Jij Inc., a leading company that provides quantum annealing technology, has announced today that it has closed a 200 million yen series A round from three VCs based in Japan; “ANRI,” “DEEPCORE” and “MIRAI SOUZOU”.
Jij utilizes state-of-the-art hardware and research methods, including Ising machines and quantum annealing, for developing technologies to solve industrial problems that are difficult to deal with conventional computational methods. This procurement accelerates the development of Jij-Cloud, an enterprise optimization cloud-based middleware to realize smart cities.
Jij is a research and development start-up founded by world-class quantum annealing researchers through START (Japan Science and Technology Agency) program to create new industries. The recent technological developments of the Internet and AI have made it possible to predict human behavior patterns, and new services are being created to meet the mobility needs and energy supply/demand fluctuations that may emerge from them. On the other hand, it is not easy with the conventional method to perform the calculation that makes the best judgment among the expected data and constraints that have become enormous in quality and quantity. To solve such “difficult problems”, Jij is conducting practical research on combinatorial optimization using Ising machine algorithms based on quantum technology.
“Jij-Cloud” developed by Jij is easy for business companies facing operational optimization problems that cannot be solved by existing methods, without requiring expertise in Ising machines and quantum algorithms. It is middleware that enables you to handle the latest quantum optimization technology. From 2019, we have released a library of some algorithms on OSS (Open Jij), and have begun to provide the beta version of “Jij-Cloud” to some companies. In addition, in order to support various Ising machines that have been actively developed in recent years, NEC, Hitachi, D-Wave, Microsoft and others are proceeding with alliances. In May 2020, Jij was the only license in Japan to use Azure QIO developed by Microsoft (at that time).
The founders said “At the same time, we are proceeding with consulting and joint research for each operating company with the aim of putting into practical use quantum optimization technology that requires adjustment for each business domain. Since our founding, we have been challenging the applicability of our technology in areas such as network stabilization, electric gas supply stabilization, and life insurance portfolio optimization. Most recently, we announced a joint research with Toyota Tsusho on the theme of “Optimization of traffic signal control”, and announced a trial calculation to reduce vehicle waiting time by 20% from the existing method by controlling the blinking schedule of traffic lights”
The funds raised this time will be used for accelerated development of the optimized middleware “Jij-Cloud” and for joint research with partner companies. In addition, we will strengthen recruitment of back-end engineers for middleware/cloud service development and recruitment of researchers who conduct theoretical research on quantum computation or optimization. We will continue to push forward with research and development in order to develop a very challenging but exciting market that requires the implementation of cutting-edge research results and practical application.