14. Quantum Dice

Quantum Dice leverages quantum physics to provide verifiably secure random numbers to enable encryption.

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DEI Award Shortlisted

For the business that demonstrates committed diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative and how it has been embedded in the company.

Startups 100: DEI Award

Founders: Ramy Shelbaya, Marko von der Leyen, Zhanet Zaharieva, Wenmiao Yu, and George Dunlop
Year founded: 2020
Website: quantum-dice.com

The word ‘quantum’ can strike fear in laymen’s hearts. Or else, conjure up images of cats trapped in boxes (or not). But the great thing about Quantum Dice is you don’t need to know the science to understand its impact on the digital world – and it is set to have a big impact indeed.

Let’s start with what we do know: the World Economic Forum expects around 30 billion smart devices to be connected online by 2025. Every one of these will have a security solution encoded, using a set of random numbers to encrypt its information. This is what stops consumers from having their bank details or SMS messages stolen in a data breach.

Here’s the dirty secret that digital security companies don’t tell you about: not all random numbers are secure. Current generators are based on algorithms that can be biased, or even repeat, creating the potential for a breach that could let hackers carry out device-based cyber attacks.

This is the key problem that Quantum Dice is on a mission to solve. It’s going about this with its patented source-device independent ​self-certification (DISC™) Quantum Random Number Generator (QRNG).

Here’s the dirty secret that digital security companies don’t tell you about: not all random numbers are secure

Able to generate random numbers at world-leading speeds that are 8x faster than rivals, Quantum Dice says its invention promises extra-secure encryption, and is even capable of detecting and adjusting the randomness output in real time.

DISC™ is the result of years of research at the University of Oxford’s Quantum Optics Lab, where the five founders met in 2019 after winning the department’s inaugural Student Entrepreneurship Programme (StEP Ignite).

Recognising the potential commercial value of their invention, they ran the numbers on the product’s powers to combat cybercrime. In 2019, Yu and Dunlop secured enterprise fellowship funding at the Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre (QTEC), a startup incubator at the University of Bristol, and the bet was on.

Next up, the company will use its seed investment money to miniaturise the Quantum Random Number Generator into a tiny chip

Since then, the company has enjoyed fruitful winnings, raising £2m in seed funding and receiving a prestigious Innovate UK grant for £2.09m. Next up, it will use the money to miniaturise the QRNG into a tiny chip, granting access to the growing Internet-of-Things (IoT) market.

Quantum Dice uses a complicated solution to uncomplicate one of the biggest issues facing network security developers. We predict big things for this startup (as big as the quantum world can be).

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