For quantum cryptography and simulation to become real, the technology requires high-performance light-emitting and light-detecting components that operate at the single-photon level and at ambient temperature. One of the few companies operating in this rarified arena is Nu Quantum. The quantum photonics company is a spin-out from the University of Cambridge.
It has now raised £2.1 million in seed funding in a round led by Amadeus Capital Partners. Ahren Innovation Capital, IQ Capital, Cambridge Enterprise and Martlet Capital also followed-on from the company’s pre-seed investment round last September, with Seraphim Capital joining as a new investor. Last year it raised a £650,000 pre-seed investment round, also led by Amadeus.
The funding will go toward a state-of-the-art photonics lab in Cambridge and a major recruitment drive for scientists, product team members and business functions as the company approaches the launch of its first commercial technology demonstration.
Nu Quantum brings together a portfolio of intellectual property combining quantum optics, semiconductor photonics and information theory, spun out of the University of Cambridge after eight years of research at the Cavendish Laboratory. Nu Quantum is one of a handful of companies in the world developing this photonics technology.
The company’s first commercial deliverable will use quantum photonic technology and proprietary algorithms to generate random numbers extracted from quantum-level effects, giving the highest confidence in the quality of these numbers, which are ubiquitously used as cryptographic keys to secure data. Nu Quantum is a partner in the consortium led by the National Physical Laboratory, developing the U.K. standard for quantum random number generation, a project which was awarded £2.8 million from the U.K. government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.
Dr Carmen Palacios-Berraquero, CEO, Nu Quantum, said in a statement: “Our aim is to enable the potential of quantum mechanics using quantum photonics hardware. This funding will allow us to do just that – a world-class multidisciplinary team and our new laboratories will give Nu Quantum the ability to deliver meaningful demonstrations of our technology into the hands of customers and partners for the first time.”
Alex van Someren, managing partner, Amadeus Capital Partners, said: “Quantum photonics has the potential to transform cybersecurity through digital cryptography. We’re making another investment in Nu Quantum because we believe in the team and its ability to take its solutions to market. Cambridge is leading the world on developing and commercializing quantum computing hardware and applications, and Amadeus is excited to be backing great entrepreneurs here.”