Bristol’s quantum security startup KETS has raised £3.1 million in a funding round co-led by Quantonation and Speedinvest. The round also saw participation from Mustard Seed MAZE. KETS reports that the new funding will be used to accelerate further development, production, and delivery of its products, as well as expand crucial real-world testing.
With great power comes great risk
As we reported last month, the advances in quantum computing are advancing at an exponential rate. For all the good quantum computers have the potential to do, they also have the power to cause great harm, particularly when in the hands of nefarious players. If used in a certain way, the power of a quantum computer could rather easily smash through all existing encryption methods.
Realising the need to fight the foes, KETS was founded in 2016 by Chris Erven, Jake Kennard, Philip Sibson, and Dr. Caroline Clark and is developing security measures starting with chip-based, quantum-safe development kits. This technology, for example, could be used to ensure that banking information, most of which is rapidly being moved to the cloud, is quantum-attack safe and secure.
The two-pronged attack
KETS is taking a two-pronged attack when combating quantum level attacks. One prong involves quantum key distribution, by which the startup’s on-chip quantum key distribution optically distributes secure cryptographic keys.
The second prong involves quantum random number generators. At the heart of cryptography, lie secret random numbers. Any generator with lesser-than-quantum powers can be overrun by a high-level, high-powered attack. KETS’ generators harness the unpredictable nature of quantum mechanical light to deliver the random number combinations.
“KETS is developing technology with a vision to solve some of the global cybersecurity challenges faced by the largest organisations by combining the power of quantum encryption technologies with the scalability and practicality of integrated, chip-based quantum photonics,” comments Speedinvest’s Rick Hao. “Bristol is leading the world on building quantum technology hardware, and Speedinvest is excited to be backing great deep tech entrepreneurs here.”