PQShield raises $20m for post quantum security

PQShield raises $20m for post quantum security

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

PQshield in London has raised $20m in its first major round of funding for security technology that is resistant to quantum computers and recruited a key engineer from NXP.

The Series A funding round was led by Addition, with participation from existing investors Oxford Science Enterprises (formerly OSI) and Crane. The investment will be used to fuel further product development, hiring and international expansion for PQShield for its quantum-ready cryptographic solutions for hardware, software and communications. The company raised a €6m seed round back in 2020.

This year the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will finalise a process to replace current cryptographic standards with new, quantum-secure algorithms. The company is a leading contributor to the NIST post-quantum standardisation project: two of its algorithms are finalist candidates, and PQShield team members are advising on all other algorithms in development. Members of the PQShield team have also contributed multiple cryptographic extensions to the RISC-V open standard instruction set architecture (ISA).

The investment will be used to extend PQShield’s presence in the US and EMEA, launch in new markets including Japan, and accelerate product development. The company is also planning to double its team by the end of 2022, beginning with the recruitment of Graeme Hickey, formerly of NXP Semiconductors, as Senior Director of Hardware Engineering.

“As new cryptographic standards are finalised and rolled out, the scale of demand for quantum-ready solutions cannot be understated. From software to hardware, no industry is immune to the quantum threat, and as powerful quantum machines move ever closer, so does the risk of them falling into the wrong hands. This investment will enable us to double down on our growth, continue contributing to leading standards organisations like RISC-V International and NIST, and take another step towards protecting all businesses from this generation-defining security threat,” said Ali El Kaafarani, CEO and founder of PQShield.

The PQShield technology is compatible with existing infrastructure and are ready to deploy now, ensuring exceptional protection against today’s biggest threats as well as future quantum attacks. The technology includes ready-made and tailored hardware cryptography IPs for low and high-end devices (secure elements, hardware security modules (HSMs), etc.); IoT firmware; public key infrastructure (PKI); server technologies; and advanced end-to-end encrypted messaging platforms. The company is already experiencing a surge in demand from sectors including semiconductor, defence, automotive OEM, industrial IoT, and technology consulting.

PQShield is headquartered in the UK and with teams in the United States, France and the Netherlands and has one of the world’s highest concentrations of software and hardware cryptography experts outside academia and the classified sector.

“Thanks to an industry-leading team, decades of combined experience and a best-in-class product offering, PQShield has quickly emerged as a front runner and true authority in post-quantum cryptography for hardware and software, a field with enormous market potential. PQShield is already helping to define the future of information security, and we are excited to support their ongoing growth,” said Lee Fixel of Addition.

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