From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Company typePrivately held not-for-profit corporation
GenreTechnology research, Government (taxpayer) funded Venture capital firm
FoundedSeptember 29, 1999; 24 years ago (1999-09-29) (as Peleus)
FoundersNorm Augustine[1]
Gilman Louie[2]
HeadquartersArlington, Virginia, U.S.[3]
Key people
Steve Bowsher (President and CEO)[4]
ServicesInvestment in information technology supporting U.S. intelligence capability
OwnerCentral Intelligence Agency Edit this at Wikidata

In-Q-Tel (IQT), formerly Peleus and In-Q-It, is an American not-for-profit venture capital firm based in Arlington, Virginia. It invests in companies to keep the Central Intelligence Agency, and other intelligence agencies, equipped with the latest in information technology in support of United States intelligence capability.[2] The name "In-Q-Tel" is an intentional reference to Q, the fictional inventor who supplies technology to James Bond.[5]


Originally named Peleus and known as In-Q-It, In-Q-Tel was founded by Norm Augustine, a former CEO of Lockheed Martin, and by Gilman Louie, who was In-Q-Tel's first CEO.[2][5][6] In-Q-Tel's mission is to identify and invest in companies developing cutting-edge technologies that serve United States national security interests. According to the Washington post, In-Q-Tel started as the idea of then CIA director George Tenet. Congress approved funding for In-Q-Tel, which was increased in later years.[7] Origins of the corporation can also be traced to Ruth A. David, who headed the Central Intelligence Agency Directorate of Science & Technology in the 1990s and promoted the importance of rapidly advancing information technology for the CIA.[5] In-Q-Tel now engages with entrepreneurs, growth companies, researchers, and venture capitalists to deliver technologies that provide superior capabilities for the CIA, DIA, NGA, and the wider intelligence community.[8] In-Q-Tel concentrates on three broad commercial technology areas: software, infrastructure and materials sciences.

Former CIA director George Tenet said,

We [the CIA] decided to use our limited dollars to leverage technology developed elsewhere. In 1999 we chartered ... In-Q-Tel. ... While we pay the bills, In-Q-Tel is independent of CIA. CIA identifies pressing problems, and In-Q-Tel provides the technology to address them. The In-Q-Tel alliance has put the Agency back at the leading edge of technology ... This ... collaboration ... enabled CIA to take advantage of the technology that Las Vegas uses to identify corrupt card players and apply it to link analysis for terrorists [cf. the parallel data-mining effort by the SOCOM-DIA operation Able Danger], and to adapt the technology that online booksellers use and convert it to scour millions of pages of documents looking for unexpected results.[9]

In-Q-Tel sold 5,636 shares of Google, worth over US$2.2 million, on November 15, 2005.[10] The shares were a result of Google's acquisition of Keyhole, Inc, the CIA-funded satellite mapping software now known as Google Earth.[11]

In August 2006, In-Q-Tel reviewed more than 5,800 business plans and invested approximately $150M in more than 90 companies.[2][12]

As of 2016, In-Q-Tel listed 325 investments, but more than 100 were kept secret, according to the Washington Post. The absence of disclosure can be due to national security concerns or simply because a startup company doesn’t want its financial ties to intelligence publicized.[7]


In-Q-Tel is a Virginia-registered corporation,[13] legally independent of the CIA or any other government agency. The corporation is bound by its Charter agreement and annual contract with the CIA, which set out the relationship between the two organizations. In-Q-Tel's mission (to support the Intelligence Community's technical needs) is promoted by the In-Q-Tel Interface Center (QIC), an office within the CIA that facilitates communication and relationships between In-Q-Tel and government intelligence organizations.[14] While In-Q-Tel is a nonprofit corporation, it differs from IARPA and other models in that its employees and trustees can profit from its investments. A Wall Street Journal investigation found that in 2016, nearly half of In-Q-Tel's trustees had a financial connection with a company the corporation had funded.[7]

In-Q-Tel's current president and CEO is Christopher A. R. Darby.[15]

Original members of the board include Lee A. Ault, III, Norman R. Augustine, John Seely Brown, Stephen Friedman, Paul G. Kaminski, Jeong H. Kim, Alex J. Mandl, John N. McMahon, and William J. Perry.[16]

The chairman of the board is Michael M. Crow.[15]


The company lists the majority of its investments on its website page.[17]

In-Q-Tel functions partially in public; however, what products it has and how they are used is strictly secret.[18] According to The Washington Post, "virtually any U.S. entrepreneur, inventor or research scientist working on ways to analyze data has probably received a phone call from In-Q-Tel or at least been Googled by its staff of technology-watchers."[18]


