Quantum computing startup Infleqtion names Matthew Kinsella as CEO

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Quantum computing startup Infleqtion has appointed Matthew Kinsella as its new CEO to guide the company’s journey into quantum clocks and other products.

Kinsella replaces Scott Faris, who has stepped down to focus on quantum industry policy and investments in national security and defense. The change has been in the works for about a month, said Kinsella in an interview with VentureBeat.

Kinsella joins the company from Maverick Capital, where he served as a partner and led investments across the technology industry, including Maverick’s investment in Infleqtion. Kinsella has served on Infleqtion’s board since 2018. There are 250 people working for the firm, mostly in Boulder, Colorado.

“We are thrilled to welcome Matt as the new CEO of Infleqtion during such an important time for the company and the industry,” said Cathy Lego, chair of Infleqtion’s board, in a statement. “Matt’s extensive understanding of Infleqtion, coupled with his demonstrated success in guiding technology companies through product development, revenue expansion, and successful growth initiatives will be invaluable as we embark on scaling the business and expanding into high-growth markets.”

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Kinsella said that the board agreed that it would minimize disruption for the company if a board member already familiar with the company took over as CEO.

“Infleqtion is well positioned to lead as quantum technology shifts out of the lab and into the commercial realm. I’m honored to guide the company through our next pivotal phase,” said Kinsella. “With our robust foundation, exceptional team, and dedication to scalable solutions, we are ready to seize the immense potential of quantum technology to revolutionize industries and create a brighter future for all. Our focus on clocks, RF, compute, and quantum-enabled AI software presents growing and near-term revenue opportunities. We are committed to developing and delivering cutting-edge solutions to our customers.”

Infleqtion’s quantum clocks are precise — far more so than existing atomic clocks — and they can be used in situations where GPS-timing is not reliable or available. And quantum sensors can measure minute changes in the environment and could one day be used to detect objects underwater or underground, or to provide navigational information if GPS is knocked out or not available.

A long investment road

Tiqker 1
One of Infleqtion’s Tiqker atomic frequency reference products.

I asked how Kinsella came to see quantum computer as practical enough to merit an investment.

“Quantum computing effort is a capital intensive one. If you look at what the ion trap modality or the superconducting modalities have done, they have raised billions of dollars and invested in their research projects and made good progress. The neutral atom modality has raised significantly less and I think is actually shown, especially with this Harvard announcement, a huge leap forward. I view neutral atoms as the capital efficient way to reach a fault tolerant quantum computer, which is why I feel comfortable making these investments here. The prize is massive for this.”

Quantum computers are going to do the things that regular computers classical computers do, but better, and they’re going to do the things that classical computers just couldn’t do, he said.

“Those are things around simulation and modeling and optimization problems. With your typical binary gate base computers, it would take thousands of years to do those types of calculations,” he said.

While the quantum computing market has been a long time coming, and it still requires a lot of advances, Kinsella is energized by advances, like the Microsoft and Quantinuum announcement this week that they were able to use Quantinuum’s ion-trap hardware and Microsoft’s new qubit-virtualization system to run more than 14,000 experiments without a single error. That puts them on the road to better fault tolerance.

“That’s a very significant advance in the field. That takes us another step closer to fault tolerant quantum computing. So it sounds like it’s a great step forward,” Kinsella said.

He noted the biggest issue with quantum computing has been the error rate. Reducing that error rate can make the machines more practical.


matthew kinsella
Matthew Kinsella is CEO of Infleqtion

Kinsella spent more than 18 years at Maverick, a public equity fund and early stage venture fund. He got curious about quantum computing in 2017.

“I started going down the quantum rabbit hole at that point in time,” he said. “I realized it was just very early in the quantum journey, especially for computing. And I didn’t even think you could make a bet as to which modality was going to win, or as to who would get to a fault-tolerant, date-based quantum computer.”

He met Dana Anderson, the founder of Infleqtion and learned about the neutral atom modality for quantum computing.

“Dana was really fascinated by what he was building and the neutral atom modality and the flexibility that neutral atoms had to both have a good shot at building a fault tolerant quantum computer over time. But importantly, that that modality could enable products that were actually available today,” Kinsella said. “We have real markets today. And we’re generating real revenue today. All based on this neutral atom, one of the foundational technologies that Dana had invented and pioneered.”

Gaining confidence

Infleqtion is making quantum tech practical.

