14 cutting edge tech firms funded by the CIA

Larry Downing/REUTERS The Central Intelligence Agency has its own investment capital arm, and it’s been pumping money into some of Silicon Valley’s most innovative companies for years. In-Q-Tel (named after “Q” in the James Bond films) invests in companies that can deliver useful technology to the intelligence community within 36 months. But since it’s structured as an independent, non-profit organization, it’s rather unique: It’s a VC firm that doesn’t really need to make money back for outside investors, and it can tap into the deep pockets of the intelligence “black budget.” Its involvement in a startup is also a stamp-of-approval of sorts, often bringing in more money from other VC firms, to the tune of $11-$15 for every dollar the CIA kicks in. In-Q-Tel typically does not disclose the amount it invests,…


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