Seed funding for HQS Quantum Simulations

22. Octo­ber 2019

Karls­ruhe, Germany — HQS Quan­tum Simu­la­ti­ons enables chemi­cal and mate­ri­als scien­tists with quan­tum chemi­cal and advan­ced mate­ri­als simu­la­ti­ons using mid-term NISQ proces­sors. UVC Part­ners, HTGF and btov lead the seed funding round.

From the deve­lo­p­ment of more powerful batte­ries to highly effi­ci­ent solar cells, the search for new mate­ri­als with speci­fi­cally prede­fi­ned proper­ties is crucial. Until now, our ability to deve­lop new mate­ri­als using simu­la­tion tools has been limi­ted by the lack of suffi­ci­ent compu­ting power. The deve­lo­p­ment of new mate­ri­als requi­res an under­stan­ding of mate­rial proper­ties at the atomic level, where the laws of physics are gover­ned by quan­tum mecha­nics. Even super­com­pu­ting centers can solve, at most, tiny quan­tum problems. Howe­ver, with the advent of quan­tum compu­ting, our ability to deve­lop enti­rely new mate­ri­als will change dramatically.

HQS provi­des the soft­ware to faci­li­tate the coming revo­lu­tion in compu­­ter-aided mate­ri­als design. HQS is a spin-off of the Karls­ruhe Insti­tute of Tech­no­logy and offers soft­ware for quan­tum compu­ters. It was foun­ded in 2017 by Dr. Iris Schwenk, Dr. Sebas­tian Zanker, Dr. Jan Reiner and Dr. Michael Martha­ler.

The four foun­ders had worked toge­ther at KIT for four years and then took the step of closing the gap between science and indus­try. Origi­nally backed by angel inves­tors Fried­rich Hoepf­ner and Manfred Zieg­ler, HQS has now closed a seed round of €2.3 million with expe­ri­en­ced deep tech inves­tors UVC Part­ners, HTGF and btov.

“At HQS, we drive inno­va­tion by brin­ging toge­ther a group of outstan­ding scien­tists from physics, chemis­try and quan­tum infor­ma­tion in a work envi­ron­ment that combi­nes crea­ti­vity with a clear focus on product deve­lo­p­ment,” says COO Iris Schwenk. HQS is looking to signi­fi­cantly expand its team in the coming quar­ters and invi­tes top talent with exper­tise to apply.

“HQS’ broad exper­tise in quan­tum deco­he­rence, noisy quan­tum gates, and solid-state physics makes them ideally suited to trans­fer quan­tum chemi­cal and advan­ced mate­ri­als simu­la­ti­ons to mid-term NISQ proces­sors. We look forward to when these simu­la­ti­ons even­tually lead to supe­rior results that realize a quan­tum advan­tage,” says Chris­tian Reit­ber­ger of the btov Indus­trial Tech­no­lo­gies team.

HQS has well-estab­­lished colla­bo­ra­ti­ons with BASF, Bosch and Merck. These colla­bo­ra­ti­ons link the chemi­cal indus­try, which has been very successful in Germany for more than a century, with a highly inno­va­tive field of the future. Quan­tum compu­ting can massi­vely increase the speed of mate­ri­als deve­lo­p­ment, making it a criti­cal tech­no­logy for the chemi­cal industry.

“HQS’ proxi­mity to strong inno­va­tive compa­nies in the chemi­cal indus­try has been of great bene­fit. It has allo­wed us to deve­lop our products with a clear view of what our custo­mers actually need. We are very plea­sed that our deve­lo­p­ment is now supported by three inves­tors who have the pati­ence needed for a complex field like quan­tum compu­ting,” says CEO Michael Marthaler.

“The team at HQS combi­nes leading tech­ni­cal and busi­ness skills, making them well posi­tio­ned to make quan­tum compu­ting acces­si­ble to their indus­trial custo­mers,” said Benja­min Erhart, part­ner at UVC Partners.

Yann Fiebig, Senior Invest­ment Mana­ger at HTGF adds: “The deve­lo­p­ments in quan­tum compu­ting over the last few years open up unima­gi­ned oppor­tu­ni­ties in a wide range of indus­tries. With this strong inves­tor consor­tium, HQS has found the right part­ners to open up quan­tum simu­la­ti­ons entrepreneurially.”

About HQS Quan­tum Simulations
HQS Quan­tum Simu­la­ti­ons predicts mate­rial proper­ties using quan­tum compu­ters. We acce­le­rate deve­lo­p­ment cycles in the chemi­cal and phar­maceu­ti­cal indus­tries. Quan­tum compu­ters can perform calcu­la­ti­ons impos­si­ble for even the most powerful super­com­pu­ters. Current quan­tum compu­ters suffer from intrin­sic faults that limit their perfor­mance. At HQS, we deve­lop algo­rithms for quan­tum compu­ters that can deal with these errors and enable our custo­mers to bene­fit from the perfor­mance advan­tage of quan­tum compu­ters earlier than their compe­ti­tors. In addi­tion, we offer custo­mi­zed simu­la­tion solu­ti­ons for conven­tio­nal compu­ters with an inte­gra­tion of high-end simu­la­tion methods and the possi­bi­lity to use the upco­ming quan­tum computers.