  • MemSQL – Distributed, in-memory, SQL database management system for real-time analytics
  • Keyhole, Inc – Geospatial visualization application (Acquired by Google in 2004 and would go on to become Google Earth in 2005)
  • Boundless Spatial – geospatial software - acquired by Planet Labs
  • Huddle – cloud-based content collaboration software
  • Oculis Labs – visual cyber security solutions
  • Destineer – games FPS training simulation
  • GeoIQ FortiusOne – visualization on maps
  • Forterra – virtual worlds for training
  • Quantum4D – visualization technology
  • Visual Sciences – real-time visual analysis
  • Spotfire – visualization data analytics
  • Algorithmic — Infrastructure for deploying and scaling AI/ML models
  • Palantir Technologies – data integration, search and discovery, knowledge management, and secure collaboration[19]
  • PiXlogic – visual search
  • Agent Logic – event detection and response software – Webspector webpage change software
  • ArcSight – secure software[7]
  • Zaplet – email
  • Authentica – secure messaging and secure document sharing
  • Teradici Corporation – desktop virtualization
  • Connectify – Wifi & VPN
  • SafeWeb PrivacyMatrix – browsing (closed in Nov. 2001)[7]
  • Visible Technologies – social media monitoring
  • Silver Tail Systems – website fraud prevention
  • InnoCentive – crowdsourcing websites
  • Fetch Technologies – Internet Data Management -bots & RSS
  • SRA OrionMagic – cms software
  • Recorded Future – web intelligence and predictive analytics
  • Traction Software – web 2.0[7]
  • Internet Evidence Finder[20] – Digital forensic tool[7]
  • Basis Technology – multilingual text analytics and cyber forensics[7]
  • Language Weaver – automatic language translation
  • Lingotek – translation services
  • Cassatt – desktop software
  • Tacit Knowledge Systems – internal software[7]
  • FMS – analysis, visualization, and knowledgebase to the United States Intelligence Community
  • Initiate Systems – real-time multiple database software
  • TerraGo – location intelligence applications and software GeoPDF
  • Geosemble – unstructured data analytics and geospatial software - acquired by TerraGo
  • NovoDynamics – Arabic character recognition
  • Adapx – Microsoft Office & GIS
  • Digital Reasoning – Synthesys v3.0 – review facts and associations at a glance
  • CallMiner – Phone speech analytics software
  • Carnegie Speech – speech recognition
  • AzTE] PRISM – handwriting recognition
  • A4Vision – 3D facial imaging
  • SRD – identity resolution software
  • Inktomi Corp – network infrastructure software
  • Mohomine mohoClassifier – organises mass data[7]
  • Stratify – organizes mass data[7]
  • Endeca – search data repositories
  • Inxight – search engine
  • Convera RetrievalWare – search engine
  • MetaCarta – search engine
  • Attensity – search engine
  • Platfora – big data analytics and visualization
  • Intelliseek – search engine[7]
  • FireEye – malware protection
  • ReversingLabs – malware detection and analysis
  • zSpace (company) – 3-Dimensional holographic imaging displays
  • Socrata – Open Data Solutions for Government Innovation
  • Interset – Security Analytics/User Behavior Analytics[21]
  • Nozomi Networks – OT and IoT security and visibility[22]
  • D2iQ (formerly Mesosphere) – Apache Mesos and Kubernetes consulting firm
  • Fuel3D – 3D scanning[7]
  • TRX Systems – 3D mapping[7]
  • Wickr - Encrypted messaging application[23]
  • Looking Glass Factory - Holography[24]
  • HEO - Space Imagery[25]


Data centers
  • Bay Microsystems – packet processing and data traffic[7]
  • Systems Research and Development – real-time data warehousing[7]
  • Network Appliance – Decru (networked data storage)[7]
  • JetCool - liquid cooling for data centres[29]

Related personnel[edit]


