QuintessenceLabs raises AU$25m to take quantum-based cyber solutions global

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Canberra-based quantum cybersecurity solutions firm QuintessenceLabs (QLabs) has completed a AU$25 million series B funding round that will be used to expand the company globally and more than double its headcount.

The funding round was led by Main Sequence and the investment arm of Canadian telco Telus, with participation from Mizuho Financial Group-backed InterValley Ventures and Terry Snow’s Capital Property Group. 

Speaking to ZDNet, QLabs founder and CEO Vikram Sharma said the investment would help with the continued development of the company’s quantum-based cybersecurity solutions.

Specifically, this will include growing QLabs’ US headcount from eight to more than 20 over the next 18 months, starting with hiring a chief revenue officer, followed by expanding its sales, business development, and marketing teams.

“We’ve spent the best part of a decade planting a scientific seed, maturing the science, translating that science to technology, and ultimately mapping that technology to solve real-world cyber problems. Through that process, we achieved our customer base of some very strong names, including a dozen Fortune 500 companies, government organisations, defence agencies,” he said. 

“This round is all about scale-up. We’re really pleased to have closed it and we’re very much looking forward to the next two to three years.”

Sharma added QLabs will also be looking to enter the UK market during the first half of next year.

“We already have relationships in the UK. They’ve got such a storied history in cybersecurity, amongst other technology areas, and it’s the second largest cybermarket in the world, so it’ll be a very natural expansion for us,” he said.

QLabs will also be developing its existing relationships in Japan and India, Sharma said.

Back in 2017, QLabs picked up AU$3.26 million in funding from the Australian Department of Defence to continue the expansion of its quantum key distribution capabilities and develop an Australia-specific solution. This was followed by an additional AU$528,000 to progress encryption work for the department.

Australian banking heavyweight Westpac has also previously funded QLabs’ work, boasting a 16% stake in the company as a result.

QLabs was formed in 2008 as a spin-off out of the physics department at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, although QLabs’ product suite was developed independent of ANU.

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