D-Wave quantum computer: Company Review

Clint Brown

What You Need to Know D-Wave Systems

As the race to take quantum computers lead continues, D-Wave Quantum Inc. is officially the fast contender to reach the finish line. This is because the Canadian quantum computing (QC) firm has released enterprise QC systems for further research and industrial applications.

Background Information 

Also known as D-Wave or D-Wave Systems Inc., D-Wave Quantum Inc. is a Canadian Quantum Computing firm based in Burnaby, British Columbia. It specializes in developing and delivering Quantum Computing hardware, software, and services in commercial quantities. Founded in 1999, D-Wave Quantum Inc. is the brainchild of a four-man team who came together to realize its goal. 

These are Haig Farris, Geordie Rose, Bob Wiens, and Alexandre Zagoskin. All founders have previously held one position or the other in the Quantum Computing firm. What’s more, its founders coined its name “D-Wave” from the first qubit design that used d-wave superconductors. 

On May 11th, 2011, the firm announced that its D-Wave One was commercially available, making history as the pioneer Quantum Computing firm to commercialize the sales of quantum computers. The Canadian firm builds its Quantum Computing systems based on the quantum annealing model.

Man with books  floating in air, trying to read the share market

In 2015, it unveiled D-Wave’s 2X Quantum Computing system with over 1000 qubits. Again, the firm proved to the world that it has taken the concept of building scalable, fault-tolerant quantum systems from the labs to the market. It installed D-Wave’s 2X quantum computer at the Quantum Artificial Intelligence lab at NASA AMES Research Centre. 

In 2019, the team announced that its 5000-qubit Quantum Computing system would be available the following year. Indeed, this shows that the Quantum Computing firm is clearly ahead of many rivals in the race to take Quantum Computing systems from the research labs to the markets. 

Nonetheless, the Quantum Computing firm primarily develops and builds computers that help solve optimization issues. Despite that, the company announced that it divested into the universal gate quantum computing model in December 2021. Once more, this move makes it the first and only commercial provider of both quantum annealing and universal gate services. 

Are Companies Buying these Quantum Computers? 

Before looking at who acquires those products, we have to find out how much they cost first. You see, D-Wave Systems Inc., like other tech companies, considers several factors before fixing the prices of its Quantum Computing systems. 

These factors include the type of computer, its number of qubits, and after-sale support services. After the launch of D-Wave’s 2X quantum computer, the next was D-Wave 2000Q of over 2000 qubits. When the firm unveiled that computer in 2017, it set the price at $15 million. Yes, a whopping $15 million! 

That’s not all because its 50-qubit quantum computer goes for $10,000,000, which is by far the cheapest computer in its stable. In fact, for every extra qubit in processing power, it charges $10,000. Therefore, it gives you an idea of how much the Quantum Computing firm sells its systems. 

Are companies acquiring these expensive Quantum Computing machines? If so, what do they need the Quantum Computing systems for? They sure are. Its customers are chiefly US federal agencies, contractors, national labs, and research institutes. 

To be precise, D-Wave System’s clients include American arms and aerospace corporation Lockheed Martin (its first customer), the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA), the University of Southern California, and national security research lab Los Alamos National Lab. The aforementioned organizations have already purchased qubit simulators worth $10 million to $15 million from the Canadian company. 

As for the use, our findings show that those organizations acquired the Quantum Computing machines to be the first to deepen their research and application of Quantum Computing systems for enhancing their operations. 

Much as the technology is still in its early stage, there are strong indications it will serve several areas like medicine, meteorology, and logistics. Aside from selling quantum computers to customers, the firm generates revenue through subscriptions to access the QaaS (quantum-as-a-Service) cloud platform and professional services such as problem evaluation, pilot application phases, and proof of concept. Other areas the company generates revenue from are training Quantum Computing systems and the sale of printed circuit boards.  

