Quantum computing is a game-changer in computing. By harnessing the power of quantum physics, quantum computers will be able to solve problems that are currently impossible or take years to solve. The technology has been around for a long time but hasn’t yet become mainstream because of its complex nature, which requires a lot of research and development to make it commercially viable.
Nonetheless, many companies and universities are working on developing quantum computers with new technologies and ideas entering the market every day.
Here’s 1QBit, the world’s first dedicated quantum software company that develops tools for use in specific applications such as machine learning, optimization, and simulation.
Founded in 2012 by Andrew Fursman and a team of researchers, 1QBit has raised $45 Million in funding and partnered with industry-leading companies like Microsoft to develop quantum solutions.
Who Are 1QBit?
1QB Information Technologies, Inc. (1QBit) is a quantum computing software company based in Vancouver, British Columbia. It was founded on December 1, 2012, by a group of researchers, including Andrew Fursman, the present CEO, as the first dedicated quantum computing software company.
In its nine years of existence, 1QBit has grown into a team of 51 to 200 professionals committed to bringing quantum computing from theory to application.
What Does IQBit Do?
1QBit develops quantum software tools that solve problems in machine learning, optimization, and simulation. While 1QBit creates general-purpose algorithms for quantum computing hardware, the organization’s primary interests are computational finance, materials science, quantum chemistry, and life sciences.
Its Optimization team comprises scientists with physics, quantum computing, and computer science backgrounds who work closely with customers and partners to discover new approaches to optimization, such as AI and build solutions to address them. They created the 1QloudTM platform, HOPE, and FOCUS.
1QloudTM is a computational bridge that connects complex business problems to optimization solutions that use cutting-edge technology. It is available through Microsoft’s Azure Quantum.
With the help of the 1Qloud platform, researchers can take advantage of computing capabilities and cutting-edge algorithms without worrying about maintaining a complicated and expensive computer infrastructure.
Users can Route, schedule, plan, assign, pack, and solve the most complex optimization problems by harnessing the power of quantum-inspired computing in one cloud.
HOPE – Software for Tuning and Optimization
The Hyperparameter OPtimization Environment (HOPE) is a modular, extendable, and automated software package that automates benchmarking and parameter tuning for optimization purposes. For example, when tackling a portfolio optimization problem for a financial institute, HOPE is used to determine the optimal settings of multiple solvers accessible in Azure Quantum.
FOCUS – Optimization Solutions
FOCUS is a problem-agnostic heuristic toolset of restricted optimization solutions that makes it easier to prototype, validate, and implement optimization solutions. A user only needs to declare a problem once and can then employ all solvers in FOCUS using the same problem definition.
FOCUS has a high potential for success in the optimization industry due to its flexibility in leveraging a problem’s structure when using multiple solvers.
FOCUS and HOPE are now employed internally at 1QBit to meet the demands of clients, but 1QBit is developing a private pre-release trial of FOCUS for selected 1QBit partners and clients later this year.
In 2018, 1QBit entered a partnership with Microsoft Quantum. This collaboration gave IQBit access to Microsoft’s Quantum Development Kit and the benefits of being a member of the exclusive Microsoft for Startups program.
With the help of Microsoft Quantum, 1QBit improved its client services to investigate solutions to intractable industry challenges, knowing that its hardware-agnostic platform will fully use the best hardware available for each problem.
In 2017, Fujitsu and 1QBit partnered to apply quantum technology in artificial intelligence. 1QBit provided the machine learning software it has developed for quantum computers. In contrast, Fujitsu provides the hardware as a ‘digital annealer’, jointly developed by Fujitsu and the University of Toronto.
The software has so far been applied in several sectors, including banking, high-tech materials, energy, and life sciences.
In 2014, D-Wave Systems offered 1QBit access to its quantum computers and the knowledge required to translate certain issues onto its quantum hardware. In this partnership, 1QBit created machine learning and optimization methods to solve important real-world applications.
They developed toolkits and collaborated with specific businesses to tackle complex financial issues like large portfolio optimization, structured asset-backed security pricing, market correlations mapping, capital project budgeting, pair trading, and trading strategy development.
1QBit raised seed funding from US and Canadian angel investors in 2013, followed by a Series A fundraising round headed by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in 2014. In 2017, 1QBit announced a $45 million Series B investment consisting of stock and revenue contracts. It was led by Fujitsu Limited and supported by Accenture, Allianz, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and CME Ventures. Its last funding round was a conventional debt from Digital Ventures.
About Andrew Fursman, CEO
Andrew Fursman is a co-founder of 1QBit and the company’s CEO, a role he has held since February 2013. He studied Economics at the University of Waterloo, Philosophy and Political Science at the University of British Columbia, and Financial Engineering at Stanford University before pursuing post-graduate studies in Technology Studies at Singularity University.
Andrew was a founding partner in the Vancouver-based VCC company Minor Capital and a co-founder of Satellogic Nano-Satellites and Cloudtel Communications. Presently, he is a Consultant at Fursman Activities Corporation.