PRESS RELEASE — PQShield, a cybersecurity company specialising in post-quantum cryptography, has raised $20 million in Series A funding 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, which has already experienced strong demand for its quantum-ready cryptographic solutions for hardware, software and communications.
PQShield CEO and founder, Ali El Kaafarani, said:“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(National Institute of Standards and Technology), and take another step towards protecting all businesses from this generation-defining security threat.”
The growing global demand for quantum-secure cryptography
The funding comes at a key moment in the global race against the quantum security threat. Today, virtually every organisation, government and device in the world relies on public-key cryptography that will be rendered useless by large-scale quantum computers. The vast processing power of these machines will easily solve the mathematical problems underpinning public-key algorithms, putting sensitive information at risk.
The result could be devastating, with everything from medical records to national intelligence, intellectual property, financial transactions and secure end-to-end messaging all exposed to decryption. Indeed, threat groups may already be gathering encrypted information unnoticed, with the aim of decrypting it as soon as they have access to sufficiently powerful quantum computers.
With the rapid digital transformation of the global economy and growing threat of cyber warfare, the world’s sensitive information has never been more vulnerable. The risk is so serious that national security agencies have put the quantum threat high on their agendas, and 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.
Lee Fixel of Addition said: “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.”
Accelerating PQShield’s global expansion
Headquartered in the UK and with teams in the United States, France and the Netherlands, PQShield is pioneering the development and commercial roll-out of advanced, quantum-ready cryptographic solutions for hardware, software and communications. Its products are compatible with existing infrastructure and are ready for companies to deploy now, ensuring exceptional protection against today’s biggest threats as well as future quantum attacks.
PQShield’s post-quantum cryptographic solutions include 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’s team has one of the world’s highest concentrations of software and hardware cryptography experts outside academia and the classified sector. 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 RISC-V, the open standard instruction set architecture (ISA) that is rapidly gaining traction from proprietary competitors such as ARM and Intel.
Today’s 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.