17 October, 2019
LONDON & CAMBRIDGE, UK: Ahren announced today its participation in the recent investment round of Nu Quantum, the quantum photonics company.
The raise follows over eight years of research at the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge. Nu Quantum is building high-performance, single-photon sources and detectors that work at room temperature. These devices are the building blocks that will enable a range of quantum technologies, the most near-term being Quantum Key Distribution. QKD are communication links that are completely secure as end users are able to detect any imprint on the exchanged photons left by a potential eavesdropper.
Nu Quantum will soon begin work with a major UK telecoms company, testing its quantum technology. While several quantum companies are looking at the fibre-based application of quantum communication technology, Nu Quantum is one of the few looking at its application in ‘free space’ communications. This means communication without fibre optics. Nu Quantum’s vision for their proprietary components is to form an end-to-end, free-space quantum cybersecurity system that will enable the secure exchange of cryptographic keys globally, via satellite and metropolitan links.
Carmen Palacios-Berraquero, CEO, Nu Quantum, said: “To make quantum communication a reality there are two major challenges: to generate single photons with high purity and to detect them efficiently. 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.”
Since inception in late 2018, Nu Quantum has been successful in receiving several Innovate UK grants and European research grants, taking its available capital to near £1 million. The new investment will enable Nu Quantum to develop its technology into full prototypes over the next 18 months.
Nu Quantum is developing quantum photonics hardware to power the quantum revolution in communications, sensing and computing.
A spin-out of the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, Nu Quantum combines novel materials with traditional semiconductor photonics to achieve high performance at the single-photon level. The first application of these proprietary components will be an end-to-end free-space quantum cyber security system which will enable the secure exchange of cryptographic keys globally via satellite and metropolitan links.
Ahren Innovation Capital is an investment institution that supports transformational companies at the intersection of deep tech and deep science that will penetrate, or create, massive markets. Ahren is a unique partnership of investment talent and best-in-class commercial scientists whose technologies are today valued in excess of $100BN combined.
Ahren believes in taking asymmetric, considered, risk that will deliver superior rewards – capturing a generational opportunity to provide smart capital to deep technology.
With a philosophy espousing the importance of relationships and trust, Ahren provides both patient and active capital to exceptional founders and teams, empowering them to succeed.
Ahren’s Founding and Science Partners include:
Alice Newcombe-Ellis, Founder & CEO, formerly an investor at TPG Capital and Lansdowne Partners, Double First Class degree in Mathematics and Master’s in Maths & Physics from the University of Cambridge; Fulbright and Baker Scholar at Harvard Business School.
Sir Shankar Balasubramanian, principal inventor of the leading next generation human genome sequencing technology core to all Illumina sequencing platforms, estimated worth >$30BN.
Professor Roberto Cipolla, Professor of Information Engineering at Cambridge University, Director of Toshiba Research Europe.
Professor John Daugman, Head of Artificial Intelligence Group of Cambridge University, inventor of IRIS (eye) recognition technology used to register 1.5BN citizens worldwide.
Professor Zoubin Ghahramani, world leader in machine learning, co-founder of Geometric Intelligence, sold to Uber for an undisclosed amount.
Professor Steve Jackson, founder/co-founder of three companies and originator of Olaparib/Lynparza, recently partnered by AstraZeneca with Merck and valued as an asset at up to $17BN.
Professor Andy Parker, CERN leader, Head of the Cavendish Laboratory (Physics Department) of Cambridge University.
Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, Nobel prize laureate and President of the Royal Society, the UK’s premier science body.
Lord Martin Rees, world-renowned astrophysicist, Astronomer Royal, founder of CSER, former President of the Royal Society and former Master of Trinity College, Cambridge University.
Sir Gregory Winter, 2018 Nobel laureate, inventor of technology leading to Humira ($18BN sales in 2017, the world’s greatest grossing drug) and founder of three companies. Master of Trinity College, Cambridge University.
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