Lattice, multivariate, hash, code, and supersingular elliptic curve isogeny based cryptography — not to mention the symmetric-key quantum resistance approach — may as well be Klingon to most of us, but they are — and will continue to be — important in the future in protecting us from the various evils out there on the internet.
Currently, most cryptographic systems are sufficient in dealing with the threats, but as Industry 4.0 takes hold, and AI, ML and quantum information technologies (QIT) become more advanced, nations, multinational conglomerates, SMEs, NGOs, and individuals will have to watch out.
This is especially pertinent with the rise of quantum computing (QC) and the subsequent post-quantum era in cryptography that will inevitably follow.
To eliminate — or at the very least, mitigate — this menace, startups have come into being specializing in post-quantum cryptographic solutions for the pre-quantum client.
Because of this, TQD has formulated a list of companies whose products and solutions concentrate on the dangers that QC can cause communications and business in the future if the rest of the world doesn’t take heed.
The list includes, though is not limited to, the following startups, more established ventures and even a multinational whose IP intent are shaping this nascent industry toward an exciting trajectory. For those preferring a much deeper dive, I recommend heading over to TQD’s very own data platform, The Quantum Insider (TQI) for all your data needs.
Founded in 2018 by Otkay Goktas, Elliot MacGowan and Ewin Tham, Toronto-based Agnostiq specializes in providing cloud-based users with security software.
Protect your enterprise’s most critical data
2.Crypto Quantique (UK)
Crypto Quantique is a British startup based in London that ‘is building the most secure end-to-end IoT security platform’, while at the same time determined to revolutionize the cybersecurity industry. Started in 2016 by Shahram Mossayebi and Patrick Camilleri, the duo hopes to overcome current technological limitations in the sector by utilizing cryptography and quantum physics.
3.ID Quantique (Switzerland)
ID Quantique — founded way back in 2001 by Nicolas Gisin, Hugo Zbinden and Grégoire Ribordy from the University of Geneva — is a Swiss company that is now regarded as an industry-lead in quantum-safe crypto, scientific instrumentation and random number generators. Counting on its ‘global footprint’ and R&D partnerships with leading companies, ID Quantique is an innovator in quantum technologies and hopes its reputation will go a long way in this industry.
A project focusing on the commercialization of quantum cryptography, Germany’s InfiniQuant, which was incorporated in 2018, is supported by the Quantum Information Processing group of Christoph Marquardt at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light. Led by Marquardt along with Imran Khan, they are confident their quantum key distribution (QKD) IP, which is based on coherent telecommunication technology, is ‘immune against Quantum Computers’ to offer ‘future-proof and long-term security’ to clients.
5.ISARA Corporation (Canada)
Another Canadian startup, ISARA was founded by Scott Totzke and Mike Brown in 2015 in Waterloo, Ontario, in the heart of Quantum Valley. With a focal point on ‘creating class-defining quantum-safe cryptography for today’s computing ecosystems’, ISARA collaborates its effort with academic institutions to increase the awareness of what is inevitably coming on the horizon: a deep quantum threat. To combat this, the startup is designing ‘quantum-safe solutions for classical data security systems that will work globally’.
6.KETS Quantum Security (UK)
A Bristol startup in the southwest of England, KETS Quantum Security got off the ground in 2016 and has an exciting IP in quantum key distribution (QKD) and quantum random number generation (QRNG). Two years after its founding, the startup was named the UK’s Most Innovative Small Cyber Security Company at Infosecurity Europe and was a finalist in the Best Tech Start-up category and the Business Leader Go: Tech Awards, which is validation enough the startup founding team of Chris Erven, Jake Kennard, Carolina Clark, and Philip Gibson know what they’re doing in developing communications systems using quantum states of light.
The Future of secure communications, today
— KETS Quantum Security
7.MagiQ Technologies (US)
Founded in the same year as D-Wave Systems way back in 1999 by Bob Gelfond, MagiQ is based in Somerville, Massachusetts (not far from Harvard University and MIT), and is famous for being the first company to commercialize a ‘quantum cryptography product that delivered advanced, future-proof network security’. MagiQ’s unique approach — maybe helped a tad by its close proximity to some of the best higher learning institutes in the sciences on the planet — is to employ quantum and classical optical science versus traditional electronic methods in order to enhance marketable applications that can make use of optical processing.