A Sneak Peek the commerical aspect 

On April 14th, 2023, the firm published its financial report ending December 31st, 2022. The financial statement shows that it strongly believes that many organizations are quickly embracing quantum technology to drive and maintain their competitive advantage. 

Mountain Peak - used to represent share market peak

The Quantum Computing firm also noted that quantum technology and quantum-hybrid applications will play a fundamental role in helping companies navigate environment-induced business complexity and tackle the most daunting computational puzzles. As a result, it recorded a sequential revenue growth of 41% in Q3 and Q4 of 2022. Its clients, according to President/CEO Alan Baratz, rose to 67 from 57 in the preceding year. President Baratz, who was once the Chief Product Officer, noted that the increase is due to the widespread adoption of the emerging technology to “solve complex business problems ranging from customer loyalty to supply chain, logistics to e-commerce optimization.” 

Looking closely at D-Wave’s quarter-to-quarter financial performance, its fiscal 2022 fourth quarter revenue of $2.4 million improved by $700,000 or 41% from the third quarter revenue of $1.7 million. Note that its second-quarter revenue was 1.4 million and had increased to $1.7 million in the third quarter, representing a $326,000 or 24% increase. Compared to the preceding year’s fourth-quarter earnings, 2022’s fourth-quarter revenue was essentially flat because the Quantum Computing firm raked in $2.4 million which included $350,000 of nonrecurring revenue. 

In 2022, the percentage of the fourth quarter revenue from commercial customers alone was 72.4%, representing an increase of 32.1% from the 40.3% in its Q4 2021 figures. Plus, its 2022 revenue stood at $7.2 million, which reflects an increase of $894,000 or 14.2% from its 2021 revenue of $6.3 million.      

As you would expect, this financial report would be incomplete without a mention of losses. Well, its net loss for 2022 was $51.5 million or $0.43 per share, compared to $31.5 million or $0.25 per share in fiscal 2021. No doubt, this doesn’t look appealing. Guess what, the company justified it by stating that it incurs losses – and those losses are likely to rise in the future – because it plans to keep investing in research and development programs and various go-to-market initiatives. As for the operating cost, the company worked hard to keep it low from $63.7 million in 2021 to $43.5 million in 2022. 

As for the bookings in the fiscal year, the average revenue of QaaS booking was 78% higher than the average value of a QaaS booking in fiscal 2021. While it has 67 commercial customers in 2022 (unlike 57 commercial customers in 2021), its total number of customers was 112 in 2022 (unlike 95 customers in fiscal 2021). D-Wave defines a commercial customer as one for which it recognizes its revenue during the period. 

An Overview of Its Business Performance  

On February 8th, 2022, D-Wave Systems Inc. merged with the special purpose acquisition firm (SPAC), DPCM Capital Inc., for a strategic business move to go public; the partnership was valued at $1.6 billion. 

The definitive transaction agreement shows that the Quantum Computing firm expected to receive $300 million in gross proceeds from DPCM Capital’s trust account. Furthermore, the new partners would receive $40 million from influential investors participating in the transaction through a committed private investment in public equity (PIPE). The Quantum Computing company – listed on the New York Stock Exchange – released its ticker symbol as “QBTS” (NYSE: QBTS). It also disclosed that it plans to utilize the proceeds from the deal to grow its global footprints to emerging markets and build its 200-plus patents. 

From the time the company went public to the last quarter of 2022, the performance of QBTS stocks hasn’t impressed many investors. It is worth noting that institutional investors control 63% of the total shares in the company. In other words, they bear the brunt most when the stocks rise or fall. 

Unfortunately, the story hasn’t been good, as their one-year returns have been disappointing at 83%. In late September 2022, the stock dropped by 35%. However, in the first week of January of this year, the share prices appreciated by 53%.

Given the significant percentage that institutional investors control in the Quantum Computing company, it gives QBTS some credibility in the investment community. But then, when two or more institutional investors sell their stakes in companies, the stock price tends to dip. 

Given its $40.1 million market cap, the Quantum Computing firm is in the 24th percentile of the IT services & consultancy industry. Recall that it started trading at $10 per share in August 2022 after the SPAC business deal. 

