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The CIA really seems to like a little software company in Draper.
In-Q-Tel, the spy agency's venture-capital investment arm, has put more money into Lingotek, which develops Web-based collaborative translation software for corporations and government intelligence services.
Still secret: how much In-Q-Tel invested in 20-employee Lingotek in March 2008 and again this month. But the relationship is priceless, Lingotek CEO Rob Vandenberg said Tuesday.
"How do we start knocking on [the government's] doors? It's almost impossible," Vandenberg said. "In-Q-Tel helps by acting as a channel sales partner. They help us penetrate the federal market. That would be virtually impossible to do by ourselves."
The Draper-based company's software is said to speed up the analysis of sensitive information obtained by intelligence-gathering agencies like the CIA. Instead of a linguist translating a document and then passing it to an analyst, translators and analysts can work simultaneously.
"We are thrilled to have found them," IQT spokesman Donald Tighe said in an e-mail.
The CIA launched not-for-profit IQT in 1999 to close the gap between the technology needs of intelligence agencies and scientific and engineering discoveries by private companies.
"We scour the market to discover and advance commercial capabilities that respond directly to the technology interests of the U.S. intelligence community, and we are very impressed with Lingotek's strengths in the translation and collaboration marketplace," Tighe said.
The latest IQT investment was one of three venture-capital investments Lingotek has landed recently. Two other venture-capital companies that have invested before -- Lindon-based Canopy Ventures and FlyWheel Ventures in Albuquerque, N.M. -- also increased their Lingotek stake this month.
Lingotek will use the latest funding from IQT, Canopy and Flywheel to expand its product development, marketing and sales activities.
The cash will tide privately held Lingotek over until next year when it launches a more ambitious search for capital. The company hopes to raise more than $5 million from investors next year, Vandenberg said.