Tyfone, Portland mobile payments specialist, wins backing from CIA's investment arm [The Oregonian, Portland, Ore.]
(Oregonian (Portland, OR) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Dec. 10--Portland mobile payments pioneer Tyfone says this morning that it has landed unspecified investment from In-Q-Tel, the CIA's venture capital group, and an agreement to help develop technology for the U.S. intelligence community.
Tyfone designed technology to help provide secure authentication for online transactions, pairing hardware and software to establish verifiable digital identities. It plans to adapt technology developed for mobile phones to help ensure that secure government facilities and classified computer networks are open only to those entitled to access them.
"We are taking our platform and customizing it for government IDs," said Siva Narendra, Tyfone's chief executive.
The CIA launched In-Q-Tel (which borrows its middle initial from Q, the quartermaster who equips James Bond with outlandish gadgets) in 1999 to promote technologies with applications in the intelligence community. In-Q-Tel has previously invested in other Oregon tech companies, including network security company SignaCert and Portland video security company iMove.
Tyfone, founded in 2004, had raised $10 million in outside investment prior to In-Q-Tel's investment.
The company declined to say how much more In-Q-Tel will put into the company, but Tyfone said it's in the process of raising another investment round between $5 million and $10 million. In-Q-Tel's money will be part of that funding.
Privately held Tyfone expects revenues between $3 million and $5 million in the current fiscal year, which ends in March, according to Narendra. The company has 50 employees worldwide, seven of them at its Southwest Portland headquarters.
-- Mike Rogoway; twitter: @rogoway; phone: 503-294-7699
(c)2012 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)
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