To cap off an unconventional week in venture capital, the CIA’s In-Q-Tel has broken its dry spell with its first investment in months for real-time analytics platform MemSQL.

Launched in 1999 to keep the CIA equipped with the latest technology, In-Q-Tel has backed four of the prized billion-dollar Unicorn companies – Cloudera, Palantir, Pure Storage, and MongoDB.

The not-for-profit venture firm has seen 4 exits so far this year, and not a single startup it’s backed has failed. The government’s stamp of approval seems to appeal to VCs, particularly corporate venture arms Intel Capital, Samsung Ventures, and Google Ventures.

But the CIA’s VC has considerably slackened its pace this year. IQT participated in 20 funding rounds in 2012 and another 16 in 2013, primarily in analytics and enterprise software startups, while the latest investment marks only its 4th of 2014.

With massive security vulnerabilities being exposed on a regular basis, it seems like an odd time for IQT to be taking a breather – perhaps it should get back into its old rhythm.

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Photo via Flickr user David Goehring

  • Originally published September 26, 2014, updated April 26, 2023