Optalysys secures 21 million for the quantum encryption chip

Cybersecurity Investment

Optalysys, the developer of a breakthrough photonics processing technology, has raised £21m in Series A funding.

The round was led by Lingotto, an investment management firm owned by Exor NV, imec.xpand and Northern Gritstone, with other investors to follow.

The investment will enable the company to advance its Enable photonic computing technology to unlock a new form of secure computing known as fully homomorphic encryption (FHE).

FHE is a secure form of quantum cryptography that closes the last vulnerability in cloud systems: unlike other encryption methods, FHE does not require data to be decrypted before it can be processed, allowing confidential or sensitive data to be sent over untrusted networks, or be processed by multiple parties without ever exposing the data itself.

However, the computational burden associated with this poses significant challenges, with a single process on encrypted data taking about a million times longer than unencrypted data, making large-scale deployment with conventional computer processors nearly impossible .

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Optalysys’ approach addresses this bottleneck. The company has created an advanced photonic semiconductor that accelerates the FHE process, allowing encrypted data to be processed at speeds similar to its unencrypted form. This brings hope to implementing FHE at the scale required by the largest secure data applications.

With potential use cases in most major industries including finance and banking, manufacturing, healthcare and machine analytics, research firm Global Market Insights estimates the global FHE market is projected to grow to $53 billion by 2030.

The goal is for Optalysys to become the world’s leading provider of confidential and private computing leading to the encrypted Data Center, where today’s issues of trust and security of sending data to the cloud are consigned to history. The company’s technology has already attracted the attention of financial institutions and has applications in a broad range of industries, from financial fraud detection to advanced medical data processing.

The investment will enable the company to roll out its technology on a cloud-based service model, in partnership with system integrators and service providers. The first photonics systems developed by Optalysys will also be made available to end users through an Accelerator program, ahead of production of the first high-speed Enable chips within 24 months. The funding will also be used to expand its team in England, Europe and the United States.

United for success during Yorkshire’s technological revolution

For co-founders Dr Nick New and Robert Todd, this marks the culmination of more than 20 years of development in optical computing, during which they have moved from Cambridge to Leeds to draw on the city’s resources and strong industry experience. ‘University in the sector.

Fully homomorphic encryption has the power to unlock the full value of data, but despite its benefits, it is currently impractical for anything beyond basic processes, said CEO Dr New.

This is where Optalysys comes in. Our Enable technology allows us to empower workflows and address the underlying bottlenecks holding back FHE.

It’s a very exciting time for Optalysys and it’s great to have the backing of such prestigious deep tech investors to help us achieve our goals. We have turned optical computing upside down. Also, FHE is just the starting point for where our technology can go.

Ashish Kaushik, partner at Lingotto, said: Optalysys introduces a revolutionary semiconductor technology to reduce energy consumption, increase processing power and improve data security.

The ability to unlock the power of FHE with their photonic computing technology will enable new markets with advances in encrypted AI. We look forward to working with Nick, Rob and the team to bring a new level of trust and security to how we use our data.

Duncan Johnson, CEO of Northern Gritstone, added: Optalysys has the holy grail of privacy technologies, providing a solution that will close the last major vulnerability in cloud and remote computing.

Nick and Rob’s decision to relocate the business to Leeds validates Northern Gritstones’ belief that the thriving innovation hub in the north of England will attract fast-growing technology companies to the region.

We are thrilled to support them on their journey as they seek to transform the data protection market and create another Northern success story.

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Image Source : businesscloud.co.uk

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