Optical Processing Innovation™
8. Post-Quantum (UK)
London-based Post-Quantum was founded in 2009 by Andersen Cheng, CJ Tjhai and Martin Tomlinson, with the goal of ‘protecting the world’s information against current and future threats’. Its flagship NTS-KEM (‘Never The Same — Key Encapsulation Mechanisms’) cryptosystem technology earned for Post-Quantum a place on the NIST shortlist for global standardization.
Protecting the world’s information, today and tomorrow
Based in Oxford, the UK, PQShield is a ‘leading expert in post-quantum cryptography from theory to deployment’ that was founded in 2018 by Ali El Kaafarani as an Oxford University spin-out. Enabling organizations ‘to transition from legacy systems, so they can leverage upcoming public-key cryptography standards across hardware, software and communication’, PQShield products range from hardware and firmware for embedded devices, cryptographic SDK for mobile and server technologies, to encryption solutions for messaging platforms and apps.
Think openly, build securely
Founded in Boston, Massachusetts, in 2019 by Unit Sami, Qabacus focuses its R&D efforts on quantum security and computing research while merging its proprietary quantum technologies into its cybersecurity software stack by conducting research in areas like electronics, photonics, spintronics, classical cryptography, encryption systems, and others.
Are you ready for the quantum future in security? Qaisec, the only Bulgarian startup on the list, is. Founded by Zdravko Popov, Svetoslav Sotirov and Boris Grozdanoff in 2019, the Sofia-based startup’s IP centres on ‘state-of-the-art solutions for industry and state in the fields of quantum encryption and artificial intelligence’. Supplying solutions from the initial ‘scientific discovery to technological implementation and custom business solution and support’, Qaisec is aware organizations’ often difficult task of protecting data against black hats is a problem now, while also being realizing that future proof security against the imminent attack of QC’s capabilities must be addressed.
Are you ready for the quantum future?
12.Qasky Quantum Technology (China)
A Chinese enterprise founded in 2009, Qasky (for short) is a quantum information technology company that is a designated producer and licensed seller of commercial cipher products certified by China’s State Cryptography Administration. A collaboration between Wuhu Construction and Investment Ltd. and the University of Science and Technology of China, Qasky’s IP includes quantum cryptography communication technology, quantum cryptography communication networking technology, quantum cryptography communication core devices, and many other international and domestic patents.
13.QRATE Quantum Communications (Russia)
Based in Skolkovo, Moscow, QRATE was founded in 2015 and its products cover industrial and academic systems, including a single-photon detector and a quantum random number generator (QRNG). The CTO and QRATE’s lead is Yury Kurochkin, who happens to be the quantum communication group leader and principal investigator at the Russian Quantum Center.
based on the quantum basic laws
With headquarters at the prestigious One World Trade Center, New York City, Qrypt was founded by Kevin Chalker and Denis Mandich in 2017, and has — through its team of cryptography and security experts from academia, industry, and government — ‘developed the only cryptographic solution capable of securing information indefinitely with mathematical proof as evidence’.
Secure Encryption for the Quantum Age
15.Quantum Blockchains (Poland)
Polish startup Quantum Blockchains was founded by Mirek Sopek, Xin Sun and Piotr Kulicki in 2018. Based in the town of Pulawy in the east of the country, Quantum Blockchains proprietary technology has been designed to counter the potential threat of quantum computers via advances in quantum cryptography (bypassing post-quantum algorithms). The startup’s IP, coming from prior scientific investigations and research papers by the team, intends to build a true Quantum Blockchain based on QKD technology.
Provably secure solutions for the next generation of Distributed Ledgers
— Quantum Blockchains
16.Quantum Dice (UK)
A spinout from Oxford University’s Department of Physics, Quantum Dice was founded in 2019 by Marko Mayr, Rami Shelbaya, Zhanet Zaharieva, Wenmiao Yu, and George D. An award-winning quantum technology initiative, the team is on its way to ‘commercializing world’s first compact and completely embedded, self-certified quantum random number generator (QRNG) to provide quantum security for encryption systems’.
Securing a connected future
— Quantum Dice
17.Quantum Xchange (US)
Located in Bethseda, Maryland, and founded in 2018 by Hal Chapel, Quantum Xchange offers government agencies and commercial enterprises data protection through its key distribution system, the Phio Trusted Xchange (TX) and others. As a cybersecurity innovator in quantum technologies, the startup is placed in a good position to improve upon already existing encryption keys quantum secure with its in-house expertise and memberships with QED-C and the Quantum Industry Coalition.
