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TypePrivately held not-for-profit corporation
GenreTechnology research, Government (taxpayer) funded Venture capital firm
FoundedSeptember 29, 1999; 22 years ago (1999-09-29) (as Peleus)
FounderNorm Augustine[1]
HeadquartersArlington, Virginia, U.S.[2]
Key people
Christopher Darby (CEO)[3]
ServicesInvestment in information technology supporting U.S. intelligence capability 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 high-tech 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.[4] The name "In-Q-Tel" is an intentional reference to Q, the fictional inventor who supplies technology to James Bond.[5]

The firm is seen as a trend-setter in the information technology industry,[5] with the average dollar invested by In-Q-Tel in 2016 attracting fifteen dollars from other investors.[6]


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.[4][5][7] In-Q-Tel's mission is to identify and invest in companies developing cutting-edge technologies that serve United States national security interests. Origins of the corporation can 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 says,

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 $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 had reviewed more than 5,800 business plans and invested approximately $150 million in more than 90 companies.[4][12] In 2016, it was funded with at least $120 million per year primarily from the CIA, as well as the NSA, FBI, and US Defense Department.[6]


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 investment. 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.[6]

In-Q-Tel's current president and CEO is Christopher A. R. Darby.[15] The chairman of the board is Michael M. Crow.[15]


This list of companies needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "In-Q-Tel" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (September 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

The company lists the majority of its investments on its website page.[16]

In-Q-Tel functions partially in public; however, what products it has and how they are used is strictly secret.[17] 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."[17]


Material science



Sensor networks
Data centers
Security testing

Related personnel

Numerous noteworthy business and intelligence community professionals have been involved with In-Q-Tel at various times, including the following:


  1. ^ "A new partnership between the CIA and the private sector". Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Contact Us". Retrieved 16 July 2017.
  3. ^ "List of the Board of Trustees". Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "In-Q-Tel, Inc. Company Information". Hoover's. Retrieved March 26, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e 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.
  6. ^ 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. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  7. ^ 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.
  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". 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". Retrieved 2017-06-20.
  14. ^ "In-Q-Tel: A New Partnership Between the CIA and the Private Sector". Retrieved 2017-06-20.
  15. ^ a b "In-Q-Tel – About Team". Archived from the original on 2018-07-16. Retrieved 2017-06-20.
  16. ^ In-Q-Tel website. In-Q-Tel — Portfolio.
  17. ^ a b O'Hara, Terence (15 August 2005). "In-Q-Tel, CIA's Venture Arm, Invests in Secrets". Retrieved 16 July 2017 – via
  18. ^ Weinberger, Sharon (2020-09-28). "Is Palantir's Crystal Ball Just Smoke and Mirrors?". Intelligencer. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  19. ^ [1] Magnet Forensics Press Release Dec 8 2015
  20. ^ "In-Q-Tel Invests in User Behavior Analytics Leader Interset to Stay Ahead of Cyber Attacks on Sensitive Data".
  21. ^ "Nozomi Networks Announces Strong Growth and New Funding in the First Half of 2020".
  22. ^ "CIA Funding Arm Gave Encrypted App Wickr $1.6 Million".
  23. ^ "In-Q-Tel Announces Strategic Investment in SkyBuilt Power to Develop Mobile, Renwable Energy Power Stations – In-Q-Tel". Retrieved 2021-11-07.
  24. ^ "Xanadu secures $120 million CAD led by Bessemer to build photonic quantum computer | BetaKit". 2021-05-25. Retrieved 2021-05-25.
  25. ^ "Tyfone and In-Q-Tel Sign Strategic Agreement to Bring Mobile Security in Cloud and NFC Transactions for U.S. Government – In-Q-Tel". Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  26. ^ Dan Geer leaves Verdasys for In-Q-Tel, by Ryan Naraine, ZDNet, May 28, 2008. Accessed 2008-07-09.
  28. ^ "Taira on Offensive".
  29. ^ "Gilman Louie". Federation Of American Scientists. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  30. ^ "Paul G. Kaminski Bloomberg Profile". Retrieved 2017-06-20.
  31. ^ "IN-Q-TEL ANNOUNCES AMIT YORAN AS NEW CEO – In-Q-Tel". Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  32. ^ a b c d "Board of Trustees". In-Q-Tel. Archived from the original on 2009-03-03. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  33. ^ "Becky Bace In Memoriam". Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  34. ^ York, Carnegie Corporation of New. "Luciana Borio". Carnegie Corporation of New York. Archived from the original on 2020-11-14. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  35. ^ "Jeong H. Kim Bloomberg Profile". Retrieved 2017-06-20.