CIA's investment firm backs Philly's Connectify

Center City-based Connectify, a 15-person wireless-networking software company founded by CEO Alex Gizis (Penn '95), says it has received an investment from In-Q-Tel, a 12-year-old Virginia-based nonprofit that says it helps finance "innovative technology solutions to support the missions of the Central Intelligence Agency and broader U.S. Intelligence Community."

Connectify claims "millions of downloads" by business users and college students for its $30 software that can "transform (a) PC into a Wi-Fi hotspot at the click-of-a-button." The money will go to develop a more "powerful and secure remote networking platform" and a connection-aggregation system.

How many taxpayer dollars did the spooks invest in Connectify? That's a secret: "We'd love to be able to announce the specific numbers," but In-Q-Tel won't let them tell us, Connectify marketing and social-media chief Raj Haldar told me. In-Q-Tel's spokeswoman wasn't immediately available.

In-Q-Tel counts Keyhole, the satellite-mapping data company now known as Google Earth, among its earlier investments.

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