Nonetheless, it is now down by about 94.9% to trade at $0.51 per share at the time of writing. 

Factors That May Positively Impact the next period

Though it is logical to argue that D-Wave’s business performance hasn’t lived up to expectations yet, these factors are likely to positively shape it in the future. 

Taking steps to stay in investors’ good books  

As you know, positive news will always compel investors to buy shares. For instance, good revenue, a new product announcement, corporate acquisition, and positive economic indicators all translate into buying pressure and a rise in stock prices. Over time, the company has worked round the clock to stay on the positive side of the headlines. For example, it added many clients (from Forbes Global 2000) in recent times, including Unisys, MasterCard, Deloitte, Siemens Healthineers, etc. It plans to build and deliver feature selection solutions that enable its enterprise customers to expedite AI workflows like a new hybrid application launch.     

History of Building and Launching Products

It is worth mentioning that different companies are proposing unique ways of building quantum computers. Admittedly, these Quantum Computing players have clear-cut roadmaps for developing, building, and commercializing the next-gen computers. But it will take them several years, say between 5 and 10 years, to start making significant revenue by selling their products in commercial quantities. Conversely, D-Wave remains the only Quantum Computing firm that has launched such systems in commercial quantities and is making considerable revenue from their sales.

Real-world use cases and customers 

For decades, industry researchers echoed bullish sentiments on the feasibility of building fault-tolerant Quantum Computing systems. But what is crucial here is that D-Wave has consistently developed and put on sale its quantum annealers. Interestingly enough, the company has expanded to the universal gate model. Without mincing words, by so doing, the pioneer Quantum Computing player demonstrates its commercial viability and market leadership. In short, the Canadian company remains the first-ever Quantum Computing company to bring a real-time cloud-based annealing quantum computer solution. Despite being relatively pricey, organizations are racing to acquire its Quantum Computing systems, including more than two dozen of the Forbes Global 2000. When it started its research in 2010, the management recalled that it chose quantum annealing over the universal gate model because, among other reasons, quantum annealers are easier to commercialize and add value to businesses. Yes, they were right, after all!   

History of Scaling Its Products 

The Quantum Computing pioneer has proven that it is not in the quantum race to add to the number of contenders, but it’s in the race to win the trophy! So far, it has released five generations of quantum computers and is set to launch its sixth generation known as Advantage2 ™ which boosts 7440 qubits and will be available through Leap. Unlike many competitors that have yet to release one piece of the quantum computer, the firm launched 128-qubit D-Wave One in 2011 and 512-qubit D-Wave Two in 2013. Other Quantum Computing systems include 1152-qubit D-Wave 2x in 2015, 2048-qubit D-Wave 2000Q in 2017, and over 5000-qubit Advantage in 2020. Truly, this shows that the Canadian Quantum Computing company is on track and keeps expanding its frontiers in the Quantum Computing territory.   

The Pros and Cons as we see D-Wave today 


  • Revenue is forecast to increase by 57.46% per year 
  • Revenue grew by 14.2% over the past year 
  • Do not pay a dividend and has sufficient financial data 
  • The company has no disturbing recent events or incidents 
  • Has meaningful levels of revenue of $7.2 million 


  • Has less than one year of cash runaway 
  • Has relatively volatile shares over the past three months  
  • The company has diluted its shareholders over the past year 
  • Has a negative shareholder equity 
  • It is not profitable at the moment and may not be profitable in the next three years 
  • Has a market capitalization of $40.1 million (as of April 27th, 2023)


D-Wave is a strong Quantum Computing vendor and well established in the market with customers already subscribing to their services. While the business side may not be tracking in the most optimal path today, it sure shows great potential over the next period.

About the author

Our team consists of PhD and industry experts specializing in quantum computing. With extensive experience in research and practical applications, they are dedicated to helping businesses understand and harness the power of quantum technology for innovation and growth.

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