Kinsella said the company is a real commercial organization at this point, and that’s been gratifying. It’s also important to have revenues as the company has about 250 employees. The company is selling things like quantum clocks to governments — DARPA, DoD, DoE in the U.S., Japan, the United Kingdom, Nvidia and more — that need clocks that are many times more accurate than atomic clocks.

He thinks of these products as quantum computing 1.0 and the future ones as quantum computing 2.0.

“You can use the sensitivity from quantum technology to measure time in a very accurate way, or to measure gravity or movement or motion,” he said.

When Faris said he was leaving the company, Kinsella thought about the opportunity. (He said it was not a case of trouble that the CEO was departing; rather, he said Faris saw the need to pursue a new mission).

“I have seen a lot of really amazing companies in my portfolio over the years, and I have never felt compelled to leave and join or lead one of those companies,” Kinsella said. “And this is the first time because of how excited I am about this company is so important for the U.S., for our allies, for humanity in general. And I think the technology that we’re building, whether it’s the ability to keep time much more granularly, for things like material science, it’s just so important that I decided to go all in.”


cold atom source cells
Cold atom source cell

Lego expressed her thanks to Faris.

“Under his guidance, the company successfully navigated a Series B funding round, expanded important technology programs in timing, sensing, and information processing, ventured into new markets, and executed several critical acquisitions,” Lego said. “As we enter the next phase of the company’s development and growth, thanks to Scott, we are exceptionally well positioned to capitalize on these achievements.”

Quantum technology is widely recognized as a catalyst for transformational progress on a global scale. Infleqtion is at the forefront of commercializing quantum hardware and software, delivering quantum sensing, communication, and computing solutions for industries including finance, defense, energy, healthcare, life sciences, and more.

“Infleqtion is an incredibly important company leading the industry in quantum technology development and adoption. As we prepare to accelerate the commercialization of quantum technologies, it is a natural transition point from me to Matt.” said Faris, in a statement. “Matt has been a great partner on the board, he knows the company well. I’m so proud of the progress we have made, and I deeply appreciate the entire Infleqtion team for their hard work and support.”

The company recently provided an in-depth look at its five-year quantum computing roadmap and announced several new partnerships and customer wins that underscore the company’s progress toward commercializing quantum solutions at scale.

Recent corporate milestones

atomic prisms
Infleqtion’s atomic prism.

Global customer and partner momentum: Infleqtion’s neutral atom platform was selected for Japan’s Quantum Moonshot program and the company was also selected to develop and deliver a quantum computing testbed for the National Quantum Computing Centre (NQCC) in the United Kingdom. Infleqtion was the lead quantum innovator in Defence Cyber Marvel 3 (DCM3), Europe’s premier cyber defense exercise organized by the Army Cyber Association.

Technology Achievements: The company recently announced significant milestones in gate fidelity, qubit array scaling, and the development of its quantum error-correction system. These achievements signal progress towards the company’s goal of delivering fault-tolerant quantum computers within the next five years, paving the way for genuine commercial advantage.

New product introductions: Infleqtion launched Oqtant, the world’s first quantum matter service, which provides groundbreaking access to quantum matter for those working on next-generation quantum applications. The firm recently released a five-year product roadmap.

In November 2022, Infleqtion raised $110 million in a Series B round of funding. The backers included LCP Quantum (led Series B), In-Q-Tel, Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, Breakthrough Victoria, BOKA Group Holdings, Foundry Group, Global Frontier Investments and Maverick Ventures.

A look ahead

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Infleqtion Desqmot product.

He said this isn’t an investor rescue story, as “this company is firing on all cylinders,” Kinsella said.

The company is going to start making these products in higher volumes this year, and it will find new commercial applications as well.

One of the applications is to provide alternative navigation information in case we ever lost the GPS navigation system.

“The next phase of growth is what I’ve been brought in to help bring about,” he said.

The company has a good cash balance and is not raising money now. It will raise money in the future, Kinsella said.

“If you look at any other quantum company, as far as I can tell, they are making a bet as to whether they will reach a fault tolerant quantum computer, which is an interesting bet,” Kinsella said. “We’re also making that bet too. But we also have a lot of really interesting other ways to monetize along the way and that’s what I’ve always really liked about about Infleqtion. We approach this hopefully as a Holy Grail of the quantum computer, but we’ve got an amazing market around clocks and sensing and RF antennae that are real markets that can provide powerful products to consumers.”

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