While all through the past few days the focus has been on NSA activities, the discussion has often veered around the technologies and products used by NSA. At the same time, a side discussion topic has been the larger technical ecosystem of intelligence units. CIA has been one of the more prolific users of Information Technology by its own admission. To that extent, CIA spinned off a venture capital firm In-Q-Tel in 1999 to invest in focused sector companies. Per Helen Coster of Fortune Magazine, In-Q-Tel (IQT) has been named “after the gadget-toting James Bond character Q”.
In-Q-Tel states on its website that “We design our strategic investments to accelerate product development and delivery for this ready-soon innovation, and specifically to help companies add capabilities needed by our customers in the Intelligence Community”. To that effect, it has made over 200 investments in early stage companies for propping up products. Being a not-for-profit group, unlike Private Venture capitalists, the ROI is not the primary motive. Beyond funds, the startups have benefited from a government organization association. “It’s an ego boost to get a phone call from In-Q-Tel, but more importantly, it’s a direct path to major government customers.” states Venture Beat’s Christina Farr.
The investments usually are not more than 2 million $ and attract other private venture capital firms along. According to an analysis on Linksviewer, “In-Q-Tel has very few occasions where it has more than one common investment with another investor, and zero occasions where it has more than two investments in common.” Among the marquee investments in the past, both Google and Google Earth have received investments from IQT.
From its vast portfolio mentioned on IQT's web site, we list below the companies which have a cloud, storage, search, analytics and/or Big Data footprint.
· 10gen: the company behind MongoDB, a leading NOSQL database.
· Adaptive Computing: offers a portfolio of
cloud management and Moab HPC workload management products for HPC, data
centers and cloud. Moab
· Adapx: helps to collect data with paper forms, GIS maps, and/or all-weather field notebooks using digital pens; software integrated with Excel, Sharepoint and ArcGIS among others.
· Apigee: provides API technology and services for enterprises and developers
· Basis Technology: provides software solutions for text analytics, natural language processing, information retrieval, and name resolution in over twenty languages
· Cleversafe: provides resilient storage solutions, ideally suited for storage clouds and massive digital archives
· Cloudera: leading provider of Hadoop distribution and services.
· Cloudant: provides “data layer as a service” for loading, storing, analyzing, and distributing application data
· Delphix: provides solutions for provisioning, managing refreshing, and recovering databases for business-critical applications
· Digital Reasoning: provides tools people need to understand relationships between entities in vast amounts of unstructured, semi-structured and structured data.
· FMSAdvanced Systems Group: focuses on visualization and analytical solutions, as well as solutions in the area of Geospatial/Temporal Analysis and Situational Awareness
· Huddle: provides enterprise content software with intelligent technology for recommending valuable information to users, with no need for search.
· LucidWorks: provides search solution development platforms built on the power of Apache Solr/Lucene open source search via enterprise-grade subscriptions.
· Narrative Insight: provides automated business analytics and natural language communication technology that transform data into personalized stories.
· Novo Dynamics: develops intelligent information capture software and provides advanced analytics solutions that transform data into actionable insights
· NetBase: provides semantic technology tool that reads sentences to surface insights from public and private online information sources.
· piXlogic: has created software that automatically analyzes and searches images and video based on their visual content
· Palantir Technologies: “was developed to address the most complex information analysis and security challenges faced by the
intelligence, military, and
law enforcement communities”. Provides extensible software solution designed
from the ground up for data integration and analysis. U.S.
· Pure Storage: the all-flash enterprise storage company, enables the broad deployment of flash in the data center
· Power Assure: developer of data center infrastructure and energy management software for large enterprises, government agencies, and managed service providers
· Platfora: works with existing Hadoop clusters and provide business intelligence software for Big Data.
· Quantum 4D: integrates large data sets into sophisticated models producing moving visual representations that enable users to identify trends, relationships, and anomalies in real-time data
· ReversingLabs: provides tools for analysis of all unknown binary content which may involve removing of all protection and obfuscation artifacts, unwrapping formatting elements and extracting relevant meta-data. Results are compared against analysis reports on billions of goodware and malware files.
· Recorded Future: provides software which utilizes linguistics and statistics algorithms to extract time-related information, and through temporal reasoning, help users understand relationships between entities and events over time, to form the world’s “first temporal analytics engine”.
· Signal Innovations Group, Inc. (SIG): provides customers with an advanced platform for video analysis, including motion tracking, enhanced metadata creation, and motion-based anomalous behavior detection
· SitScape: provides software to assemble situational business dashboards based on on-demand componentization and user interface virtualization of disparate enterprise-wide live Web applications and digital assets.
· StreamBase Systems: provides software for high-performance Complex Event Processing (CEP) that analyze and act on real-time streaming data for instantaneous decision-making
· Traction software: provides enterprise hypertext collaboration software which combines wiki-style group editing and the simplicity of a blog to provide business and government organizations with enterprise software
· Visible Technologies: provides enterprise ready social media solution, offering a combination of software and services to harness business value from social communities.
· Weather Analytics: delivers global climate intelligence by providing statistically stable, gap-free data formed by an extensive collection of historical, current and forecasted weather content, coupled with proprietary analytics and methodologies.