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SandboxAQ acquires Cryptosense as strategic investment program shifts into high gear

By Dan O'Shea posted 15 Sep 2022

SandboxAQ, which recently embarked on a strategic investment program to spread its dollars across the quantum sector, has announced its second big move as part of that program–the acquisition of Cryptosense, a cybersecurity and encryption analysis software company. 

The acquisition of Cryptosense, which is based in Paris, but also has offices in London and Cambridge, Massachusetts, follows last month’s investment in evolutionQ, a quantum key distribution technology firm.

Cryptosense works in the field of post-quantum cryptography, and SandboxAQ said acquiring the company will complement and accelerate the deployment of SandboxAQ’s PQC solutions in both enterprise and government markets. Cryptosense’s products already are used by financial services organizations and other types of companies, according to SandboxAQ. Both companies are partners in the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence.

Now that it is off and running, there appears to be no stopping the SandboxAQ investment program, as the company acknowledged it soon will announce its third investment on the heels of this second announcement.

SandboxAQ CEO Jack Hidary, who was a keynote speaker at last May’s IQT event, took some time Wednesday to answer a few questions by email about the investment program:

IQT: SandboxAQ is moving very quickly with this investment program – why the urgency?

Jack Hidary: The quantum tech ecosystem is evolving rapidly, with innovation happening not just in cybersecurity but with other quantum technologies as well. Our Strategic Investment Program ensures that startups in the AI + quantum tech (AQ) space have the resources they need to continue driving innovation.   When financial investors see a well-known strategic investor such as SandboxAQ invest in a startup, the venture funds are more likely to invest in the round knowing that savvy experts in the sector have looked at the technology. 

As for the urgency, with  nation state hackers already executing SNDL attacks, it’s incredibly important that enterprises migrate to PQC as soon as possible. Thus far, all of our investments have focused on the quantum era cybersecurity space. We are one of the leading companies helping corporate and government entities with this global cyber transition and are building on this position. 

IQT: What are you gaining from these deals in terms of technology and ability to realize your business aims?

JH: We’re looking to partner with other AQ companies whose vision, technologies and products complement our own. Our strategic investments help advance our technology and product development efforts and gain access to potential new customers and markets.

For instance, evolutionQ is a Canadian quantum cybersecurity company specializing in Quantum Key Distribution. QKD will play a key role in creating a secure, quantum-safe digital infrastructure, and it complements our own efforts in the PQC space. They have an established customer base in Canada and elsewhere, and we’re collaborating with them to offer our joint customers a complete ecosystem of quantum-resistant cybersecurity offerings.

In the case of Cryptosense, they are a very well-respected company with deep connections in Europe and a seven-year track record of delivering cyber software. SandboxAQ and Cryptosense are both part of NIST’s 12-member National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, and we’re both developing complementary products used to assess cryptographic vulnerabilities and manage crypto-agility. For the past seven years, they have been focusing specifically on building an analyzer tool that gives companies instant visibility on all their cryptography. Now, this technology will be incorporated into SandboxAQ’s end-to-end solution so that we can better serve our customers in protecting their data and systems. We are thrilled to have them join the SandboxAQ family. 

IQT: How important is it to support other ecosystem firms financially as the sector continues to evolve?

JH: We think it’s vitally important to support ecosystem startups financially to fill any funding void caused by macroeconomic or geo-political uncertainty. We are on the edge of a new frontier of AI and quantum developments that will transform entire industries and deliver breakthroughs in drug development, financial services, telecommunications, defense and more. We are pursuing AQ solutions in all those fields – not just cybersecurity. Our Strategic Investment Program (SIP) lets us partner with other visionary companies to ensure that we are at the forefront of these innovations. Once we invest, other investors tend to follow as they see a savvy strategic investor step up to the plate.

Dan O’Shea has covered telecommunications and related topics including semiconductors, sensors, retail systems, digital payments and quantum computing/technology for over 25 years.

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