square-foot store will debut the Dash Cart, a smart grocery cart that tracks shoppers' items and allows them to skip the checkout line, and feature Echo Show devices to ask Alexa where certain items are located.
[Read more].
TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer calls it quits
TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer has quit the company just 4 months after his appointment. TikTok is being forced to sell its U.S. business, which says the app’s current ties to China make it a national security threat. [Read more].
Since last week, PrivCo has added:
1,108 Companies | 175 M&A Deals160 Funding Activities

Funding & Deal Highlights:

Indianapolis-based Mister Quik Home Services acquires another home services company in the Indy area. Financial terms of the deal for Copper Ridge Home Services were not released; however, Mister Quik says it will now be able to expand its service area in the city.

Cryoport, Inc., a global leader in temperature-controlled supply chain solutions for the life sciences industry, announces the expansion of its global supply chain network and services by signing an agreement to acquire CRYOPDP, a leading global provider of innovative temperature-controlled logistics solutions to the clinical research, pharmaceutical and cell and gene therapy markets, headquartered in Paris, France. The agreement provides for Cryoport to acquire CRYOPDP in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately €49M. CRYOPDP generated over €42M of revenue in 2019 and is expected to be immediately accretive to Cryoport's earnings upon closing. The acquisition is expected to close within 60 days, subject to customary closing conditions.

Shannon Ridge Family of Wines announces the acquisition of Steele Wines, of Finley, California. Shannon Ridge has purchased the Lake County winery facilities and their diverse portfolio of brands and trademarks, including Shooting Star, Stymie, and Writer's Block.

Yac, the digital voice messaging service that launched last year, raises new money from the Slack Fund as it continues to gain ground among companies looking to give their employees new communication tools for remote working.

Enterprise artificial intelligence and machine-learning platform Dataiku announces a Stripes-led $100M Series D round of funding. Tiger Global Management also made a major investment in the round that also included existing investors Battery Ventures, CapitalG, Dawn Capital, FirstMark Capital, and ICONIQ, the company said in a written statement. Including the new funding, New York-based Dataiku has raised a total of $246.8M in venture-backed funding since its inception in 2013, according to Crunchbase data. The company raised its largest funding to date, a $101M Series C, back in December 2018.

Music licensing platform Songtradr lands $30M for its Series C round, bringing its valuation up to $165M. The Santa Monica-based company is building a global music rights system and licensing marketplace. It offers distribution, rights management, and licensing across verticals spanning from advertisers, brands, and gaming platforms, according to CEO Paul Wiltshire. 

Commonstock is going after the retail investing space armed with $9.7M in seed funding. The San Francisco-based startup was formed in 2017 by David McDonough to design a group chat platform to share investment knowledge and decisions. Users can link any brokerage to shareholdings by percentage, get real-time alerts when friends buy or sell, copy each other’s trades and invest together, and even compete to see who performs best.

Azul 3D, a Skokie, Ill.-based 3D printing tech startup, raises $12.5M in seed financing. The company intends to use the funds to advance its printing technology and launch its first commercial printers.

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