Vern Brownell spent the past eight years preaching quantum computing to a world that wasn't ready for it.
As CEO of D-Wave Systems, Brownell has been overseeing the development of a type of superfast processor that to date has largely been limited to use in research labs. His Vancouver-based company first raised venture funding back in 2004, five years before he joined.
But this week Brownell is in San Francisco and has plenty of eager listeners on his agenda. Fresh off D-Wave's $50 million in funding from Canada's PSP Investments, Brownell said he's meeting with banks and big investors about raising hundreds of millions of dollars later this year as the company prepares to move into the public cloud.
"We intend to do a very large offering to take advantage of the position we're in," Brownell said, in an interview on Thursday.
He said the financing — an alternative to an IPO — will be led by an investment bank and potentially include sovereign wealth funds and large private equity firms. Brownell has also talked with SoftBank's massive Vision Fund, calling it the type of investor that he would like to see participate. Existing investors include In-Q-Tel, the venture group that invests on behalf of the CIA, and Jeff Bezos' venture firm.