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September 19, 2019,   9:25 AM

This Startup Raised $2.7 Million To Build The Java Of Quantum Computing

Alex Knapp

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Boston-based Aliro Technologies, which is aiming to develop a hardware-agnostic quantum computing software platform, announced Wednesday that it’s closed a $2.7 million seed round. CEO Jim Ricotta says Alrio’s vision is to create the “Java of quantum computing”—a platform that will enable developers to create software for quantum computers regardless of the particular quantum computing hardware involved. 

Ricotta’s simple-sounding elevator pitch is actually quite complicated. There are dozens of traditional computer manufacturers all over the world building systems based fundamentally on the same architecture. This enables any software built on Java, a general-purpose programming language, to run on any traditional platform. 

Since the nascent field of quantum computing doesn’t conform to any single architecture, neither does its software. Aliro is focused on changing that—building a software platform that is sensitive to the different types of qubits, the building blocks of quantum information processes. Ultimately, this will enable developers to “write once, use anywhere,” says Ricotta.

The technology behind the company was spun out of Harvard’s quantum computing lab, particularly the work of cofounder Professor Prineha Narang, a 2018 Forbes 30 Under 30 Science inductee who now serves as Aliro’s chief technology officer. The seed financing was led by Flybridge Capital Partners. Samsung NEXT’s Q Fund and Crosslink Ventures also participated. 

Aliro is working with quantum hardware providers IBM and Rigetti, with the goal of adding additional vendors. It has also organized a group of alpha users trying out the software, which it plans to roll out to beta users, too.  

With the new funding, the company’s next focus will be on product development, in particular adding new talent to help make the company’s software tools more robust. 

“We want to give software developers more access, and we want businesses to be able to reach quantum value as quickly as they can,” says Ricotta.



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