Multiverse helped bank quants speed up their work; now it’s targeting LLM leviathans


We’re still years away from seeing physical quantum computers break into the market with any scale and reliability, but don’t give up on deep tech. The market for high-level quantum computer science — which applies quantum principles to manage complex computations in areas like finance and artificial intelligence — appears to be quickening its pace.

In the latest development, a startup out of San Sebastian, Spain, called Multiverse Computing is announcing that it has raised €25 million (or $27 million) in an equity funding round led by Columbus Venture Partners. The funding, which values the startup at €100 million ($108 million), will be used in two main areas. The startup plans to continue building out its existing business working with startups in verticals like manufacturing and finance; and it wants to forge new efforts to work more closely with AI companies building and operating large language models.

In both cases, the pitch is the same, CEO Enrique Lizaso-Olmos: “optimization.”

In other words, as computing becomes more advanced, it can be more costly and in some cases too complex to execute consistently. Multiverse’s pitch is that its software platform Singularity — designed to apply across a wide range of industries like finance, manufacturing, energy, cybersecurity and defense — can be used to run and optimize complicated modelling and predictive applications more efficiently.

In AI, the focus is more squarely on applying the platform to compress Large Language Models, with a new product called CompactifAI honing in on the calculations that are constantly being made when building and querying LLMs, to cut out more noise and speed up the work (and thus reliability) when producing results.

The company claims that it can compress LLMs “with quantum-inspired tensor networks” by more than 80% with the software, while still producing accurate results. If true, that could have large implications for how companies buy and use processors, addressing one of the big bottlenecks in the industry to date.

Lizaso-Olmos cuts a polymath figure, starting out his career more than 30 years ago by first qualifying as a medical doctor, then taking a second degree in mathematics, and then a third in computer engineering with a Phd that somewhat tied these things together, a PhD in biostatistics. He then picked up an MBA, he said. Over the course of all that he picked up like-minded thinkers and friends, and some of them — namely Roman Orus and Samuel Mugel — were interested in the concept of quantum software and were already making names for themselves through academic work around the subject.

“Multiverse started in a WhatsApp group,” he jokes. The year was 2017, and for the thought experiment, a few of them thought it “would be fun” to write a scientific paper about what you could do with quantum in finance.

The paper ended up getting accepted for a conference taking place at the university in Toronto, so they went along to that. Arriving, Lizaso-Olmos saw that the paper was getting shared around and discussed and suddenly it looked like people might use it as inspiration for enterprising ambitions. That was when Lizaso-Olmos’s MBA-radar kicked in and he pulled his two friends together for a serious IRL chat.

And that is how they, along with Alfonso Rubio, started Multiverse Computing.

That initial exploration of quantum and financial technology that was the subject of that paper became the company’s first commercial application, and where it picked up its first traction. Since then it has widened out into other sectors and counts Moody’s Analytics, Bosch, BASF, Iberdrola, Credit Agricole and BBVA among its customers, and Lizaso-Olmos says that together, industrial and energy clients, who like the greener aspects of more efficient computing, today actually account for more of the company’s business than finance.

Alongside Columbus, previous backer Quantonation Ventures also participated alongside new backers like the European Innovation Council Fund, Redstone QAI Quantum Fund, and Indi Partners.

“Multiverse’s exceptional team will soon apply their unparalleled capability to deliver quantum and quantum-inspired software solutions also within the life sciences and biotechnology markets, where Columbus Venture Partners will help to identify unmet market needs and high-profile industrial partners,” Javier Garcia, a partner at Columbus Venture Partners, in a statement.

While the pitch to verticals seems to have connected with customers, what remains to be seen is how its ambition to go one level higher, to target deep tech and AI companies themselves, might play out for Multiverse. Others competing in the same space include the Alphabet spinout Sandbox AQ, Quantum Motion, and Classiq.


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