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Company Case Studies


Quantum Communications Security on Chip
Quantum Communications Security on Chip

Chris Erven,
CEO & Cofounder,
QTEC Management 2016-2021


KETS is solving real world information security problems using the unique advantages of quantum technologies. The company’s chip-based solutions employ technology developed over a decade at the University of Bristol. The technology means that KETS’ solutions are ultra-low in size, weight and power without compromising performance.

KETS is focused on the telecommunications and data centre market sectors with end-users in governments, defence and finance, helping them to secure their systems and data with quantum-safe crypto solutions.

In 2017, KETS won entry to Facebook-BT’s TEAC programme; in 2018, the they were named the UK’s Most Innovative Small Cyber Security Company at InfoSec Europe; and in 2019 KETS joined Thales Cyber@StationF programme to bring quantum-security to the world’s number 1 security solutions provider.

Why I invested in


“We are one of the world’s first quantum technology focused funds and were attracted to KETS chip‐based approach which is inherently scalable for disrupting and improving securing our communications in a post‐quantum future. The team is a huge factor when it comes to early stage investment, and KETS are the world‐leaders in this area.”

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“QTEC gives you the tools and the resources to create a cutting‐edge start‐up, and lights a fire under you to do just that!”

The Founder's Journey

Chris’s journey into quantum started when he attended a lunchtime talk on quantum encryption as an undergraduate engineering student at the University of Waterloo. As a result, he went on to complete a Masters and PhD in quantum communication and cryptography. During his PhD, Chris created a small start-up and did consultancy work with the Canadian Government. As an undergrad, he was exposed to start-up culture through Waterloo’s co-op programme during a number of work placements. Researching his next move, Chris said “I googled ‘integrated quantum photonics’, and Bristol was top of the list.”

​When he visited Bristol he liked their integrated approach and practical bent. He was offered a post-doc position and then a lectureship. “I was at the right place at the right time.”

He began by helping oversee development of a simple prototype chip. Realising it had significant real-world commercial applications but needed industrialising and had all the entrepreneurial challenges of bringing a prototype into the real world, Chris co-founded KETS in 2016. KETS has now gone on to raise £2M through publicly funded projects and a seed equity round, quickly grown their team, and is looking ahead to their Series A fundraise.

“If I have a super power,” joked Chris, “it’s being able to translate between complex scientific concepts to what it means in the real-world.” That ability is clearly having an effect as the company now employs 10 people, has sold its first device and is providing consultancy services.

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The Quantum Technology Enterprise Centre was an EPSRC funded Skills and Training Hub based out of the University of Bristol which is part of the UK's National Quantum Technology Programme and based out of:

QTIC, 1 Cathedral Square, Trinity Street, College Green, Bristol BS1 5DD

The programme was moved into SETsquared Bristol in July 2022.

For more information, email

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