About btov Partners
btov Part­ners, foun­ded in 2000, is a Euro­pean venture capi­tal firm foun­ded and funded by serial entre­pre­neurs and busi­ness angels, focu­sing on indus­trial tech­no­lo­gies and digi­tal leaders in the Euro­pean economy. The company mana­ges an invest­ment volume of 420 million euros and reviews over 3,000 invest­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties annu­ally. The btov Indus­trial Tech­no­lo­gies team supports indus­tri­ally rele­vant compa­nies ranging from hard­ware compa­nies with embedded soft­ware to appli­ca­tion and infra­struc­ture soft­ware provi­ders for various indus­try segments. The focus is on robo­tics & auto­no­mous vehic­les, indus­try 4.0 and indus­trial IoT, cyber-physi­­cal secu­rity, elec­tro­nics & photo­nics, addi­tive manu­fac­tu­ring, energy conver­sion and storage, and medi­cal and quan­tum tech­no­lo­gies. Past invest­ments include Black­lane, Data Artisans, DeepL, Dyem­an­sion, Effect Photo­nics, Elec­tro­chaea, ORCAM, Quanta, Raisin, SumUp, Volo­c­op­ter and XING. For more infor­ma­tion, visit

About Unter­neh­mer­tum Venture Capi­tal Partners
Unter­neh­mer­tum Venture Capi­tal Part­ners (UVC Part­ners) is an early-stage venture capi­tal firm that invests speci­fi­cally in tech­­no­­logy-based start­ups in the Indus­trial Tech­no­lo­gies, Enter­prise Soft­ware and Mobi­lity sectors. Per invest­ment round € 0.5 — 3 million are inves­ted and in successful invest­ments up to € 12 million in total.
Port­fo­lio compa­nies bene­fit from the exten­sive invest­ment and exit expe­ri­ence of the manage­ment team and from the close coope­ra­tion with Unter­neh­mer­TUM, Europe’s leading inno­va­tion and start-up center. With its more than 180 employees and more than 100 indus­try part­ners, Unter­neh­mer­TUM has many years of expe­ri­ence in buil­ding young compa­nies. Through the part­ner­ship, UVC Part­ners can offer start­ups unique access to talent, custo­mers and part­ners. The port­fo­lio includes invest­ments such as Flix­Bus, Carjump (Free2Move), KONUX, Blick­feld, 3YOURMIND and Vimcar.

About Hoepf­ner Bräu
Foun­ded in 1798 as a home brewery, Hoepf­ner Bräu now works as a deve­lo­per of high-end real estate and as a busi­ness angel for hi-tech start­ups. Hoepf­ner foun­ded Cyber­Fo­rum, now Europe’s leading network for hi-tech start­ups, and was the first Euro­pean Invest­ment Fund part­ner at the Euro­pean Angel Fund (EAF). Hoepf­ner has been support­ing HQS since the end of 2018.

About High-Tech Gründerfonds
The seed inves­tor High-Tech Grün­der­fonds (HTGF) finan­ces tech­no­logy start­ups with growth poten­tial. With a total volume of EUR 895.5 million distri­bu­ted across three funds and an inter­na­tio­nal part­ner network, HTGF has alre­ady supported more than 550 start­ups since 2005. His team of expe­ri­en­ced invest­ment mana­gers and startup experts supports the young compa­nies with know-how, entre­pre­neu­rial spirit and passion. The focus is on high-tech start-ups in the soft­ware, media and Inter­net sectors, as well as hard­ware, auto­ma­tion, health­care, chemi­cals and life scien­ces. More than EUR 2 billion in capi­tal has been inves­ted in the HTGF port­fo­lio by exter­nal inves­tors in more than 1,400 follow-on finan­cing rounds to date. The fund has also successfully sold shares in more than 100 companies.

Inves­tors in the public-private part­ner­ship include the German Fede­ral Minis­try for Econo­mic Affairs and Energy, KfW Capi­tal, the Fraun­ho­­fer-Gesel­l­­schaft and the busi­ness enter­pri­ses ALTANA, BASF, Bayer, Boeh­rin­ger Ingel­heim, B.Braun, Robert Bosch, BÜFA, CEWE, Deut­sche Post DHL, Dräger, Dril­lisch AG, EVONIK, EWE AG, FOND OF, Haniel, Hettich, Knauf, Körber, LANXESS, media + more venture Betei­li­gungs GmbH & Co. KG, PHOENIX CONTACT, Post­bank, QIAGEN, RWE Gene­ra­tion SE, SAP, Schufa, Schwarz Gruppe, STIHL, Thüga, Vector Infor­ma­tik, WACKER and Wilh. Werhahn KG.

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