A cybersecurity company specialising in post-quantum cryptography has raised £15 million in Series A funding.

PQShield, a spinout from Oxford University, says it has experienced strong demand for its quantum-ready cryptographic solutions for hardware, software and communications.

It says virtually every organisation, government and device in the world relies on public-key cryptography that will be rendered useless by the vast processing power of large-scale quantum computers, 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. It warns that 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.

The funding is 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, with teams already established in the United States, France and the Netherlands as well as Oxford.

Cryptographic standards

“As new cryptographic standards are finalised and rolled out, the scale of demand for quantum-ready solutions cannot be understated,” said CEO and founder 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. 

“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.”