Future-proofing the world’s data in motion
— Quantum Xchange
Founded in 2009, QuantumCTek is a Hefei-based enterprise that builds and commercializes quantum key distribution (QKD), quantum key management, and quantum secure communication networking products and a provider of QIT-enabled ICT security solutions.
Based in Beijing and founded in 2018, QuDoor’s IP is focussed on quantum key communication terminal equipment and network routing and switching and counts on its expert team’s twenty years of research and practice in the quantum information sciences to get the job done.
Founded by Hans Jurgen Hergel, Uwe Resas and Wulf Harde in 2015, QuBalt is a leading German startup that provides ‘quantum- and cryptanalysis-secure cryptographic solutions’ to the automotive, aerospace and defence industries. With headquarters located in Neumunster, it has key partnerships with the University of Latvia and the University of Tartu (Estonia) for purposes of research and development.
21.Quintessence Labs (Australia)
Quintessence Labs was founded quite a while back in 2008 by Vikram Sharma and provides services in quantum-based random number generator, a high-performance, interoperable key and policy manager along with other solutions. Based in the country’s capital, Canberra, Quintessence Labs promises a solid security foundation, seamless integration while offering its clients the world’s fastest random number generator.
Building Enduring Trust® with our world-class cybersecurity products and solutions
— Quintessence Labs
22.QNu Labs (India)
The first and only Indian startup on the list, QNu Labs began life in 2016 in the Silicon Valley of the country, Bengaluru. The four founders of Sunil Gupta, Srinivasa Rao Aluri, Mark Mathias, and Anil Prabhakar are ‘leveraging quantum technology to offer solutions such as data center protection and Multi-Factor Authentication’.
QuSecure’s four founders, Dave Krauthamer, Kosta Vilk, Rebecca Krauthamer, and Skip Sanzeri, got QuSecure up and running in Menlo Park, California, in 2019. Offering its customer base the proprietary QSMS, an integrated software suite of products whose quantum cryptographic engine and an orchestration engine can assist clients ‘for new standards, and protect critical assets from classical and quantum threats’, the startup is at the cutting edge of developments in the industry.
QuSecure your enterprise from Quantum and Classical cyber threats
Founded in 2017 by Elham Kashefi, Joshua Nunn and Marc Kaplan, VeriQloud’s IP is in quantum network technologies, from protocols and applications to implementations using optical devices. With an expert team at ease with quantum optics, quantum algorithms, quantum communication, and quantum cybersecurity technology, VeriQloud has a very bright future within the industry.
Applications and software for quantum networks
Starting its research into quantum cryptography in 2003 at the Cambridge Research Laboratory of Toshiba Research Europe Limited, it’s obvious the electronics giant Toshiba has an important role to play in the realm of QKD. The multinational’s continuous secure key rate, matched with the long-range, data co-existence, and key management software — which allows key distribution — will certainly make Toshiba, with its seemingly unlimited money tree for R&D projects, an industry leader in QKD and other areas for years to come.
Stats Don’t Lie
Although this list isn’t exhaustive, we have included all the companies which are active in the industry, by that they have a functioning website, active social media channels, research done or ongoing, as well as — for some — funding rounds completed (I omitted about a dozen or so either because they’re in stealth mode/have sparse websites/inactive socials and/or dubious claims from little work completed).
From all this information, the reader can gather that the UK and US are tied with five companies apiece, though with a population of 328 million — compared to the UK’s 66 million — the Americans have a huge numerical population advantage. The UK’s impressive per capita number of startups, no doubt, will surely grow with time.
China, on the other hand, only has three representatives on the list and considering it is supposed to be the global leader in quantum cryptography and communications, is a little shocking; however, with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) always ready to do one over on its biggest rival in the space, the US, TQD is sure the moneybags will be open soon enough to create more state-owned enterprises (SOE) or ones at least partly owned by the government in Beijing.
Canada’s two startups, again per capita, just go to prove what an innovative country it is in quantum information science (QIS), and how it is surely going to do much more in the future.
Have we left any out? If so, please drop TQD a line so we can think about including you in the future, either in a listicle or a dedicated story.
Thanks for reading!