Arqit Quantum Surges 19% After Expanding Launch Agreements With Virgin Orbit

By Sam Boughedda — Arqit Quantum (NASDAQ:) (NASDAQ: ARQQ) announced an extension to its collaboration with Virgin Orbit on Wednesday, sending shares up19.4% to $26.39.

Virgin Orbit— which is to go public via a SPAC merger with NextGen Acquisition II Corp (NASDAQ:) — signed a new launch contract that ensures two dedicated launches for Arqit Quantum in addition to further commitments from the company.

The quantum encryption technology company has already delivered two satellites through Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne air-launched system, which will be a crucial component to its Platform-as-a-service. Both companies are collaborating on responsive space initiatives for Five Eyes nations, which comprises Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Arqit said it will launch additional customer-funded systems exclusively with Virgin Orbit, and that contract allows for up to five launches which will be realized as government contracts. 

In addition, the companies also announced the QuantumCloud Software License, which allows Virgin Orbit to use Arqit’s platform to provide encryption to secure Virgin Orbit’s global infrastructure. As a result, Virgin Orbit said it becomes “the world’s first quantum safe launch services provider.”

“I am delighted that another prestigious global brand has decided to use QuantumCloudTM to keep their customers’ assets safe” said David Williams, founder of Arqit. “It is also great to be able to rely in Virgin Orbit’s responsive launch capability to support the private instance contracts that we are selling to our government and defense customers.”

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