Quantum Computing Company of the Day: Strangeworks

The Quantum Company started by (William Hurley) Whurley always makes me smile every time I hear the name, in part because it sounds slightly odd, but is such a clever portmanteau I’m rather annoyed that I didn’t think of it myself. Even Strangeworks founder’s name is a conjoined word (Whurley) from his first and second name and even makes sense too.

Akin to “Skunkworks”, “Strangeworks” is a near perfect attribution to the Quantum Computing space. For those in the Quantum Computing world there is nothing unusual about feeling that the whole Quantum field is, well, rather “Strange”, with fairly unintuitive results.

Strangeworks was founded in 2018 by William Hurley, a serial entrepreneur, but not actually a Quantum Physicist (he does have 11 patents to his name though). That shouldn’t cause any problems as he has shown his ability to build successful technology companies (Honest Dollar is one example, sold to Goldman Sachs in 2016) and his recent venture Strangeworks has attracted investment from the likes of well know VC funds such as LightSpeed Ventures.

What do Strangeworks create?

Strangeworks Platforms
Strangework Quantum Computing Platform, available to early Beta testers

They try to solve the problem of running Quantum Calculations on a variety of hardware and aim to be hardware and framework agnostic. The platform is not available at the moment, but you can register for early beta access. Some of the benefits that the product aims to present are the ability to choose from many of the existing quantum frameworks (Q#, Qiskit, Forest, CIRQ and Leap).

There are lot of platforms out there, and we see the move towards attempting to abstract away the Quantum Hardware away from the user is a common theme, whether or not the Hardware is propriety to the company or not. It therefore seems the biggest challenge will be fighting off the competition from other platform entrants.

The future looks like we can see multiple players offering multiple frameworks across a myriad of differing hardware specifications, accessed through a cloud provider such as IBM, AWS or Microsoft.