Rigetti Computing announces plans to become publicly traded via SPAC deal

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BERKELEY, Calif. — Oct. 6, 2021

 

 

Rigetti & Co., Inc. (“Rigetti”), a pioneer in full-stack quantum computing, announced today it has entered into a definitive merger agreement with Supernova Partners Acquisition Company II, Ltd. (“Supernova II”) (NYSE:SNII), a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company. When the transaction closes, the publicly traded company will be named Rigetti Computing, Inc. and its common stock is expected to be listed on the NYSE under the ticker “RGTI.”

Rigetti is a leader in scalable quantum processor technology. Scalability has been among the largest hurdles to bringing quantum computing to market, and Rigetti introduced its scalable superconducting chips in June 2021. Its patented multi-chip architecture is the building block for new generations of quantum processors that are expected to achieve a clear advantage over classical computers.

Quantum computing is one of the most transformative emerging technologies in the world today. Many of the world’s most important problems remain intractable, lying far beyond the capabilities of today’s supercomputers. Quantum computers process information in a fundamentally different way — solving problems simultaneously as opposed to sequentially — which will allow them, when scaled, to tackle problems of staggering computational complexity at unprecedented speed.

Quantum computing could be applied to a range of important uses such as enabling biotech companies to bring more effective therapies to market faster; researchers to develop more affordable clean energy sources; and financial companies to access faster and more accurate market insights to help reduce market volatility.

Rigetti will use the proceeds from the transaction to accelerate development of multiple generations of quantum processors and grow its commercial business. Rigetti expects to scale its quantum computers from 80 qubits in 2021, to 1,000 qubits in 2024, and to 4,000 qubits in 2026.

Rigetti’s distinctive quantum computers work in tandem with existing cloud and high-performance computing infrastructure to unlock powerful new capabilities to solve complex real-world problems. The company sells access to its machines through the Rigetti Quantum Cloud Services platform.

The PIPE transaction is subscribed to by top investors including: funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc.; Bessemer Venture Partners; Franklin Templeton; and In-Q-Tel. Strategic investors include Keysight Technologies and Palantir Technologies. Ampere Computing will make a direct investment. These new strategic investors provide strong complementary technologies for advancing Rigetti’s quantum advantage, and build on Rigetti’s existing partnerships and collaborations with customers like Amazon Web Services, Astex Pharmaceuticals, DARPA, NASA, Standard Chartered Bank and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Rigetti CEO Chad Rigetti founded the company in 2013. The company has raised approximately $200 million in venture capital and today employs more than 130 people with offices in the United States, Canada, U.K., and Australia.

Supernova II is led by Michael Clifton, an investor who most recently helped lead global technology investing at The Carlyle Group; Robert Reid, a long-time senior partner at Blackstone; Spencer Rascoff, a serial entrepreneur who co-founded Hotwire, Zillow, dot.LA and Pacaso and who led Zillow as CEO for nearly a decade; and Alexander Klabin, founder and CEO of Ancient and former managing partner, co-CIO and co-founder of Senator Investment Group. Clifton is expected to join the Rigetti Board of Directors after the transaction closes.

 

 

Management comments

 

Chad Rigetti, Rigetti Computing CEO and Founder
“In the next decade one Rigetti quantum computer could be more powerful than today’s entire global cloud. Rigetti is the leading innovator in this space. Our team has solved the most pressing scientific problems associated with bringing quantum computing to market by creating a scalable computer and high-performance integration with existing computing systems. We plan to use this capital to accelerate our product development and accelerate our goal to bring this transformational computing capability to every major industry.”

 

Michael Clifton, Supernova II
“The widespread adoption of quantum computing will have a significant impact on the economy and humanity in the next decade and beyond, on par with the advent of mobile and cloud technologies. Rigetti systems’ speed and scalability set them apart amongst competitors. With its model of easy integration into existing systems, Rigetti’s technology will be used by businesses, governments and institutions across the globe.”

 

 

Transaction Overview


The business combination values the combined entity at a pro forma equity value of approximately $1.5 billion. Upon closing, the combined company will receive approximately $458 million in gross cash proceeds, including a fully committed PIPE in excess of $100 million, direct investment, and $345 million of cash held in the trust account of Supernova II, assuming no redemptions. The proposed transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both Rigetti and Supernova II, and is subject to the approval of the stockholders of Supernova II and other customary closing conditions.

 

Additional information of the transaction terms and copies of the key transaction agreements will be provided in a current report on Form 8-K to be filed by Supernova II with the SEC and available at www.sec.gov.