Oxford Centre for Innovation company Quantum Dice raises £2m in pre-seed funding

Based in our Oxford Centre for Innovation, tech start-up Quantum Dices has just raised £2m in pre-seed funding to develop the world’s first compact and continuously self-certifying random number generator.

A spinout from the University of Oxford Department of Physics’ quantum optics lab, Quantum Dice is focused on developing a pioneering solution for secure randomness based on quantum optics for encryption and cybersecurity. In an increasingly digitised world, we expect to be connected through 75.4 billion devices by 2025. This means that protecting the security of data will become essential, whether it is for a government facility, private company or an individual. One of the critical components of any encryption system is the random number generator.

A £1 million venture capital consortium was led by venture capital fund Elaia Partners, managed by Midven, part of the Future Planet Capital group. A further £1 million grant funding was secured from the Quantum Investment Accelerator run by IP Group plc in partnership with Innovate UK, the United Kingdom’s innovation agency.

Quantum Dice was co-founded in April 2020 by George Dunlop, Marko Mayr, Ramy Shelbaya, Zhanet Zaharieva and Wenmiao Yu, all from the winning team of the inaugural Student Entrepreneurs’ Programme (StEP) organised by Oxford Science Innovation, the Oxford Foundry and Oxford University Innovation. Recognising the potential value to cybersecurity that existed in the research done by the quantum optics group, the five co-founders set out a development and go-to-market plan which won them the competition leading to the birth of Quantum Dice.

Current attempts to improve the security of random number generators rely on components that are either expensive, difficult to integrate or, more often than not, both. Using manufacturing-friendly optical circuits, Quantum Dice aims to directly address these shortcomings with its patented source-device independent self-certification (DISCTM) protocol. DISCTM allows for live continuous verification of the security of the output numbers rather than simply relying on statistical analysis.

Over the next few years, Quantum Dice aims to complete the development of its first commercial quantum random number generator device bringing the benefits of DISCTM to the frontlines of the quest for better information security.

Commercialising technology based on new innovations in Physics is never an easy task. To support this development, Quantum Dice is partnering with Elaia, IP Group plc and UKI2S (managed by Midven, now part of Future Planet Capital); three leading deep-tech venture capital firms with extensive expertise in supporting spinouts from academia and commercialising innovation. With this fundraise, Quantum Dice will have the necessary re- sources to expand the team and accelerate the miniaturisation of the DISCTM technology into a device that meets the needs of the market.

Great news, Quantum Dice!

For more information on Quantum Dice, see here  Follow the links to find out more about the Oxford Centre for Innovation and its sister site the Wood Centre for Innovation.