April 22, 2010
LensVector Inc. has announced a strategic investment and development agreement with In-Q-Tel, the venture capital arm of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
LensVector (Mountain View, Calif.) is developing a solid-state optics technology, said to replace the moving parts of tiny cameras found in mobile phones, laptops and other consumer electronics.
The LensVector AutoFocus (LVAF) is said to be the world’s smallest autofocus device. LensVector uses a patented technology to transform a simple liquid crystal cell into a variable focus lens.
“LensVector’s solid-state optics technology provides a novel foundational capability that is crucial to the missions of many government agencies,” said William Strecker, executive vice president of architecture and engineering and CTO at IQT, in a statement. “Our strategic investment with LensVector will help accelerate the availability and deployment of this important technology to both the public and private sectors.”
Earlier this year, LensVector announced it had closed $30 million in a Series C financing round, bringing the total financial backing of the company to more than $50 million. Institutional Venture Partners (IVP) led the new funding and joins existing investors Menlo Ventures, Samsung, Silicon Valley Bank, Mitsui and Kodak.
Foxconn, UMC and Samsung also invested in LensVector.
The CIA has invested in a slew of companies. In March, Lingotek, a developer of collaborative translation technology, announced it has extended its strategic relationship with In-Q-Tel.
In February, Arcxis Biotechnologies, a privately held biomedical device firm, announced that it has entered into an agreement to further expand its collaboration with the CIA.