Nu Quantum, the Cambridge-based quantum photonics company, raised a £650,000 pre-seed investment round led by Amadeus Capital Partners, with support from IQ Capital, Ahren Capital, Cambridge Enterprise and Martlet Capital, the investment arm of Marshall of Cambridge Group.
Nu Quantum is one of the few quantum companies trying to apply the technology in “free space” communications, meaning without fibre optics. The goal is secure exchange via satellite and metropolitan links, and tests with a major UK telecoms company will begin soon.
CEO Carmen Palacios-Berraquero explained, “To make quantum communication a reality there are, among others, two major challenges: to generate and detect single photons with high purity and efficiency. Nu Quantum is developing high performance quantum photonics hardware that works at the single photon-level, at room temperature. These quantum components are the necessary building blocks for any quantum architecture.”
The product of eight years of research at the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, Nu Quantum’s single-photon sources and detectors will enable a range of quantum technologies. The closest on the horizon is Quantum Key Distribution (QKD): communication links so secure that users could detect an eavesdropper, based on imprints left on photons.
The fresh funding will enable the company to develop its technology into full prototypes over the next 18 months.
Alex van Someren of Amadeus Capital Partners, who will join Nu Quantum’s board, said: “Nu Quantum is poised to unlock the potential of quantum communication. Using this investment by Amadeus, Nu Quantum will address the challenge of cryptography first. Based on its single photon sources and detectors, Nu Quantum aims to deliver high-rate, quantum-secure key generation and exchange, taking us one step closer towards absolute cyber security.”