Post-quantum cryptography firm PQShield raises $20m

PQShield, a cybersecurity company specialising in post-quantum cryptography, has raised $20 million in a Series A funding round.

Post-quantum cryptography refers to cryptographic algorithms believed to be secure against an attack by a quantum computer.

The funding round was led by investment firm Addition, with participation from existing investors Oxford Science Enterprises (formerly OSI) and Crane.

PQShield said it will use the investment to fuel further product development, expanding its presence in the US and EMEA, and launching in new markets including Japan.

In addition, the company said it 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.

The news comes after research released earlier this week said a quantum computer could break the encryption of Bitcoin and simulate a key molecule in the fight against global food shortages and climate change.

The research, from quantum computing companies Universal Quantum, Qu&Co, and the University of Sussex, said that a quantum computer with 13 million physical qubits - the basic unit for quantum information - could break Bitcoin encryption within a day, while a 300 million qubit computer could break it in just an hour.

“As new cryptographic standards are finalised and rolled out, the scale of demand for quantum-ready solutions cannot be understated,” said
chief executive and founder at PQShield, Ali El Kaafarani. “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.”

He added: “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.”

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