With Quantum-Ready Cryptographic Security Solutions, PQShield Raises $7M

Introducing PQShield to you. Get the details about the cryptographic solutions it provides. Know more

The Rise Of PQShield

Emerging out of stealth mode with $ 7million in funding is the deep tech start-up building cryptographic solutions thereby to secure hardware, software, and communications systems for future as the quantum computers may, therefore, render many of the current scenes of cybersecurity approaches that are useless with a mission to make cryptographic security something which cannot be hackable as the most sophisticated systems are building systems thereby continuing to be usable in what is a post-quantum future. 

A spin-out from Oxford University, PQShield comes backed in a seed round that is led by Kindred Capital as the participation comes from Crane Venture Partners, Oxford Sciences Innovation as well as the various angel investors, that include Andre Crawford- Brunt, Deutsche Bank’s former global head of equities. 

While its time in stealth has not been in vain, PQShield was founded in 2018. 

As one of the biggest contributors to the NIST cybersecurity framework, the start-up claims to have the UK’s highest concentration of cryptography PhDs outside academia and classified agencies working on creating the new cryptographic standards taking into account the fact that quantum computing is likely to make quick work of breaking down the standards which are currently in place. 

According to a research fellow at Oxford’s Mathematical Institute and former engineer at Hewlett-Packard Labs, Dr. Ali El Kaafarani, who is the founder and CEO of PQShield said of the project that the scale is massive and for the first time they are changing the whole of the public key infrastructure. 

Where Is The Start-Up Headed?

Here as the start-up is found to be coming with customers that are companies building hardware and software services or running communications systems according to El Kaafarani dealing with sensitive information and running the biggest risks from being hacked.

Thereby it is observed that they include the entities in the financial and government sectors while not being named as well as its first OEM customer which is Bosch. In an interview, it was mentioned by El Kaafarani that it is also in talks with at least one major communications and messaging provider that is exploring more security for end-to-end encryption on the messaging networks. This is where the other target applications include keyless cars, connected IoT devices as well as cloud services

Aiming to address is the fact that there are already several companies exploring the cutting edge of cryptographic security in the market as the gap in the market of the PQShield include large tech companies like Amazon and Microsoft, Hub Security, Duality, as the other start-up out of the UK focused on post-quantum cryptography called Post Quantum with several others as the concern is about quantum computing utilised to crack even the most sophisticated cryptography such as the RSA and the Elliptic Curve cryptographic standards. 

The context is ripe as quantum computers are still not widely available and its use has not been much of a threat but there have been several signs of the breakthrough on the horizon. 

The Path Taken By The PQShield

Being the first start-up to approach that predicament with a multi-pronged solution aimed at a variety of use cases El Kaafarani says that PQShield includes solutions that encompass current cryptographic standards providing a migration path as the next generation of how they look meaning they are commercially deployed even without quantum computers being commercial reality whereas in preparation for that. 

He explains that whatever they encrypt can now be harvested as once they have a fully functioning quantum computer people using that to get back to the data with sensitive information. Its designed System on Chip solution for hardware applications will be licensed to hardware manufacturers as for the software applications, its SDK secures messaging and comes to be protected by the post-quantum algorithms based on the secure Signal -derived protocol. 

Central to PQShield’s approach is thinking about and building for the full spectrum of applications as he added in security it is important that understanding the whole ecosystem is since everything is about connected components. 

Some sectors are therefore in the tech world being especially negatively impacted by the coronavirus and its consequences is a predicament that has been exacerbated by the uncertainties over the future of the global economy. 

When asked if that translated to the particularly tricky time to raise money as a deep tech start-up given that deep tech companies so often work on the long-term problems which may not have immediate commercial outcomes he responded that it wasn’t the case interestingly.

Further on he said that they talked to VCs that were interested in deep tech beginning with what made the discussion a lot easier as the fact is that they were a security company as it is one of the areas that is doing well. While everything has become digitised, they also become heavily reliant on the digital connections ultimately helping make the digital world more secure. It wasn’t too difficult to talk with them as there are people who understand that and understand the importance of the company. 

The Conclusion

The partner at Kindred Capital, ChrysanthosChrysanthou, indeed echoed the sentiment that along with some of the brightest minds in cryptography, mathematics, and engineering they are boasting world-class software and hardware solutions as PQShield was uniquely positioned to lead the charge in protecting businesses from one of the most profound threats to their future. Therefore, they couldn’t be happier to support the team as it then works to set the new standard for information security to thereby defuse the risks resulting from the rise of quantum. 

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