  1. ^ "A new partnership between the CIA and the private sector". Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d "In-Q-Tel, Inc. Company Information". Hoover's. Archived from the original on April 17, 2016. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  3. ^ "Contact Us". Archived from the original on 6 June 2017. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Executive Team". Archived from the original on 8 February 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2023.
  5. ^ a b c d Powers, Shawn M; Jablonski, Michael (April 2015). The Real Cyber War. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press. pp. 63–69. ISBN 978-0-252-09710-2. Archived from the original on 2015-11-17. Retrieved 2015-11-15.
  6. ^ Yannuzzi, Rick E. (2000). "In-Q-Tel: A new partnership between the CIA and the private sector". Central Intelligence Agency. ISSN 1061-6845. Archived from the original on March 7, 2017. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Paletta, Damian (2016-08-30). "The CIA's Venture-Capital Firm, Like Its Sponsor, Operates in the Shadows". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Archived from the original on 31 August 2016. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  8. ^ "Technology Focus". In-Q-Tel. Archived from the original on 30 May 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014. IQT is focused on new and emerging commercial technologies that have the potential to give the CIA and broader U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) mission-advantage today and in the future. As a strategic partner, we work with the IC ...
  9. ^ George Tenet (1997), At The Center Of The Storm: My Years at the CIA, Harper Press, p. 26
  10. ^ "CIA sells Google shares". November 15, 2005. Archived from the original on December 17, 2009.
  11. ^ "Former Google exec sheds light on KC startups, Kansas tech scene". Archived from the original on 2021-03-08. Retrieved 2020-04-20.
  12. ^ In-Q-Tel website: Investing in our National Security. Archived 2012-11-06 at the Wayback Machine Obtained August 2006.
  13. ^ "In-Q-Tel Bloomberg Company Overview". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on 2019-06-29. Retrieved 2017-06-20.
  14. ^ "In-Q-Tel: A New Partnership Between the CIA and the Private Sector". Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved 2017-06-20.
  15. ^ a b "In-Q-Tel – About Team". Archived from the original on 2018-07-16. Retrieved 2017-06-20.
  17. ^ In-Q-Tel website. In-Q-Tel — Portfolio. Archived 2015-08-25 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ a b O'Hara, Terence (15 August 2005). "In-Q-Tel, CIA's Venture Arm, Invests in Secrets". Archived from the original on 10 October 2017. Retrieved 16 July 2017 – via
  19. ^ Weinberger, Sharon (2020-09-28). "Is Palantir's Crystal Ball Just Smoke and Mirrors?". Intelligencer. Archived from the original on 2021-01-14. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  20. ^ [1] Archived 2016-04-23 at the Wayback Machine Magnet Forensics Press Release Dec 8 2015
  21. ^ "In-Q-Tel Invests in User Behavior Analytics Leader Interset to Stay Ahead of Cyber Attacks on Sensitive Data". Archived from the original on 2018-08-05. Retrieved 2017-09-03.
  22. ^ "Nozomi Networks Announces Strong Growth and New Funding in the First Half of 2020". Archived from the original on 2020-08-04. Retrieved 2020-07-27.
  23. ^ "CIA Funding Arm Gave Encrypted App Wickr $1.6 Million". 12 October 2021. Archived from the original on 13 October 2021. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  24. ^ "The Brooklyn Hologram Studio Receiving Millions From the CIA". The Intercept. May 27, 2022. Archived from the original on June 15, 2023. Retrieved June 15, 2023.
  25. ^ "Space imagery startup HEO raises $8 million". 23 August 2023.
  26. ^ "Xanadu secures $120 million CAD led by Bessemer to build photonic quantum computer | BetaKit". 2021-05-25. Archived from the original on 2021-05-25. Retrieved 2021-05-25.
  27. ^ "Tyfone and In-Q-Tel Sign Strategic Agreement to Bring Mobile Security in Cloud and NFC Transactions for U.S. Government – In-Q-Tel". Archived from the original on 2021-01-21. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  28. ^ "Reusable Rocket Builder Stoke Space Gets $100M in New Series B Funding". GovCon Wire. 2023-10-06. Archived from the original on 2023-11-10. Retrieved 2023-11-10.
  29. ^ "JetCool Raises $17 Million Series A Funding Round to Meet Escalating Demand for Data Center Cooling Driven by the AI and High-Density Semiconductor Boom". 2023-10-11. Archived from the original on 2023-11-10. Retrieved 2023-11-10.
  30. ^ Dan Geer leaves Verdasys for In-Q-Tel Archived 2008-05-29 at the Wayback Machine, by Ryan Naraine, ZDNet, May 28, 2008. Accessed 2008-07-09.
  31. ^ "IN-Q-TEL NAMES DR. MICHAEL D. GRIFFIN AS PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER – In-Q-Tel". Archived from the original on 2021-01-21. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  32. ^ "Taira on Offensive". Science. 311 (5763): 931. 2006. doi:10.1126/science.311.5763.931d. S2CID 162239621. Archived from the original on 2024-02-05. Retrieved 2022-06-30.
  33. ^ "Gilman Louie". Federation Of American Scientists. Archived from the original on 2021-01-21. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  34. ^ "Paul G. Kaminski Bloomberg Profile". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on 2024-02-05. Retrieved 2017-06-20.
  35. ^ "IN-Q-TEL ANNOUNCES AMIT YORAN AS NEW CEO – In-Q-Tel". Archived from the original on 2021-01-21. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  36. ^ a b c d "Board of Trustees". In-Q-Tel. Archived from the original on 2009-03-03. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  37. ^ "Becky Bace In Memoriam". Archived from the original on 2021-01-21. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  38. ^ York, Carnegie Corporation of New. "Luciana Borio". Carnegie Corporation of New York. Archived from the original on 2020-11-14. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  39. ^ "Jeong H. Kim Bloomberg Profile". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on 2024-02-05. Retrieved 2017-06-20.

External links[edit]